Incredible achievement – South African singer/songwriter FILIPA to take part in Portugal’s Festival da Canção

Incredible achievement – South African singer/songwriter FILIPA to take part in Portugal’s Festival da Canção

After a spate of achievements on the global sports stage, South Africa has yet another star showing the world what we’re capable of as Pretoria-born singer/songwriter FILIPA competes against Portugal’s finest talent in the country’s Festival da Canção 24, organised by the national broadcasters, RTP.

Festival da Canção is one of Portugal’s most high-profile music events, not only because it showcases the cream of the country’s artists, but because the winner of this contest goes on to perform as Portugal’s entry in Eurovision.

It is therefore an enormous honour to be taking part, FILIPA says. Her song, You Can’t Hide, was selected as one of 20 finalists. Making her achievement more impressive still is the fact that 16 of these finalists are well-known Portuguese artists who were invited by RTP to write specifically for the event. The other four artists, including FILIPA, submitted their compositions voluntarily and made it out of over 800 entries.

Although FILIPA admits that she finds it daunting to be participating in a global event of this calibre, she is no stranger to competition. She had her first taste of fame after she won an international Ryan Seacrest Cover Competition with her version of One Direction’s hit, Story of My Life, back in 2014. Since then, she has wowed local audiences with songs that have climbed the South African radio charts with her most recent hit, Do Something, reaching number three on the Jacaranda FM Top 20. She’s also made forays into the US and UK markets, where her songs Good Behavior, I’d Rather Be Single and 7th Floor were extremely well received. While perfecting her skill as a performer, FILIPA has honed her songwriting prowess by working alongside international producers and songwriters.

You Can’t Hide is the outcome of her intense dedication to her craft. “I’ve known I wanted to be a performer since I was eight years old and have travelled a long journey of ups and downs. All the learnings have been valuable, though, because they have helped me find my authentic voice.” This is important to FILIPA, because she has always been determined to remain true to herself, even as she experimented with her sound. With You Can’t Hide, she believes she has found her true voice. “It’s a great example of the music I love – pop with a twist”.

FILIPA is currently finetuning her performance ahead of rehearsals for Festival da Canção, which take place at the end of February. She will then appear in the televised semi-final on 2 March – hopefully to repeat the performance in the final on 9 March, when the judges and the public will decide who goes on to represent Portugal at Eurovision.

“It’s incredible to be here and know that a song I wrote has impacted people in some way. Now, I’m looking forward to doing my best and making both Portugal and South Africa proud,” FILIPA concludes.


  • Catch the semi-finals of the Festival da Canção on DStv channel 435 and follow FILIPA on Facebook and Instagram.