Bringing together an unexpected fusion of sounds, alternative electropop band Neon Soho stand out with their ethereal entry “Endless World” at Festival da Canção this year.
Get to know Ana, Vera and Ricardo as we welcome them for a Q&A with ESC United ahead of the first semi-final!
What are you looking forward to the most about Festival da Canção?
We are looking forward to finally step on stage and feel the adrenaline and get to that moment where we’ll, at last, be able to reveal the whole performance. We are also very excited to spend some time with some of the other contestants and great team!
Of course, Festival da Canção also presents the potential opportunity to represent Portugal at Eurovision. What would that opportunity mean to you as artists? Are you fans of the contest yourselves?
Vera: That opportunity would be amazing for us, it would give us more confidence since we are still a small project and the experience itself would likely make us grow even more as artists and individuals.
I’ve been more of a fan of the Eurovision rather than the Portuguese contest, considering I’ve lived abroad for many years throughout my teenagehood.
Do you have any favorite Eurovision songs? If you had to cover a Eurovision song, what would you choose?
Vera: “Shum” by Go_A (Ukraine 2021)
Ricardo: “Waterloo” by ABBA (Sweden 1974)
Ana: Barbara Pravi – Voilà (France 2021)
How would you describe your sound to a new listener who hasn’t heard you before?
We define our genre as Electronic Pop Soul. We create pop music that is happy and clubbing, but we also transit to a deep, dark pop. Ana’s voice sometimes offers the soul aspect that we include in our genre. We are all very different, with very different musical references and experiences, and therefore it’s very easy to feel variability in our music in which 3 become one.
Each of you bring different influences and styles to the group. Can you share what some of your biggest influences are?
Vera: At the start, I think I brought more of the electronic dancing nature of our music. My biggest influences go from music from the 80s such as New Order, Dead or Alive, The Human League, Bronski Beat, Gary Numan, to modern pop and dance music like Roisin Murphy, Billie Eilish, Fred Again or Jamie xx.
Ricardo: Radiohead, Tool, Jimmy Hendrix, The Doors, LCD Soundsystem, Jeff Buckley, Nirvana, Moloko, Jamiroquai.
Ana: Blues, Elmore James, Aretha, Stevie wonder, Chris Cornell, Tricky, Prince, Portishead , Bjork,Tweet, Missy Elliot, Talking Heads, Nick Cave, Nirvana, System of a Down, Cecilia Bartoli. And many more.
Can you tell us the story of “Endless World”? How would you describe the meaning and message of the song?
Ana: It’s a reflection of the times we are living in. A pandemic, war, mental instability, narcissism, ego, but also a song of hope, strength, empathy and respect.
How do you spend your time when you’re not making music?
Vera: I like to spend my time doing sports, Netflix, listening to random music and feel inspired. Going out at night.
Ricardo: Listening to music, traveling and cooking.
Ana: traveling, cooking, being with good friends.
What plans do you have this year aside from Festival da Canção? Is there any new music or projects you’d like to promote?
There is definitely new music on the way. Aside from the Festival, we are at the studio experimenting and working on new songs (and sounds) that we are very excited to share ASAP. The way we found ourselves working on “Endless World” helped us learn more about other ways of making music together and specially discovering our “common place.”
Do you have a message you’d like to share with fans and our readers?
More love, education, art, culture, and less ego. More intelligence, generosity and a vision of the future, for those who hold the power.
Neon Soho are among the first 10 artists competing in Festival da Canção this year. Semi-final 1 starts at 22:00 Central European Time on RTP.