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Princess of soul music

Over the last few years, the landscape of Fado in Goa is slowly changing. There has been a wave of events curated around this genre, be it a night dedicated to the music, a master class session or concerts and festivals that have helped widen its audience in the state. With the amount of people faithfully attending these events, it is clear that the demand for such shows is on the rise.Amid all this are a young group of upcoming Fado singers, who are now taking centre stage under the tutelage of Fado stars. Like any new artiste, there is a curiosity about their talent and quality of their performance and these future Fado stars have not disappointed, bringing with them a sense of freshness as they exceed all expectations.One such Fadista is Daniella Fernandes, who, along with fellow star students Lorraine Alberto and Linus Fernandes, and Goa’s renowned Fado singer Sonia Shirsat, Orlando de Noronha (Portuguese guitar), Allan Abreu (12 string guitar) and Carlos M Meneses (Viola de Fado) performed at ‘Noite de Fado’ that was held at Hotel Fortune, Miramar on Monday.Daneilla had recently grabbed the headline after she won the first place at the fifth edition of the ‘Fado de Goa’ contest for the second year in a row in her category (16-21 years), after having earlier picked up the first place at Vem Cantar, the All Goa Portuguese singing contest, in her category (16-20 years).
These were held in 2017 and by this time, Daniella was no stranger to winning awards. For perspective, she had won the second place at Vem Cantar in 2014 and then won the first place consecutively in 2015 and 2017. Similarly, she had won second place in the second edition of ‘Fado de Goa’ and third place in the third edition, then coming back to win the first place in the 4th and 5th editions.
“Singing and winning helped me overcome my fear of facing a crowd. After taking part in the Fado de Goa contests, I was keen on winning the first place and worked hard towards it. Winning these competitions has given me several platforms. I’ve got to perform at several events. It has also boosted my self confidence and helped me to do better every time I go up on stage,” says Daniella.Tracing back her journey, the young singer points out that she never used to sing publicly when she was younger and preferred to sing in a group rather than solo. “It was only in my 11th std that I began singing because my Principal (of Carmel College, Nuvem) urged me to take part in Vem Cantar. That’s when my singing journey actually began. Not being from a Portuguese background, it was difficult for me as apart from the singing, I had to also learn lyrics and pronunciations,” says Daniella.Since then, she has taken part in several singing competitions apart from Portuguese singing contests and has won several collegiate and inter collegiate singing competitions. She has also won the first place for two consecutive years at the All Goa Solo Singing Competition organised by JCI, Colva. She is a also part of a choral ensemble known as Rhythm Divine.When asked how her fascination for Fado in particular began, given her new found status as an upcoming star, the Margao based Daniella says that she got into Fado singing watching her friend, Nadia Rebelo, and mentor Sonia Shirsat perform. “I took it up as a challenge because the Fado is a totally different genre of music that only can be felt and sung and I was greatly helped by Sonia for the same,” adds Daniella.Elaborating on her love for this genre, the third year student pursuing her bachelor in arts in Psychology and Sociology at Rosary College of Commerce and Arts, Navelim, says: “Fado is the genre of music I love listening to and performing as well. It’s a one-of-its-kind genre that needs to be felt. Unless the person singing it doesn’t feel the Fado, the audience too won’t feel or get the message from the Fado. I always like trying out new Fados. I listen to a lot of these songs and it’s very peaceful. My family loves listening to it when we travel and we all usually sing along,” said Daniella.Speaking about her future plans, Daniella says that he is keen on improving herself everytime she steps on the stage. “I also want to be known as ‘Daniella Fernandes the Fado singer’. I know it’s a dream but I would work hard towards it,” says Daniella. Well, with the way she is winning hearts, this dream could soon become a reality. [H]

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