welcome to emmas housethought

my favourite five portuguese music making people

1. Amalia Rodrigues

If you want a quick history of Portuguese music – go straight to Amalia. She is the goddess of Fado, a uniquely Portuguese musical tradition that sits somewhere between jazz and folk. Fado’s songs are of longing and sadness, nostalgia for places, and celebrations of personalities and of fado itself. It epitomises the Portuguese psyche: A pride that embraces the failings and difficulties of life.

amelia rodrigues

2. David Fonseca

Nothing poetic to say about him except he’s as cute as he is talented. An exceptional songwriter, especially considering he’s doing it in English, a popular modern trend in the Portuguese music industry. Attention outside the Portuguese-speaking world would be well deserved.

david fonseca

4. Rita Redshoes

She’s a fun gal with a great name and a great look. Her songs are full of empathy and feminine feeling, pop with a splash of country, and a shade of classic femme fatale.

rita redshoes

3. Balla

A.K.A Armando Teixeira creates beautiful, interesting music in the electronic, chill out, retro vibe that would be happily inserted into the Café del Mar / Buddah Bar / Hotel Costes genre.


5. Blasted Mechanism

According to my sister they are KISS meets the Allblacks. But they rock! Way out there futuristic – tribal costumes and rhythm based anthemic music, Blasted go off. An original blend of African beats, power melody and ironic mentality (‘You are being manipulated!’, the lead guy calls as the 10,000 strong crowd scream for more) prove that the get-up is much more than a gimmick.

blasted mechanism

If you’re interested in any of these you can buy them here


  1. Andria April 23, 2009 1:27 am Reply

    I agree with David Fonseca and Amalia. I’m a fan of Mariza, though she sings a more modern version of Fado than Amalia did. I also rather like Tony Carreira, though 1. that shows my age and 2. my friends in PT laugh when I say I like him. Oh, and Nelly Furtado would have been classed as Portuguese, had her parents not buggered off to Canada before she was born.

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  2. Tessa April 24, 2009 9:28 pm Reply

    I like Amalia a lot – am listening to it now. My Space is great for any artist you want to listen to and you dont even have to sign up thank God. How many community sites can one reasonably be expected to be part of? How much time should one spend checking them and then worrying if not tagged tweaked, twittered or poked or is not capable of writing witty status updates that lead to amusing comments in return from friends?

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  3. Si May 17, 2009 6:36 am Reply

    Suprised you didn´t mention Mariza. Her most recent album Terra is highly reccomended by the likes of Charlie Gillett
    Blasted Mechanism are a gas though.

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    Emma   Reply: May 29th, 2009 at 12:29 am

    Mariza was on there but I ran out of numbers! I’m going to revise it to make it a Top 10 because she really should be there. I haven’t heard the new CD but I have a couple of the older ones. She’s great, a huge talent.

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  4. Helder June 9, 2010 1:25 am Reply

    Just found Your site, You are living my dream over there!

    I understand guys find it difficult to no make a pass on you, since you look great 🙂

    On Mariza, I do not really agree – she feels to much of a show-off and her voice sounds rather vulgar to me.

    There are real serious voices like Dulce Pontes without question:


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  5. Wies September 9, 2010 4:13 am Reply

    Hi Emma, just popped into you website through the social networks. I love how you write about Portugal! Some music I would like to suggest… Cristina Branco is my favourite fado singer. She is pure. And Deolina, a fado singing group that has given a kind of a contemporary twist to fado, the music is diverse, the songtexts brillant!

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    Emma   Reply: September 19th, 2010 at 9:18 am

    Thanks Weis, I love a new tip… something new to uncover…

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  6. Neal Marques May 9, 2011 10:29 am Reply

    You should also check out, if you haven’t already: Madredeus, Resistência, Antonio Variacoes ( icon status artist ) and if you like David Fonseca then Silence 4 is a must. B fachada is worth checking out.

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    Emma   Reply: May 23rd, 2011 at 2:04 am

    oh thanks! it’s time I did another 5…

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  7. Catia Madalena March 19, 2012 3:40 am Reply

    I nearly squealed when I saw “Amalia Rodrigues”, as I am a distant relative..!! She was my grandfather’s second cousin..! I ADORE portuguese music..!

    I am also a musician, and have been singing since the age of 5..! My other grandfather is also the main male vocalist in the Grupo Folclorico…

    Guess music runs in the family..! 😀

    Catia Madalena..

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    Emma   Reply: March 20th, 2012 at 4:35 am

    That’s a bit special having a rello of amalia’s here! Welcome to Catia, Amalia’s um, 3rd cousin twice removed!!! (or something) *round of applause* now will you sing something for us please Catia?????

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  8. Geoff Wulff October 8, 2012 5:40 am Reply

    Aha And don’t forget the guys and gals who got together to make up the Bosa Nova movement, ably helped by Lourindo Almeida!…OK that was in Brazil…but so Portuguese!!!

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