Photo credit: Mice Shooter
Born in Coimbra, Portugal, Marcelo Costas can trace his connection with music back to a very early age when his parents would play Fado music, a traditional form of Portuguese music characterised by mournful tunes and lyrics, on vinyl records at home and on tapes while travelling. His very first performance at the young age of six saw him sing at a village party, earning him his first applause and leading him to the realisation that when he was singing, he was happy.
At the age of 7 his father enrolled Marcelo in music lessons where he learned to play the organ and, later, the accordion. He auditioned for a children’s television talent show at the age of 8, choosing a Fado as the theme for his audition. He sang at every opportunity, frequently performing at family and school parties, creating melodies and lyrics encouraged by his family and teachers.
During his adolescence Marcelo underwent a journey to discover his own voice, still singing daily but choosing to listen to more varied musical genres. He fell in love with jazz and especially with the voice and songs of Frank Sinatra. He commenced singing lessons and began testing his versatility as an interpreter. Marcelo’s musical journey continued to grow as he contributed to various projects, lending backing vocals to albums by other performers, writing for children's projects and giving voice to advertising spots for radio and television.
In 2008 Marcelo was invited to work on an album of originals and versions of Portuguese themes by producer Blim Records and Sony Music Portugal. The album, best described as a fusion of Pop and Jazz, was released in 2010.
At the end of 2011, an invitation to take a Fado project to the Teatro Turim room in Lisbon saw him performing at intimate concerts in early 2012. This led to the opportunity to take the same project to Switzerland, where he performed at a concert in Olten in November 2012.
The next few years saw Marcelo touring extensively and performing Fado music at events, restaurants and hotels in various parts of the country (Portugal?), as well as performing understudy work for other singers in renowned Fado houses such as the Marquês da Sé and Viela do Fado. In June 2014, he was highlighted as a ‘Fadista of the Week’ on the Facebook page ‘Fados and Other Music’.
In recent years Marcelo has had the opportunity to collaborate on some fascinating projects in the area of Fado. One particular project was dedicated to religious ceremonies, in which traditional fados take lyrical inspiration from a eucharistic moment, with songs then brought to life by the musician Nuno Cacho. Another project, ‘Sou do Fado’, was developed in collaboration with the dancer and teacher Lucília Baleixo (of Academias Ai! A Dança), fusing Fado with dance and enabling Marcelo to feature on the stage of Casino Estoril and Festival IN Creativity & Innovation in 2015. He was also invited to perform at the opening of the national school championships ceremony, taking the stage at the Coliseu dos Recreios on May 14, 2015.
Following a successful audition, Marcelo became a resident artist for 3 months in 2015 at Povo in Lisbon, a venue known for its support and continuation of the Fado genre. Following his residency there Marcelo developed an album featuring repertoire explored during his time there, penning the lyrics to four of the songs and composing the music for one. The album was released on November 19, 2015.
Nowadays, alongside events in Portugal and abroad, he continues to be invited to sing in Fado houses including Velho Páteo de Sant'Ana, Caldo Verde, O Forcado, Café Luso and Adega Machado.