There is no other fado voice like Ana Moura’s. A voice that traipses freely through tradition, but that also takes time to flirt elegantly with pop music, to broaden the scope of this Lisbon song form in a highly personal way. But what really sets her apart is not just the deep and sensual timbre that few others can produce, it is her adroitness at instantly transforming into fado any melody she lends her voice to. There is practically no fuse on this emotional explosion, fired unhesitatingly at the listener’s heart. Ana Moura’s career began to gather such pace that she ended up leaving Senhor Vinho to accept some of the many invitations to perform outside the country. This departure left something of a void, which was later filled when she joined the company of a new fado house in the Alfama, called Casa de Linhares – Bacalhau de Molho (House of Linhares - Soaking Cod). In February 2005, Ana Moura’s international career continued to grow, with a performance at the fabled Carnegie Hall in New York. On the other side of the world, the Rolling Stones’ saxophonist, Tim Ries, walked into Tower Records in Tokyo, looking for fado records. He already had it in mind to include a fado singer in the second volume of his Rolling Stones Project, in which he invited people immersed in different musical genres to perform Rolling Stones songs with one of the band’s longest-serving musicians. He bought three CDs, on a hunch, and it was love at first hearing. Ana recorded “Brown Sugar” and “No Expectations” for the album. She sang the second of these live with the Stones at the Alvalade XXI stadium. Since then, Ana Moura and the Rolling Stones have met up several times while on tour. On one such occasion, in San Francisco, Ries called up the singer to tell her about a song he had written specifically for her voice. “Velho Anjo” (Old Angel) appeared on Ana Moura’s next record, Para Além da Saudade (Beyond Yearning (2007)), after being ‘fado-ed up’ by a Jorge Fernando arrangement.
In Portugal, “Desfado” has already been dubbed a classic. It has remained at the top of the charts ever since it was first released (150 straight weeks) and has recently gone platinum for the fifth time. The album, which has truly globalised Ana Moura, is the best-selling record release in the last five years in Portugal. It was the first Ana Moura album to be released worldwide by Universal Music, through Decca. It reached the no. 1 spot several times in Portugal and also topped the World Music charts in England, Spain and the United States. “Desfado” brought together some of the best contemporary composers and the eponymous single taken from the album was the first fado song to be played on mainstream radio stations in Portugal. The “Desfado” tour took Ana Moura to a string of top-flight domestic and international venues, where she has sung to over 300 different audiences since releasing “Desfado”. Ana Moura’s 6th album, “Moura”, released in Portugal on November 27th 2015, was directly awarded Gold status. Of her singing, we can only say that it was born in fado. We have no idea just how far it will go.