One of the world's foremost fado singers explores new territories.
Ana Mouras voice has gotten far. Not only is she one of the great fado singers in the world today. She has performed with artists such as Rolling Stones, Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Herbie Hancock and Prince. She has lent her voice to songs from other traditions and today, more than ever, she is an artist who recognizes no boundaries to her music.
Moura grew up in a musical home, and started singing when she was four years old. She has always been close to the fado tradition, while she also experimented with other genres and got a musical education. Circumstances brought her and some friends to a low key fado night where she was asked to sing. That got her an invitation to perform at Senhor Vino, a classic fado house, candlelit, no microphones, good food and an attentive audience. She was an instant success, and started improvising new rhymes to classic fado melodies. Here, she met the guitar player Jorge Fernando, who had worked with some of the greatest fado singers, like Amalia Rodrigues. Later on, he became Mouras producer.
"She looked and sounded tremendous, stalking the stage in long, glittering gowns (first black, then white) and revealing a voice that can switch from soulful melancholia to jollity."
Robin Denselow, The Guardian
She made her debut in 2003 with “Guarda-me a Vida na Mão”. On her sophomore effort, “Para Além da Saudade” in 2007, she rose to become one of the big names on the portuguese fado scene, but she continued to rise. The album “Desfado” came out in 2012. It was produced by Larry Klein, known from the Joni Mitchell catalogue and included a memorable rendition of Mitchells “A case of you”. The album was a global hit, it sold to platinum six times in Portugal, and by the end of the decade, Mouras album was the biggest selling portuguese record in her home country in the 2010s.
Fado obviously holds a unique position in Portugal, and Moura represents the exhilarating range of the tradition - from gorgeous intimate moments to ecstasy and dancing. Moura has also incorporated genres such as jazz, funk, flamenco and samba in her music, and on her newest song, “Andorinhas', from 2021, she expands her musical map of the world further. She follows her family's background to the african continent, and shows the influence a singer like the Angolan singer Bonga has had on her. In this way, she challenges the idea of purity in national traditions - and she ensures that her music reaches an even wider range of listeners.