Ater (Chile)
18th March 2024
Ater (Chile)
18th March 2024

Paula Teles (Portugal)

Interview with Paula Teles

Paula Teles is singer/songwriter which successfully blends traditional Portuguese with symphonic and progressive metal. Recently she released the single “Inocência”, from the upcoming EP Desencanto, set to be available very soon. That is the main reason for me to organize this interview with Paula and ask her a few questions and let her introduce her work to a wider metal audience.

Metal Revolution: Hi Paula, pleasure talking with you and presenting your music to a wider audience. How are things going in Portugal?
Paula: HI! Thank you very much for helping me to promote my work. Here in Portugal we are recovering from some very complicated elections to choose our country’s government. Other than that, we still have good weather and good food. (Laughing)

MR: I’m not sure if our readers are familiar with your work so far, so instead I’ll ask you to introduce yourself. What’s your musical background?
Paula: I started playing the piano when I was 6 years old. I always tried to balance school with music classes. When I was 18, I started taking vocal technique classes because I really liked singing while playing the piano. I realized that I really liked singing, so I decided to go ahead and get a degree in theater singing. I ended up dedicating myself to classical music, especially opera. On the other hand, I really liked metal. So, in 2018 I decided to risk a career in metal music.

MR: How would you describe your sound? As symphonic metal?
Paula: It’s not just symphonic metal. It has many influences from traditional Portuguese music, not only in the instruments, but also in the way I use my voice. This is a mix of symphonic metal, with fado (traditional Portuguese music), and progressive metal.

MR: I’ve watched your recent video for the song “Inocência”. It’s an intense and varied song from  your upcoming EP Desencanto, right? It will be available on April 5th, but can you reveal any more details prior to release of this EP? What can we expect from it?
Paula: This album is the summary of a journey of self-knowledge and exploration. When we become adults, we often end up forgetting where we came from, our roots. “Inocência” is one of seven songs from an album that has in its essence the Portuguese soul of the most hidden villages. Each song tells a story… they are stories of women who lived in a complicated time from a social and economic point of view. They are strong women, who have always remained in the shadows and who, in my opinion, deserve to be remembered.
From a musical point of view, these are songs that play with the intensity/lightness duality: the main melody is often melancholic but the instrumental seeks to create tension.

MR: Where was this song/video “Inocência” recorded and what does it exactly mean? What is the lyrical content for this particular song?
Paula: The video for “Inocência” was recorded in a multimedia studio at ‘RedBox Studios’. It was also in this place that all the music was captured and mixed. The lyrics of this song talk about a woman who had dreams but who, as time passes, realizes that society does not allow her to fight for her goals. Unfortunately, she loses hope and the desire to build a different life.

MR: I think I can hear you mixing traditional Portuguese music with the epic and striking sounds of metal. Would you agree on this?
Paula: Totally. The influences of traditional Portuguese music are part of our DNA. We grew up listening to fado and folklore. On the other hand, I really like metal and I end up putting some of that influence into my songs.

MR: What’s the reason for you to sing in your native Portuguese and not English? Is it because it’s easier to express your feelings when singing in your own mother tongue?
Paula: My father was a Portuguese teacher and passed away in October, last year. For him, the Portuguese language was the most beautiful in the world. Singing in Portuguese is a way of paying homage to him.

MR: How does your creative process work? I mean, what’s the creative process like when you make a new song?
Paula: Helping me in this songwriting process I have Jorge Lopes who is also the producer. He is a great guitar player. Normally, the ideas for the songs come from a riff on Jorge’s guitar or a few chords on my piano. When one of us thinks there is a basis for something worth exploring, we get together in the studio (RedBox Studios) and build the layers of the song. We try different things and then we decide whether it works or not. We have no limits, we have no rules: we try everything that comes to mind.
Jorge is very influenced by progressive metal and I, due to my training in classical music, have a greater tendency towards symphonic music. What unites us is traditional Portuguese music: fado, Portuguese folklore, melodic melancholy, ethereal but intense sounds.
All these ingredients mixed together and gave rise to the album Desencanto.

MR: Beside of doing interview like this one, what are some of your other activities in order to promote your EP?
Paula: The next step will be to take the project to the stage. We are preparing everything necessary for this. We waited for invitations.

MR: What obstacles or challenges do you encounter when it comes to getting your music out there and heard by potential new fans?
Paula: Nowadays, there is a lot of good music coming out. We have to be very active on social media, we have to invest a lot in promotion so that our music can reach people. As an independent musician, all of this requires a lot of investment and there are not always financial conditions to be able to promote our music.

MR: Are you pleased with support you’re getting by Against Pr?
Paula: Sure! They always make a really good work.

MR: What bands/musicians did you listen to as a kid? How/if your taste in music has changed over the years? Do you still listen to some of the same artists?
Paula: I studied classical music and, therefore, listened to a lot of classical music. But I also listened to bands more linked to rock like Fleetwood Mac, Heart, Guns N Roses… I’m a big fan of Stevie Nicks. I continue to listen to these bands and their sound is part of my musical influence.

MR: What are your ambitions now, after the release of this new EP? Maybe gather a band and record a full-length album?
Paula: Step by step. The only goal I have at the moment is to continue making music.

MR: Thank you very much for taking the time to do this interview! Would you like to add anything to the readers of Metal Revolution Webzine?
Paula: I want to thank everyone who listens to my music and everyone who is not afraid to give opportunities to new projects and new sounds. Thank you very much.

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