Interviews by Millicent Borges Accardi, Contributor (*)
The International Portuguese Music Awards (IPMA) is back April 23, at the Zeiterion Theater, in New Bedford, MA, along with a gala red-carpet event the night before (at the Cultural Center in Fall River).
Established in 2013, the IPMA has grown to be a premier music award, in both the US and internationally, recognizing outstanding achievements by artists of Portuguese ancestry. There are nine categories: Fado, Music Video of the Year, Instrumental, World Music, Dance, Rap/Hip-Hop, Rock, Pop, Música Popular, and Song of the Year.
Songs are submitted for the awards from all over the world and sung in Portuguese as well as other languages, scattered over four continents. This year the contest received about 500 entries from artists from as far away as Angola and Mozambique.
At the awards ceremony, winners will be announced and the awards will be handed out, honoring those chosen by a panel of judges comprised of music industry professionals in various parts of the world. Nominees are honored for their contributions to culture and for their ability to inspire audiences all over the world.
The Portuguese American Journal spoke with three talented nominees who offered us a sneak peek into the IPMA event. They are Ramana Vieira, nominated for Fado performance; Joey Medeiros, nominated in the Pop Category, Música Popular, and Traditional music categories; and Michael Teixeira for Dance performance and Song of the Year.
The questions began with what drew them to Portuguese music.
Ramana Vieira explains that she was inspired by her roots. “My heritage brings me to richness of the Portuguese the music. Especially Fado. It’s so hauntingly beautiful and meaningful, and it is an incredible sensation to sing this music that has originated in Portugal in the 19th century. I feel it speaks to the soul of Portugal and the souls of those who sing and those who listen.”
For Joe Medeiros, it was his childhood that attracted him. “I was brought up listening to Portuguese music at home. My dad had a very well-known Portuguese band throughout the 80’s and 90’s called “The Internationals,” and there would always be Portuguese music at home — from Jorge Ferreira to Roberto Leal; Dino Meira to José Cid. I love the rhythms of “Música Popular” which is the style of music I sing and arrange.”
Singer and dancer, Michael Teixeira was motivated by his Madeira heritage: “We have a fascinating musical culture in Madeira that in many ways is unique to us from the rest of Portugal. It is one of the many reasons why I’m drawn towards this music.”
The trio was then asked about how music helped them keep up with their culture.
“Portuguese culture is an expression that goes beyond the barrier of words spoken, directly into the spirit of a person,” Ramana Vieira says, “Music has a direct impact on everyone it comes into contact with, music can heal, transform and transcend. Music is an expressive language and it helps to tell stories, express ideas, and offers opinions and share emotions of life’s experiences.” Therefore, she said, “I feel music preserves the Portuguese culture by my embracing it and by being committed to sharing it.”
Joe Medeiros affirmed that “Music is part of the rich fabric of Portuguese culture. “I am going back to San Francisco State for my degree in Music History and for my Bachelor’s, I wrote my thesis about the History of Portuguese Music and its influence on today’s music. Whether it be Folklore, Fado, or marching bands,” he said.
“It goes deeper than just a note played on the guitar,” Michael Teixeira explained, “Portuguese music has many different influences.” As an example, he adds, “The gypsy population in Portugal played a major role in the creation of Fado music. Nowadays, there are still some examples of this. Genres of music are being created by the melding of musical tendencies in Lisbon with the music of former colonies such as Angola, Cabo Verde and Brazil.”
The nominees were also asked how they found out they were nominated.
“I heard the news on the Portuguese Radio Station from New Bedford, MA (WJFD) live exclaimed Joe Medeiros; Ramana Vieira says she learned of her nomination online, and Michael Teixeira was tagged on Instagram!
They were also asked on their thoughts about the positive influence of the IPMA.
“The IPMA awards came around to give something to the Portuguese community and to celebrate Portuguese Music,” remarks Joe Medeiros and he said, “It is to me the largest and well put on indoor show in the Portuguese communities around the world outside of Portugal. It is considered by many to be the Portuguese Grammys. It has helped launch some careers in the aspect of new talent as they have a Best New Talent category in which the winner gets to go to Portugal and promote on TV, and such. I am actually part of the Grammys and will be submitting to the Latin Grammys next time around.”
Ramana Vieira shares a memory from the 2015 show and describes the award itself, “It’s a statuette. I would say kind-of-like a cylinder with a globe at the top and it, and it says, “International Portuguese Music Awards” across the bottom, with the award category engraved. I was sitting last year next to winner Nathalie Pires, and it was beautiful and so is she.”
When asked about a favorite song, Michael Teixeira could not be specific: “I wouldn’t be able to single out one song, but my favorite artist is Maximiano de Sousa.”
For Joe Medeiros, there are too many to choose from, but he feels that for him, “It’s folklore ‘Tiro Liro’ and Fado would be ‘Belos Tempos’ by Fernando Farinha.”
Ramana Vieira, claims it is the “Bailinho da Madeira” because, she says, “It expresses the joy, the liveliness, and the celebratory spirit of my parents’ homeland. It’s a song of rejoicing, whenever we perform this in our concerts we leave it for the last song and we always have people dancing in their seats and in the aisles.”
This year, the IPMA will be televised on various media outlets worldwide including RTP (Rádio Televisão Portuguesa) based in Lisbon, Portugal. In addition to the awards presentation, there will be a live performances by Paulo Gonzo (Portugal), Boss AC (Portugal), Rita Redshoes (Portugal), Chico Avila (USA), Apollo’s Crown (Canada), Frank Vieira (USA), and Afrika Rainbow (USA), and a New Talent competition.
Music Video of the Year
“Streams” by Mourah, Director: Linda Cavaliero (Switzerland); “I Should’ve Known” by Reiss Zibin, Directors: Geoff Fontes/Dan Caverly (Canada); “Diário” by Nathalie, Director: Austin Hein (USA); “Tive Um Coração Perdi-o” by Elizabete, Director: Tom Sokalski (Canada)
“Training Day” by Al DaSilva (USA); “45 Days of Summer” by Mike Kerr (USA); “By Siam Angel” by Mourah (Switzerland); “Blues Jazz Love” by Golden Boy (Fospassin) (USA)
“Labariga” by Phinda Project (Mozambique); “Bad Gyal” by Sarah Musayimuto (Denmark); “Diário” by Nathalie (USA); “Chikitam” by Paula Soares (France)
“Rosa Vermelha” by Joey Medeiros (USA); “Rapsódia Açoreana” by Elizabete (Canada); “Meninos Do Huambo” by Sarah Pacheco (USA); “A Real Azorean Guy” by Mike Couto (USA)
“Chapéu Escuro” by Nathalie (USA); “O Fado Chora-se Bem” by Elizabete (Canada); “Ai Mouraria” by Ramana Vieira (USA); “Fado da Noite do Fado” by Fatima Santos (USA)
“Love” by New Nobility (Australia); “Remind You” by Sir Matty V (USA); “Icarus 101 (SAO remix)” by Mourah (Switzerland); “I Keep Coming (featuring Dustin Paul)” by Michael Teixeira (USA)
“I Know Better” by Jayjezz (Luxembourg); “The Original” by My Mysterious Friend (Canada); “Ringo3dmental” by Ringo Sousa (USA); “Pomba Mensageira” by Mystério (Luxembourg)
“Mãos Ao Ar” by M’Vula (Angola); “Birds” by Mourah (Switzerland); “Pedaços de Papel” by Cesar Rego (USA); “The Truth of The Lion” by Mike Kerr (USA)
“Young Love” by Joey Medeiros (USA); “Bring On The Rain” by Rebecca Correia (USA); “Choro Do Passado” by Sarah Pacheco (USA); “As Long” by Sarah Musayimuto (Denmark)
“Se o Tempo Voltasse Atrás” by Joey Medeiros (USA); “Ela é Só Minha” by Tony Camara (Canada); “É Bom De Mais” by Anna Dominguez (USA); “Dei-lhe 3” by Tony Borges (USA)
Philip Da Silva (Canada); Cee Jay Sena (USA)
Song of the Year
“I Keep Coming (featuring Dustin Paul)” by Michael Teixeira, written by Michael Teixeira (USA), Dustin Paul; “The Truth of The Lion” by Mike Kerr, written by Mike Kerr (USA), Jim Oliveira, Adrienne Cowan, David Oliveira; “Chapeu Escuro” by Nathalie (USA), written by Vitorino; “Chikitam” by Paula Soares (France), written by Marco Rafeiro
(To be announced)
For contacts and information visit IPMA here.
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(*) Millicent Borges Accardi is a contributor to the Portuguese American Journal. She is a Portuguese-American poet, the author of three books: Injuring Eternity, Woman on a Shaky Bridge (chapbook), Practical Love Poems and Only More So (forthcoming). She has received fellowships from CantoMundo, the National Endowment for the Arts, Fundação Luso-Americana (FLAD) and California Arts Council. Recently, she taught poetry at The Muse Writers Center in Norfolk; University of Texas, Austin; The Gathering at Keystone College; Nimrod Conference in Tulsa, and the Mass.Poetry Festival. Millicent lives in Topanga, CA. Follow her on Twitter @TopangaHippie
Earlier Posts by Millicent Accardi
- Ahmed Al-Sheikh: His Portuguese heritage and a unique perspective on things – Interview
- Living history: Cristina Baptista documents the Morgan final voyage – Interview
- Larry Correia: A fascinating writer in the science fiction fantasy genre – Interview
- Maria Lawton: The ‘Azorean Green Bean’ speaks of food and heritage – Interview
- About Natas: Conversation with Chef Fátima Marques – Los Angeles, CA
- Alice Clemente: Portuguese language and literature had to find a place – Interview
- João Martins: Creating new meanings and new forms – Interview
- George Monteiro: A distinguished career in excellence – Interview