A VOICE FROM THE AZORES TELLING US EVERYTHING WILL BE ALRIGHT
Born in/residence: Terceira Island, the Azores
First solo album: “Hopes & Dreams” (2018)
Awards:: “Vodafone Ones to Watch”, “Angra Rock”, “LabJovem” and “International Songwriting Competition”
Most recent work: Single “Setting Sun” (2020)
IN THE FIGHT AGAINST COVID-19, THERE IS ONE NAME OF THE AZORES THAT STANDS OUT: THE SINGER-SONGWRITER CRISTÓVAM. THIS PORTUGUESE ARTIST ACHIEVED INTERNATIONAL RECOGNITION THROUGH THE SONG ANDRÀ TUTTO BENE, WHICH BECAME A RESILIENCE ANTHEM AGAINST THE WORLDWIDE EFFECTS OF THE VIRUS.
Music has been his passion for a long time. He says he is influenced by the indie-folk style, and we can hear him sing usually in English. He was the lead singer of the band October Flight and winner of Vodafone Ones to Watch, Angra Rock, and LabJovem contests. He was also the first Portuguese to win the International Songwriting Competition. His first album Hopes & Dreams was launched in 2018, and now his most recent work was presented to the public on October 9. It is called Setting Sun, and it’s the first single from Cristóvam’s second album of originals, being its edition scheduled for next year. It was recorded at Namouche Studios, in Lisbon, and at the artist´s studio, in Terceira Island, the Azores, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. About this new project, Cristóvam says: “I began writing it in 2018 when I was on holidays in Sardinia with my girlfriend, but I didn’t work very hard on it until that, this year, due to the tragic event which transformed the world in a particularly strange place, those already written drafts gained a new meaning and significance. I was lucky enough to find out the perfect hideaway in my little piece of paradise far away from everything, in the middle of the Atlantic, and finished this and other songs which will be part of this album. The lyrics of the song Setting Sun talks about two people that are connected in such a way that, without even noticing it, they overcome the biggest of the storms as if the world was a peaceful and quiet place only for them”. Thus, from an Italian island to another island, this one Portuguese, we get these sound waves and also a music video directed by Pedro Varela (who also directed Andrà Tutto Bene), presenting the nine islands of the Azores. The music video features actress Joana de Verona and is produced by Blanche Filmes. About this particular work, Cristóvam says: “I’ve always had the dream of filming a music video showing the world the place where I had the privilege of being born and also grow up, the Azores. When we started thinking about a film for this song, I thought that this would be the right time for that, and, naturally, I immediately thought it would have to be directed by Pedro Varela. He was also responsible for the Andrà Tutto Bene film, and he also directs and signs the international films of Visit Portugal, which have been introducing to the world what our country has to offer. Varela chose Joana de Verona as the leading actress of this story, and, with the support of the Regional Directorate for Tourism, we were able to travel through the archipelago and record a memorable film which makes us all very proud”. And it is with an artist who breathes music and talent and who carries the Azores in his heart that we are going to find out a little more about his relationship with the archipelago.
Do you think that your life would have been the same without your relationship with the Azores?
No. I think it would be impossible to have the same childhood or even grow up the same way somewhere else, and the more I travel, the more I am aware that we are fortunate people to live in such a special and unique place.
How often do you travel from and to the Azores?
Presently, I’m living on Terceira Island. I would say that at least once or twice a month, I have to leave the Azores for work. My professional life requires a lot of traveling.
What are your best me-mories from a trip to the Azores?
I have many. From summers spent in S. Jorge at my grand-mother’s house to the trips across the islands as a teenager. I remember that when I was 15/16, what I liked doing the most in the summer was traveling from one island to another with friends. Every summer, we camped across the islands. During the day we went to the beach, and at night we went to music festivals. They were memorable trips that I will always remember.
A time that it is really important or that you would like to be in the Azores?
Special occasions such as Christmas and family birthdays. Apart from that, I would say the summer, because I love the sea and the summer is when I can enjoy it the most.
What do you carry in your luggage when you travel to the Azores?
Usually the guitars, clothes, and souvenirs from the place I just visited. Over the years, I’ve been collecting souve-nirs from the places where I have been whenever I visit them for the first time. I like looking at those souvenirs and remembering the places where music has taken me.
And what do you take with you when you travel from the Azores?
The guitars and clothes again (laughs) and I also like to take some cheese or a nice nêveda (Calamintha baetica) brandy to offer the friends that I was lucky enough to gain over the years everywhere I went.
Over the years, I’ve been collecting souvenirs from the places where I have been whenever I visit them for the first time. I like looking at those souvenirs and remembering the places where music has already taken me.
To read the edition 8 of our inflight magazine Azorean Spirit click here.