Few Portuguese musicians have meant as much to their public, domestic and abroad, as Teresa Salgueiro. After almost thirty years as an active singer, the last eight as a solo artist, she has gained an international reputation for her soft yet powerful voice. Her music is rooted in Portuguese traditions, but has developed a timeless, particular quality.
Teresa Salgueiro was born in Lisbon in 1969, and grew up in the capital – inevitably being influenced by the city’s musical culture. At a mere 17 years of age, she started singing in a band called Madredeus, who had their rehearsal room in an old monastery in neighborhood called Madre de Deus. The band released 13 albums and became the most popular pop group in Portugal, also rising to international acclaim after the release of Wim Wenders’ film Lisbon Story (1994), in which Teresa had a prominent role and the rest of the band starred, as well as making the score.
In 2006, Teresa released her first solo album, Obrigado. As the name suggests, it was a gesture of gratitude to musicians she had collaborated with over 20 years. The subsequent year, she quit Madredeus and embarked upon a highly productive solo career, so far resulting in five albums. Her latest effort, 2012’s O Misterio, is a dark and beautiful study in the musical melancholy known in Portuguese as saudade.
Text: Kristian Krogh-Sørensen