Paulo Bragança

“This is my life. This is not a project. Musicians who say they are working on a project mean that they’ll be doing something else in four years. I will be a Fadista until I die.”

Ask Paulo Bragança and he’ll say he sings Fado, the national song form of Portugal. But “sing” may be too weak a verb; to say he “lives” Fado might not be enough. In his twenty-five years, Bragança has mined the musical soul of his homeland to the extent that its past, through him, has become its future.

“In Portugal, I am alone. The Fadistas are old; they won’t change. There are younger singers, but they choose the easy, traditional model, because mostly they are yuppies who never have had to fight for anything,” he says. “The original Fadistas were far more punk. These new singers are only young in age. Their feelings aren’t young, their ideas aren’t young, they are replicas of the old thing.”


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