Luísa Sobral one of the most important composers and singers from the new generation of Portuguese artists.
Luisa began her recording career in 2011, after graduating with flying colours from the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston. Her first album, ‘The Cherry On My Cake’ was an instant success in Portugal. It remained at the top of the charts for many weeks and quickly went platinum. Luisa, who immediately embarked on a Portugal-wide tour, soon found that her fame was spreading overseas as well.
Her Spanish début took her to some of the country’s best-known events, including the Barcelona Jazz Festival and the Cartagena Jazz Festival. She went on to perform in numerous countries, including England, France, Turkey, Israel, Germany, Switzerland, Luxembourg, the USA, Morocco, South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Brazil. She has been the support act for such top-drawer performers as Ute Lemper (at the Union Chapel, in London) and Melody Gardot (at the London Jazz Festival and throughout Melody’s German tour). Critics far and wide have heaped praise on this Portuguese artist’s talent and she has already won two Globos de Ouro (Portugal’s version of the Golden Globe Awards) nominations and appeared on the mythical BBC 2 show “Later… with Jools Holland”.
Luisa Sobral tested out a new direction with her second album. She made her sound more mature and complex, with crossovers from the worlds of folk and indie music. This second album featured studio collaborations with such renowned performers as Jamie Cullum, António Zambujo and Mário Laginha. Her public once again took to her work in droves and the album soon went gold. Luisa Sobral has continued to carve out a niche on the international scene, underpinned by a successful tour of Central Europe and an appearance at the historic SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas.
Having announced that she was expecting a child, Luisa made the conscious decision to follow-up on her success with an album dedicated for children. ‘Lu-Pu-i-Pi-sa-Pa’ went on sale in Autumn 2014 and was an instant hit with the younger generation. Once again, her fans repaid all her hard work and the album went gold, with the single ‘João’ playing its way into the hearts of millions of Portuguese.
For her fourth album, Luisa Sobral decided to try something a little riskier. She invited the famous American producer Joe Henry to work on her and challenged some of today’s top jazz musicians, including Marc Ribot, Greg Leisz, Jay Bellerose, Patrick Warren, David Piltch and Levon Henry, to come into the studio with her. The result is ‘Luisa’, which was immediately declared one of 2016’s best albums by Portuguese critics.
Luísa Sobral has reached a new level of creative maturity: even more secure, authentic and spontaneous. Over these years, her composer facet as also been highlighted. She wrote to prestigious artists such as Ana Moura, António Zambujo, Gisela João, Carolina Deslandes, Marco Rodrigues and Mayra Andrade, among others.
The start of 2017 saw Luisa Sobral kick off a nationwide tour of some 40 dates, many of which were sold out. She has also performed in Spain, Brazil and Holland. However, her crowning achievement may well have been winning the Eurovision Song Contest. RTP had invited Luísa to compose a song for the Portuguese Song Festival. She wrote ‘Amar Pelos Dois’ which she then gifted to her brother, Salvador Sobral, to perform. This sister and brother partnership was a huge success, winning the Portuguese competition and then the European one. It was the first time Portugal had ever won the Eurovision Song Contest and also the first time that the European public had chosen a jazz tune as the winner.
‘Amar pelos Dois’ has consecrated Luísa Sobral as one of the most important and prestigious composers of the new generation of Portuguese artists. She received the Composition Prize Marcel Bezençon (creator of the Eurovision Song Contest), the Prémio Autores SPA (SPA Authors Award) and the Globo de Ouro (Golden Globe Award) for Best Music.
In 2018, together with his brother Salvador, Luísa received the Martha de la Cal Prize award by the Association of the Foreign Press in Portugal (AIEP) that distinguished them as Personalities of the Year. At the same ceremony, the President of the Portuguese Republic decorated the two artists with the degree of Commanders of the Order of Merit for the ‘singular success’ they achieved.
After a few months, Luísa returned to the studio to record her fifth album. To handle production, she invited the catalan Raül Refree one of the most prestigious producers and multi-instrumentalists in Spain, who worked with such distinguished names as Sílvia Pérez Cruz, Rosalía, Mala Rodríguez or Lee Ranaldo from Sonic Youth.
‘Rosa’ is the most personal, mature and intimate album by Luísa Sobral. The beauty of the compositions is enhanced by the stripping of the arrangements and the creative complicity between Luisa and Refree. Voice and guitars are joined a trio of woodwinds composed by fliscorne, tuba and horn and some elements of classic percussion like marimba.
‘Rosa’ is made of stories, some are real, some less. It is a very ‘raw’ record, with eleven songs written in Portuguese, where words and melodies are the essence.
In 2019, Luísa Sobral returns to portuguese and international stages with a new lineup and the invitation to sing in person the stories from ‘Rosa’.