Sara Correia grew up in a family of fadistas, immersed in fado, and was just 13 years old when she won the Grande Noite do Fado (a major festival and singing competition). Her husky high-contralto voice still projects the intensity of the roots music she grew up listening to. Having released her eponymous debut album back in 2018, she quickly made a name for herself on the Fado scene, with the release celebrated with numerous accolades. Having recently re-released her sophomore album, Do Coração, as a deluxe edition, she finally makes her UK debut as part of the La Linea festival. Ahead of her performance at London’s Union Chapel on April 28th, we caught up with her to learn a little more.

Hi Sara, first of all how are you?

Hi! I'm very well. With the success of "Quero é Viver," an opening credits song for a popular primetime soap opera in Portugal, the start of the year has been exciting. I'm looking forward to a year full of live performances and new music in 2022.

You are finally returning to London, are you excited to be able to play the date?

Yes, absolutely. I think the postponement due to the pandemic made me even more eager to perform at Union Chapel on April 28th.

What do you have planned for the London show?

Fado, Fado, and more Fado. I have the honor of being accompanied by some truly amazing musicians who bring their full talent to each show, ensuring that each concert is unique. I'm confident they'll go above and beyond while performing in London, as will I. So brace yourself for a soulful surrender of the depths of the Portuguese soul as only Fado can bring.

You have had an interesting journey to success, for those not in the know, can you give a little overview?

I began singing when I was very young. I was a child at the time, and I used to accompany my aunt, who also sang Fado, to Fado houses. This is a Fado singer's ‘church’, where we learn everything, and where I learned everything as well. At 13 I won Grande Noite do Fado, a famous Fado competition in Portugal. Following that victory, I was invited to perform at one of Lisbon's most important Fado venues, where I had the incredible privilege of learning from some of the greatest voices: Celeste Rodrigues, Jorge Fernando, and Maria de Nazaré. In 2018 I released my first album and the critics and the public were very generous to me. In 2020, I was prepared to release my second album in March, just a week before everything closed because Coronavirus. Then we postponed the release to the end of the year, and with all the difficulties and postponed shows, 2021 was a really great year for me. I won an important award in Portugal with my record and I was nominated for the Latin Grammys. I also did a lot of participations with other musicians and also be able to tour in such a great countries such as Colombia, Panama, Chile and Argentina. Now Do Coração tour is still on the road but I’m already preparing my 3rd album, which I want to release at the end of this year.

Your initial success came in your teenage years. How did that alter your ambitions?

It didn't change my ambitions, but it did solidify the fact that I want to sing Fado for the rest of my life.

While your debut album was hugely successful, your sophomore album has received a phenomenal response. What did you learn from the first to apply to the second?

I believe that the transition from "Sara Correia" to "Do Coração" simply increased my confidence in singing my thruth. That is the essence of Fado. You must feel it in your bones and be able to transport it outside as a cry, a lament, or an expression of your deepest being. Of course, being nominated for a Latin Grammy for doing what I love the most was an unexpected but incredible reward.

You have recently released a deluxe edition of Do Coração, what prompted the decision?

We had a lot of live material, as well as a new single titled "Quero é Viver" and two collaborations. Despite the pandemic, I performed over 30 shows in 2021, some of which were recorded, and with a Latin Grammy nomination and a PLAY award in Portugal for Best Fado album, we felt these live versions and collaborations deserved a release.

Have you already started work on album 3?

Yes, but for the time being let’s keep the mystery!

Your sound is steeped in Fado but does have a contemporary edge. How do you strike the balance between the two?

Let us not forget that I am 28 years old. Fado is a cultural heritage that has been passed down from generation to generation, and I hope and wish that my interpretation adds a contemporary edge to it. New generations are falling in love with Fado, and they need to hear themselves in it. So I hope to be that voice, bridging the generational divide while preserving the art of traditional Fado.

Do Coração features a couple of collaborations. How do you choose who to work with?

I must love and believe in music. It's not about the names as much as it is about the music. If I believe my voice is a good fit for it, if I can incorporate my beloved Fado into it, and if I can add without losing what I value the most, I'll do it. In "Meu Bairro, Minha Língua," a tribute to the Portuguese language, I collaborated with Vinicius Terra, Linn da Quebrada, the beloved and missed Elza Soares, and my Portuguese friend, Dino d'Santiago. In addition, in a song titled "O Mundo Há-de Ser Mais," I collaborated with Stereossauro, a musician and producer from Portugal, in a crossover between Fado and electronic music. The original album has a duet with one of the Portuguese’s artists I admire the most: António Zambujo.

Lastly, is there anyone you dream of working with?

It will sound crazy, but I would love to work with Billie Eillish! I do admire her voice and her music but mostly her attitude.