Gisela João returns to London on 31 May for a concert at Kings Place, an iconic venue in London, as part of Songlines Encounters Festival 2019.
‘When I go outside Portugal people don’t understand a word,’ says Gisela João. ‘I want you to imagine you are in the living room of my house, we are friends and I am singing stories about life and love. It’s like the poems choose me. I have a very personal connection between myself and the poems.’
Fado singer Gisela João feels her music very deeply. It speaks to people because it’s personal to her. That’s why we were keen to have her in Songlines Encounters as part of Kings Place’s Venus Unwrapped series featuring top female artists. It is with this in mind that she’s chosen her repertoire.
Gisela grew up in Barcelos in the north of Portugal, not the fado heartland. The eldest of seven children, she looked after her brothers and sisters when her mother left for work at six every morning. She heard Amália Rodrigues on the radio when she was seven or eight years old and became obsessed with the poetry.