A Song with Meaning

Afonso Silva, a 14-year-old prodigy from Portimão, has already made a name for himself in the music industry. His journey began with numerous competitions and a notable stint as a finalist on The Voice Kids (Portugal). Now, he’s ready to take the world by storm with his debut single, ‘Sou Eu’ (‘That’s Me’).

WORDS Felipe Castilho Trujilho

Afonso began singing at the age of six after being introduced to music through fado. He went on to experiment with different styles of music. His new single is much more than a simple audio track. It became an internet movement against bullying, with many famous Portuguese celebrities reposting and joining the cause #bateopeaobullying (stamp your foot to bullying). 

The single was originally scheduled to be released on 20 October, which is worldwide Fight Against Bullying Day. However the release was delayed due to the enormous impact his movement had in Portugal. With celebrity backing, his song premiered on 20 November on SIC’s live television channel. 

Afonso’s rise to prominence began at the end of 2021, when he decided to start writing and releasing his own songs. He knew that the first had to be something special, something that he identified with, so he chose the topic of bullying due to past experiences. The creative process for his first single song took two years.

‘Sou Eu’ can be described as a musical mash-up, combining violins, fado, Portuguese guitar, and tap. This diversity reflects Afonso’s vast musical background and his wish for his song to mirror his journey. The soundtrack features a mixture of fado representing his musical origins, the instrument he plays (violin), and tap dance, which Afonso practices. 

Maybe the reason that the song resonates with so many is that the lyrics have many connotations. One example is the line, ‘não sou da ação, sou do camarim’, (‘I’m not the action type, I’m from the dressing room’). From Afonso’s perspective, this line reflects that he is a shy person who fears leaving his dressing room and getting out on stage. However, this could also represent a person who prefers the arts over sports or physical activities. Afonso loves writing ambiguous lyrics where meaning changes depending on who is listening; he firmly believes that each person must interpret his songs in their own way. 

After writing the lyrics, Afonso met up with the amazing singer/songwriter Tiago Valentim for the melody and music and, after that, the work at the studio began. The whole process ended in November 2023, with a music video being recorded prior to the song’s release. 

On 24 February 2024, Afonso performed his very first concert in TEMPO (Teatro Municipal de Portimão). He recalls: “I was very nervous … It was shocking, with a lot of nerves, but I think it went quite well for my first concert. I was accompanied by an amazing band and I’m very happy with how it turned out.” 

In the future, Afonso envisions a vibrant musical career. He hopes to continue writing and releasing new original songs and maybe even release an album further down the line. While he cherishes his fado roots, he also looks forward to exploring different styles to attract a younger audience. His future is filled with promise and potential, and we can’t wait to see what he has in store.


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