Maria do Carmo de Carvalho Rebelo de Andrade (Lisbon, August 20, 1984), artistically known simply as Carminho is a Portuguese singer and songwriter. She is the daughter of Teresa Siqueira, also a fado singer, and is considered one of the most talented and innovative fado singers of her generation, also performing in other musical genres, such as Portuguese popular music, Brazilian popular music, bossa nova, jazz and pop.
Carminho was born on August 20, 1984, in the city of Lisbon, Portugal, to Nuno Maria Bello Rebelo de Andrade and Maria Teresa da Câmara de Siqueira Archer de Carvalho, a Portuguese fado singer.
At the age of two, the family settled in a village in the Algarve, where Carminho got used to listening to her mother’s albums, her main fado influence, as well as other fados that her parents listened to and sang — «I remember watching fado nights at home, aged five or six. I have some photographs, very small, in pajamas, on my father’s lap, aged four or five, and guitar players and my mother singing», recalled the singer in an interview. In addition, Carminho was introduced to Brazilian music through telenovelas that had songs by Chico Buarque, Elis Regina, Milton Nascimento, Tom Jobim and Vinícius de Morais in their soundtracks. At the age of 12, the family returns to Lisbon. They started by settling in Bairro Alto, later moving to Campo de Ourique.
It was around this time that her mother decided to take over the operation of the fado house A Taverna do Embuçado, which had belonged to João Ferreira Rosa. Located in another popular neighborhood in Lisbon, Alfama, more precisely in Travessa do Embuçado, Carminho makes contact in this space with some of the main interpreters of fado, such as João Ferreira Rosa, João Braga, Carlos Zel or Camané. At a party organized at Coliseu dos Recreios, the young woman herself will ask her parents to sing. «I said I wanted to and my father said no, because I didn’t want to embarrass myself. But I insisted and he said I could go if Paquito, who was playing in Embuçado at the time, approved.
Paquito [guitarist of the house] said that I had time and I was in tune: ‘Why don’t you let the girl go?’. I sang ‘Fado do Embuçado’ and nothing else. They loved it, because it was like a mascot, having a girl with frills singing ‘Fado do Embuçado’. From then on, whenever there was a special day, my mother would take me to Embuçado », she says. From the age of 15, Carminho began to sing regularly in the fado house belonging to her family.
Despite having started singing since she was a child, it was only at the age of 22 that she decided to pursue a musical career after a long trip around the world that took 11 months that helped her make that decision. She says that she didn’t need courage and simply explains that she is happy singing fado.
After finishing a higher education course in Marketing and Advertising, Carminho, who did not want to be a “marketeer”, decides to undertake a trip around the world – in a single year he went to India, China, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Timor, Australia, New Zealand, Easter Island, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil – to find out exactly what it could give. And she gives herself totally to her neighbor by doing humanitarian actions for 6 months in countries like India, Cambodia, Peru and Timor-Leste. When she returned, she already had the full feeling that she was ready to make her first record.
She has been to several fado houses such as A Taverna do Embuçado, Petisqueira de Alcântara and Mesa de Frades. He was in Switzerland, in a fortnight Portuguese theme and with this group, Tertúlia de Fado Tradicional recorded four songs (“Toca Pr’á Unha”, “O Vento Agitou O Trigo”, “Fado Pombalinho” and “O Fado da Mouraria”) from CD “Saudades do Fado”, published in 2003.
She participated in the bullfighting shows held in 2003 and 2004 in Santarém and during Malta’s accession ceremonies to the European Union she performed in the country at the invitation of the Portuguese Embassy.
In 2005 she sings in a show, which takes place at Teatro Camões, offered by the President of Turkey to President Jorge Sampaio. Still in 2005, she received the Amália award, in the Female Revelation category.
In 2006 she collaborated on the recordings of the album “O Terço Cantado”, which received the apostolic blessing of Pope Benedict XVI. The songs are by Ramon Galarza and the voices are by the brothers Carmo Rebelo de Andrade and Francisco Rebelo de Andrade (participant in the program “Operação Triunfo” and Festival RTP da Canção).
Carminho participates in the film “Fados” by Carlos Saura in 2007. The album with the soundtrack includes the track “Casa de Fados” with the participation of Vicente da Câmara, Maria da Nazaré, Ana Sofia Varela, Carminho, Ricardo Ribeiro and Pedro Moutinho .
In May 2008 she participates in a concert by Tiago Bettencourt, she also performs at Casa da Música, at Expo Zaragoza 2008 and is invited to the commemorative show of the 45th anniversary of Carlos do Carmo’s career, at Pavilhão Atlântico. In the same year, she performed “Gritava Contra o Silence”, an excerpt from a short story by Sophia de Mello Breyner Andersen, on João Gil’s first album of unpublished works.
In 2009 she is appointed by the website Cotonete as one of the Names to follow in the year.
The debut album, “Fado” is released on June 1, 2009.
She participates in the 2011 campaign of Pirilampo Mágico recording the single “Ser Feliz” with Ney Matogrosso. She is also one of several names invited to the album “Os Fados e as Canções do Alvim” by Fernando Alvim. The album “Fado” received the award for best album of 2011 for the British magazine “Songlines”.
Also in 2011 she collaborates with Pablo Alborán on the theme “Perdonáme” which was a great success in Spain and Portugal and with Pedro Luís on the theme “Lusa”.
In March 2012 she releases her second album entitled “Alma”. The Brazilian edition includes duets with Chico Buarque (“Carolina”), Milton Nascimento (“Cais”) and Nana Caymmi (“Contrato de Separação”).
The third album, “Canto”, was released in 2014. The album features the special participation of Marisa Monte.
On January 27, 2015, she received the Commendation of the Order of Infante D. Henrique.
In 2016 she recorded the album Carminho Canta Tom Jobim which featured Marisa Monte, Chico Buarque and Maria Bethânia. She participates in one of the themes of the second album by Tribalistas released in August 2017.