With this space for interviews on Sounds European!, we are getting to talk about music with several artists whose work we really admire. And, among all of them, Portuguese rising star Diogo Garcia was surely one of the kindest and coolest persons we've ever got in touch with. This has clearly reflected on his interview, which is among the most interesting ones we've had up to date. These are our 10 questions for Diogo Garcia:
Sounds European!: Tell us a bit about your history with music. When did you begin singing? Who are your idols? And what are your musical influences?
Diogo Garcia: My story in music began very early. It started when I was eight, on Festival da Canção Infantil da Madeira [a children's song festival] in 2008, where I came up third. After this, I won Funchal a Cantar with my brother Pedro in 2009. Then, I won Festival da Canção Infantil da Madeira in 2010 and Festival Vozes do Norte. In 2011, I was a finalist of the show Uma Canção para Ti, which aired on TVI on Sundays. As time went by, I evolved to concerts and learned a lot, and in 2014 I won The Voice Kids. I really admire Anjos. I am also very influenced by my brother, who is also chasing this dream of being a professional singer.
SE!: You were the winner of the first season of The Voice Kids Portugal. What took you to participate of the show? Your brother, Pedro Garcia, took part of the adult version of the show. Did he have any influence on your participation? Did he, and the rest of your family, give you advice during the competition? If so, what?
DG: He was an enormous influence, since it was through him that I got to know of the existence of The Voice Kids in Portugal. Because of having a brother in the grown-up version, and having seen the environment and how it all works, it was not hard to get used to the stage of The Voice Kids. They all gave me a lot of advice. During the battles, they told me to move on stage, not to be so still. On the first gala, when I sang "Against all odds", the song was chosen by my father and all my family agreed. They have always given me a lot of support.
SE!: Still about The Voice Kids Portugal: How is it, even more for a young person, to deal with the audience judging your work weekly, with the voting? And how did you feel winning the show?
DG: It is a bit hard. It was tiring for me, because many times I had to travel by plane for 1h30 to Lisbon. We did not have access to the percentages of the voting. But I was convinced of the victory of another participant, since I thought my voting power was very low, as I live in an island [not in the main continental region of Portugal]. When I won, it was complete joy. It was the acknowledgement of my work, of all the effort and dedication given not only by me, but also by Daniela Mercury and my parents. Without them, I would have never been the winner of the show.
SE!: During the competition, you presented many songs in English. But, until the moment, your singles have been in Portuguese. Do you have plans to release some in other languages?
DG: I really like singing in English. In my most recent work, "O que eu sou", there are seven songs – six of them being in Portuguese and a last one in English. English is really important in everything we do, and music is not the exception. Anyone who wants to succeed in the music business should have material to do so. It is still not in my mind to record new songs. Let's see what the future will bring us from now on.
SE!: In some countries, singers who win music reality shows end up not reaching a successful career. In Portugal, it is not like that: winners usually build a solid path to fame. What do you think about it? What are the dreams you have for your career?
DG: I think that the Portuguese music industry is as complicated as the foreign industry. This [reality show winners succeeding] happens most of the times here in Portugal, but there were already situations in which this was not the case. You must keep on working and getting the attention of new people, so the group of supporters keeps growing, because a singer without his fans is not a singer. My dream is to reach the top of sales here in Portugal. Having a solid successful career. After this, I'd like to succeed in the foreign industry as well.
"My dream is to reach the top of sales here in Portugal. Having a solid successful career" (Picture: official Facebook page)
SE!: One of the things which called our attention the most is your interaction with fans in social networks. It is something that, even though it is growing, few artists do as much as you. Do you believe this kind of interaction will be every time more important for new artists? And tell us a bit about your fans, how they are, what messages they send you.
DG: Social networks are the only way I have to connect with my fans. It is important, undoubtedly, because who supports me always waits for an answer. I always try to answer everybody and give a little of my time for them, because they all deserve it equally. For a singer in development, social networks are the most effective way to reach more people, they are a big tool. Fans react very positively. Many of them say that they also wish to have a chance in music. Here, where I live, many people ask for autographs and pictures and it is, without a doubt, very important to feel this affection from them.
SE!: Your first album was released in 2015. What do you like the most in it? And how do you describe the music in it?
DG: I like the fact they are romantic songs. All of them are based on a relationship. I like a lot the mix of pop and rock we did. Undoubtedly, the rock gives a "boom" and makes the music stronger. I really like the sound of electric guitars appearing in almost all the songs.
SE!: If you could choose anyone, who would be some Portuguese and international artists you'd like to collaborate with?
DG: We have great singers and artists in Portugal. There are some I like listening to the most because, in my opinion, they make the best music. I would like to work with Agir, Diogo Piçarra and D.A.M.A. International singers, there are several, but I would really like to work with Bruno Mars and, specially, with Justin Bieber.
SE!: What are your professional projects for the near future? What can your fans expect?
DG: There is still nothing scheduled. We are discussing matters of management. I believe that, in the summer, a lot of great things will happen. It's just waiting and staying tuned to news at my official pages on Facebook and Instagram.
SE!: We would like to post a song of yours to close this interview. What is your favorite song of yourself, and why?
DG: There is a song in my album, which is not available on YouTube for people to listen. It is the last song of my album and it is entitled "Cidade". It is a pop-rock with a very different beat, and with a very strong end! It is among my favourite songs.