“Fado is in vogue now more than ever among the California youth”, said the artist, son of an Azorean couple that emigrated to Saint Joseph. “There are some really good Fado singers in California.”
His album “Palco da Vida”, released in 2018, was in the list of qualified works possible for being nominated for the Grammy Awards, last year. “Reaching the level in which it was possible to be nominated is a reason for me to very proud”, said David Silveira Garcia, 39 years old.
“I managed to present my work to the American community in the Grammys organisation and let them know that Fado and Portuguese music exists in the United States.”
In a year in which the 100th birthday of Amália Rodrigues is celebrated, Fado promotion within the North-Americans is one of Garcia’s ambitions, and he is now working on new songs with the musician Helder Carvalheira.
“Music is the easiest way to promote culture. Music is a universal language, the public does not need to understand what the Fado singer is singing to feel it”, said the artist.
Before the end of the year, Garcia and Carvalheira want to release two to three new Fados. “The goal that we have now is to release digitally, making original music and videos”, he said, noting that the work is conditioned by the limitations imposed because of the covid-19 pandemic.
“We want to launch works together to promote musicians and talent”, he said. “We want to show Fado to California”
That was what the Fado singer and the musicians accompanying him were doing through a partnership with Telmo Faria’s Portuguese restaurant in San Franciso, Uma Casa, where they organised Fado nights every three months.
“The promotion we do with these shows is more for the American community, they are people who have heard about Fado, who were in Portugal and come to relive the memory of the Fado night they had in Lisbon”, he explained. “Telmo does this for the passion of Fado and to help promote music and culture.”
Now, because of the pandemic, almost all of the concerts have been cancelled, including participation in Portuguese festivals across California, where Garcia used to sell copies of his album.
At the beginning of the confinement, Garcia still considered the possibility of broadcasting live concerts, but the idea was abandoned. “Logistically it does not work, due to the delays that exist on the platforms”, he explained. “The guitarist, the viola and I in different houses would not be coordinated. We tried different ways but it is impossible to do a live show.”
With California reversing the reopening phases due to the explosion of covid-19 infections in the past month, the outlook is pessimistic. “I have three performances at the end of this year that have not been officially cancelled, but I very much doubt that will happen, unless things change drastically”, said the Fado singer.
Until the situation improves, Garcia is working on the new Fados and wants one of them to evoke hope, despite what is happening in the world. “Fado is not only sad, but it also has many emotions”, he considered.
For him, going on stage is a dream come true. “Ever since I was a child, I listen to Fado on the record player at home”, he recalled. “I often listened on the sly, because it was strange for a young man born and raised here listen to Fado.”
David Silveira Garcia is bilingual and can write Portuguese lyrics, which is hard to find in the Portuguese-descendant community. The Fado singer pointed out that there are not a lot of musicians that can play the Portuguese guitar.
The works of David Silveira Garcia, “Fado d’Alma Lusa” and “Palco da Vida” are available on streaming platforms, Amazon, iTunes and CD Baby.