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Conversation with Rita Onofre

on anniversary day and concert at Bota

On the day that Rita Onofre takes the stage at Bota Anjos in Lisbon, a day of double celebration, the concert and Rita’s 28 springs that she celebrates today, we publish this short conversation with the artist.

Tell us a little about yourself and your journey up to this point?

I make music out of a need for expression, and I have tried to fill my daily life with it since I finished studying. My direction is to be able to one day use all my time to create.

My name is Rita, I’m a singer and songwriter. I try to be as free as possible as an artist and remove the filters I encounter in the process of creating music. This has been the process since my beginning, in 2020, a confinement that made me stop postponing this journey I am on now.

ritaonofre 20230707 nosalive d2©luismserrao ineews s04
Rita Onofre – 2023.07.07 – NOS Alive-Dia 2 ©LuisMSerrao

What was the experience of participating in the Song Festival like?

It was wonderful. It wasn’t just easy or just complicated, it had everything. I never lost sight of what I most wanted to do: translate the creature as faithfully as possible. This gave me immense lightness and openness whenever something didn’t go the way I wanted and the energy to do better the next time. Between working outside and inside the studio, I met a team of caring and concerned professionals at RTP and lots of artists with whom I exchanged valuable words. The Criatura team has been assembling since the end of 2023, a group of artists who see themselves in the message that they want to reach the stage of the Festival da Canção. I felt the commitment and genuine desire for the Creature to shine high. It was a moment of enormous focus and a lot of doubt that always comes hand in hand with overcoming.

What importance has it had and what could it have in your career?

During the Festival experience, I made connections that remained in my team. It opened doors for me and allowed me to show a little of what I can do if I can gain access to a structure.

What is your creative process like?

There is no model that repeats itself, but I often write based on some sensation that I want to try to understand better. The body always knows and keeps all the stories, and writing music, when we are open to it, is the way to let it speak. I end up discovering a lot of things in what I write, in the timbre I adopt when saying a certain phrase, the ideas that come to me when I pick up a guitar or piano.

It’s not just pleasant, there’s a lot of frustration, but it’s by navigating through it that I find new places. Maybe that’s what makes me like making music.

Rita Onofre – 2023.07.07 – NOS Alive-Dia 2 ©LuisMSerrao

What are you going to present at BOTA ANJOS?

A raw and welcoming showcase of the songs that have emerged since 2020 with voice and guitar. This is the format in which I created the vast majority of compositions, one that I have been postponing presenting, but which always connects me to what is most essential in them. I feel that the Festival experience also made me want to challenge myself once again. I do it on my birthday, and I make sure it’s even more joyful!

What is the reason for choosing Ana Mariano, Elisa Rodrigues, Juliana Anjo and Sara Cruz as guests?

These are four women that I love listening to. In different ways, they have what I most like to hear in a musician: sensitivity. With them, it’s about translating what’s inside. With Elisa Rodrigues I experienced the creation and editing of Sonhar; with Sara Cruz, I shared the music we also wrote with Luar, Neblina; with Juliana Anjo, I had a happy stay in Funchal, which gave rise to a theme that we want to present on the 30th; and Ana Mariano, poet and composer who will leave on the 30th with the desire to make our desire to co-compose real.

How has your life path influenced your work?

Being an artist in Portugal is pure stubbornness. It’s proof that those who create only do so because they have to. We may or may not be very lucky, however we learn to work and to do so without killing the lightness necessary for the curious look that gives rise to our best work. It’s a learning experience.

So I’m very lucky on the one hand, I have a father and a mother who, as soon as they realized that this wasn’t a phase, wanted to help at all levels. They understand that I have to do this and in a way they are always part of the team.

On the other hand, I am always looking for my place in the Industry. There are many ways to do this. I’m a songwriter at Great Dane Studios, I record and edit voices, I give individual music lessons, I do music sessions for babies, I have a choir. I’m always looking for ways of working that are linked to Music. My dream continues to be to live this solo project of mine 100% with all its possible ramifications.

Creating is an act of self-reflection, and in Portugal, we still don’t realize that we need Art. To consume, to dissect, to talk about it. If we want a more developed society, if we want more critical voters, let’s turn to Art.

ritaonofre
Rita Onofre < BOTA ANJOS

What are your musical influences?

I’m not sure what you can hear at the end, but I hear a lot: Bon Iver, Tim Bernardes, Charlotte Day Wilson, Chico Buarque, BANKS, Cordel, Silly, Hiatus Kaiyote, Paramore (Riot!), Slow J, Doja Cat, Manel Cross.

If you could choose any singer to do a duet with, who would it be?

Justin Vernon.

Which musician/s would you like to work with on your next project and why?

There are many names: Carminho, the Garota Não, GOIAS, Salvador Sobral, Filipe Melo, Margarida Campelo, and MARO. It would be a great experience to be able to collaborate with any of these artists and I feel like this process would change a lot for me.

And after BOTA, where we can see you live, do you already have concerts scheduled?

After BOTA I will edit a new single and delve more and more into the process of creating the two-part album that I am making. I really want to be able to focus on creating right now and enjoy the wonderful musicians I come across.

Não perca o concerto hoje no Bota Anjos da Rita Onofre que terá comoconvidadas, Ana Mariano, Elisa Rodrigues, Juliana Anjo e Sara Cruz, que será também a celebração dos 28 anos de Rita.

Concert

  • April 30th – 9pm
  • BOTA ANJOS – Largo Santa Bárbara 3D, 1150-287 Lisbon
  • Price: €8

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