14th August 2018

The smoke lingered in the dark and lonesome chapel, yet the whispers echoed all around filling the room, reaching the roof and hitting the dusty walls. Yet, I sat anxiously waiting to see one of my favourite artists, the Muse and fado singer, Gisela João. 

After four good years of waiting, I finally got to experience such a heart-warming, breath-taking and impassioned performance. Gisela was an absolute inspiration, from her soft chanting to her intense roars. 

Fado is a genre of music that is characterised by mournful melodies and lyrics, usually speaking of the sea, heart breaks or the poor, instilled with feelings of resignation, melancholia and the most important one yet, “saudade” which funnily enough, has no literal translation for in the English language, but in short it is a profound emotional state of nostalgic longing for a no longer present something or someone. Thus, most Fado songs talk about people whose presence is unknown, from a lost lover, family member who is missing, moved or passed.

Fado has always captured my attention, from the gaping melodies to the incredible finger technique used on the Portuguese guitar from the musicians who accompany the singer, from behind. But I think what most captured my attention with Fado is the solidarity and melancholy it possesses. Each Fado artist sings with their soul, there’s so much more to standing there on stage and singing a sad song - it’s about pouring your heart and emotions into your performance yet, Gisela did that and so much more.

One of the reasons why I love going to concerts is because of how passionate and motivated they make me feel afterwards. The energy from the crowd that is evoked from the artist, leaves me ecstatic and feeling nostalgic too, especially with Fado.


I’ve sat here trying to come up with words to describe Gisela’s performance that night but nothing, absolutely nothing compares to what I felt in those 2 hours and a half. So many emotions filled the room that night, from uncontrollable laughter to tear-filed eyes over sentimental, personal stories. That night, the chapel was her home, she owned the stage. From her swearing in front of old ladies who had come for traditional fado but got a stunning personality with it instead, to the passionate way she gave herself into the music. 

The smoke lingered in the gleaming and filled chapel, yet the clapping echoed all around filling the room, reaching the roof and hitting the dusty walls. I sat ecstatically watching such a personality on stage, the Muse and fado singer, Gisela João.