Portugal are kick-starting their Eurovision search once more this evening, with the famous Festival da Canção beginning with its first semi-final. One of the participants in Saturday’s show is mema., who will take part with her entry “Claro Como Água”.
We spoke with mema. about her Eurovision passion and entering the Portuguese selection, the positivity of her entry and Portugal’s gastronomy…
Olá, mema.! First of all, thank you for taking the time to speak to us. What can you tell us about yourself? What should we all know about mema.?
Hi! My pleasure. Thank you for the invite. mema. is who I am, it’s a fusion between the old and the new, sonically a fusion of traditional Portuguese sounds and electronic pop. I started this project in late 2018, exactly looking forward to understanding my roots a bit better. I was living in Dublin, Ireland, at the time, and I was feeling very depressed and lost. I came back home at the start of 2019 to work on my sound and pursue my music, and that’s when “Cidade de Sal”, my EP, started taking place. Above all, this project is a way to express my inner thoughts, reflect on what’s around me from a different perspective, and be honest. As clear as water.
Can you remember your first experiences in music? What made you want to be a musician?
I’ve been surrounded by music almost since I was a baby. My mom’s family is very musical, so on Christmas and other family gatherings, my aunts and uncles would often sing. Also, I remember being little, at my grandmother’s house, and one of my aunts played the piano. I remember trying to play when she was practicing. My mom also sang me and brother to sleep. So, you see… it’s always been there. I immediately fell in love with it, singing, and playing instruments. But it wasn’t until my pre-teenage years that I really knew I wanted to be an artist. I believe it was around when I was 12, I had just started learning the guitar, and that’s also when I first attempted to write songs.
What was your reason for joining this year’s Festival da Canção?
It was mostly for the challenge and the opportunity to do something different. I’ve been watching Festival da Canção and Eurovision for a long time, and even though I’d never considered being part of it before, I always admired the concept, the staging, and the whole energy around it. I really wanted to push my limits with it, and have the opportunity to collaborate with other artists. I was very happy to be able to do this with Stereossauro. He’s a producer I really admire, and it’s such an honour to have been trusted as his artist for the show. Overall, Festival da Canção is also a huge opportunity to get my art in front of a wider audience. I really hope people will connect with our song and performance.
What is the message behind your FdC entry “Claro Como Água”?
“Claro Como Água” speaks of purpose, of that little light within that despite all trouble, won’t let you fall down (at least not for long). It talks about accepting yourself as you are, and how when you understand your path you have some peace. It’s a very positive song. I wanted to write something different from what I usually do, which is often melancholic. We had such a difficult year in 2020, that I felt like I wanted to express something positive and uplifting, hopeful even. That positive feeling, that clarity of understanding who you are and where you’re walking towards, is what gave the song its name – “as clear as water”.
Can you tell us your general impressions of Eurovision? Do you have any favourite entries from the contest?
I love Eurovision. It’s such a joyful moment. I usually watch it with my mom or friends. I just love how so many different countries and cultures come together, I love listening to songs in different languages too, and with so many peculiar traits. I have to say from latest years, I really clicked with Eleni Foureira’s song “Fuego”. It’s just a bop!
If you could duet with any artist, who would it be and why?
I’ve got two favourites – Björk and Arca. The reasons are similar. They’re two huge artists I truly admire, they’re very unique and true to their artistic vision, and I think that’s rare nowadays. I’d love to partner with them on a song, album or something else. They’re both amazing artists, producers, and creatives.
What is your favourite thing about Portugal that the rest of the world should know about?
Our gastronomy. We have a really diversified gastronomy, and I think the world hasn’t yet realised. haha! From pastries to sweets, to savoury dishes, meat, fish, and so much more. I’d include our amazing wines here. We have really good wine in our different regions, I think we’re just lacking good PR.
One last question – what would be the first thing you did if you won Eurovision in Rotterdam?
Well… first, I wouldn’t believe it. haha! Second, I’d cry, third I’d call my mom. 😀 It would be unbelievable.
Thank you for taking the time to speak to us mema. We wish you the best of luck in Festival da Canção!
mema. will take part in tonight’s first semi-final of Festival da Canção with the song “Claro Como Água”, hoping to represent Portugal in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam.
What do #YOU think of “Claro Como Água”? Share your thoughts with us on our forum HERE or join the discussion below and on social media!