Features🇵🇹 Portugal

🇵🇹 Carolina Deslandes: “I’m gonna sing like I’m in a classic Oscars performance”

We reflect on her artistic evolution, the reception to "Por um triz", Salvador Sobral's impact and her Festival da Canção staging

Last week I had the pleasure of [virtually] sitting down with the wonderful Carolina Deslandes. In this interview, we discussed how her artistic evolution, her love of the city of London, managing others’ expectations and what we can expect from her Festival da Canção staging.

Carolina will be participating in the second semi-final of Festival da Canção 2021 with the song “Por um triz”, due to take place on 27 February 2021.

You can watch our full interview below:

How her participation came about

My first question for Carolina was how she has found the reaction to “Por um triz” from her fans, considering her popularity in Portugal. She revealed that she had been invited to participate before, but did not accept as she is not a competitive person. However, she decided that this year was the time to listen to her many fans who were encouraging her to participate.

I think that when you put yourself out there and when you become an artist, you need to listen to your audience as well. And all of my fans have been asking me for years ‘can you pleas try?’, ‘can you please make a song to participate in Festival da Canção?’. So I went for it.

Carolina on why 2021 was the year she decided to participate

Carolina has found the reaction to her song to be incredible, and even those who do not like it have been constructive in their feedback.

Why “Por um triz”?

Having listened to her incredibly varied discography, ranging from the polished electropop of Blossom (2016) to the more acoustic and stripped back Casa (2018), I asked why she went with such a classic ballad for the festival.

[After my last project Mulher] I was like, ‘okay, this is too much, I need to stop and go back to my roots. Give me a piano, give a guitar, let’s write a song and leave it like that.’

Carolina on the conception of “Por Um Triz”

Based on her most recent EP, a lot of people were expecting a more experimental song from Carolina. However, she made the choice to go with a more organic and stripped-back style with a message close to her heart. Her main concern for her entry was the lyrics.

Impact of RTP’s changes

As with most of my conversations with Portuguese friends and artists, I asked Carolina on their reflections on the changes RTP made to Festival da Canção following Salvador’s win. Having been approached before, the 2017 rebrand turned the festival into a show that Carolina felt that she would see herself in.

It was cool again to be a part of Festival da Canção. And so of course that had a big big big influence in my decision and all my colleagues’ decisions, because now I see myself there. The image is cool. The way the songs are respected is cool. The way they show it on TV is cool. It’s a thing where I won’t feel misplaced like ‘what am I doing here?’

Carolina on the impact of recent changes to Festival da Canção

In terms of the contest at large, Salvador’s win brought hope to her and her peers. She noted that now, at Eurovision, people pay attention to what Portugal is bringing.

What to expect from her staging?

Being the wonderful open book that she is, Carolina had no qualms detailing what we can expect from her staging next weekend. When she first heard the final arrangement for “Por um triz”, it reminded her of Oscars performances with a big dress, simple lighting and an orchestra. She plans to emulate this atmosphere on stage.

People are not gonna expect me to bring this big dress, my hair up and no tattoos and just do a classical performance, so that’s exactly what I’m going to do.

Carolina on people’s expectations of her performance

She also revealed that the performance will be entirely in black and white. Being a huge star in Portugal and known for being not-so-classical in her aesthetic, this is a huge gamble but one she is taking with conviction.

For the first time, ever I’m gonna sing in a dress and not a hoodie and I’m gonna cover all of my tattoos. We’re gonna have this beautiful light, we’re gonna have the strings, and I’m gonna sing like I’m in a classic Oscars performance, like I’m this diva from the 60s.

Carolina describing her staging

What do you think of “Por um triz”? Are you rooting for Carolina? Let us know! Be sure to stay updated by following @ESCXTRA on Twitter@escxtra on Instagram and liking our Facebook page for the latest updates! Also, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel to see our reactions to the news in the upcoming months.

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