Salvador Sobral came, sung and won with his simplicity and emotional performance ahead of the pre-contest favorites and gave Portugal its first win in 53 years. But who is he?
"I hope my victory makes a change not only in Eurovision but also in pop music," he said. "If I can bring some sort of change to the pop music in the world in general, because people only listen to the music that is thrown at us from the radio stations, I’ll be more than happy."
"I never wrote a song to be played on the radio stations, I released an album last fall nobody gave a shit about it. After this festival and this beautiful song people got to know me better, I guess it works this way and I’m happy the way it’s happened."
Salvador Sobral was born to a former noble family on December 28, 1989 in Lisbon. He has a sister, Luisa who wrote the winning song Amar pelos dois for him after being invited by RTP as a composer, thanks to her own flourishing music career.
Salvadot took his first step in the music business when he was 10 participating in Bravo, bravissimo, a television show for young talents.
Ten tyears later he took part in Idolos, the Portuguese Idol finishing 7th. Ironically he got eiminated in the episode of Portugues music after sailing through with songs from Michael Jackson, Leonard Cohen, Queen and Maroon 5,
He started studying psychology in the Instituto Superior de Psicologia Aplicada, and as an Erasmus student went to Mallorca where he started singing in bars. After that he dropped psychology and went on to study music in Barcelona and finished his studies in 2014.
In 2015 he took part in Vodafone Mexefest and EDP Cool Jazz and started working on his album Excuse me that was released in late 2016, with the title track being the first single. The album made it to #10 in the Portuguese charts and second single off it was Nem eu. His future plans remain unchanged as he told in the press conference. His touring Portugal in summer and prepairing his second album.
"I have a summer tour in Portugal, I’ll just continue with my life. This is fun, let’s not forget that you win today and nobody remembers you tomorrow,"
A national hero? "It's an amazing thing, I want to live a peaceful life, maybe there will be some fuss at the beginning, but I don’t know if I'd call myself a national hero. If I thought of myself as a hero of Portugal it would be a bit weird."
"For a song like this to win, it is for sure, celebrating diversity. I think Eurovision is about the music and that's all I want to do. I just thought about singing my beautiful song the way it is, and it was not in English."
"If I'm here and I have European exposure, the least thing I can do is a humanitarian message. People come to Europe in plastic boats and are being asked to show their birth certificates in order to enter a country. These people are not immigrants, they're refugees running from death. Make no mistake. There is so much bureaucratic stuff happening in the refugee camps in Greece, Turkey and Italy and we should help create legal and safe pathways from these countries to their destiny countries,"
PS: Listening to his album he and Raphael Gualazzi have a lot in common. Salvador did where Raphael failed - he lost to a plastic disposable music in 2011. Salvador took a nice revenge.