The Portuguese music market has seen better days, as well as the rest of the music world, for that matter. At a time when top-tier retailing company HMV collapses into administration and Bob Lefsetz has us all running for the hills with his apocalyptic emails about the industry, who would want to stay in this game? Those who have practiced and perfected their art.
Tony Carreira and his family are such people that fall into this category. Granted, he may not be in the same ball-park of household names as Justin Timberlake or Beyonce, but for the Portuguese music world, the Carreira family holds their own.
Carreira created his Pop-singing sensation image in France as an immigrant, thus appropriately beginning his story of stardom. Having recorded his first single in 1988, 2012 marked the year of Carreira’s 21st album release, Essencial. As his biography suggests, this guy needs no introduction in the Portuguese world — he’s had 33 platinum-selling records and sold over 3 million. If that’s not enough, here are even more amazing stats: Essencial, which was just released this past December, has already sold over 45,000 copies, making it a 3-time platinum-selling album in just 8 weeks. All in all, quite a jaw-dropping feat from a Portuguese-based artist.
But it doesn’t stop there. Mr. Carreira’s family not only whole-heartedly supports him in all his musical endeavors, they’ve joined him. His older son Mickael has sold over 130,000 albums since he began his own music career in 2006, and David, now 23 years old, released his first album in 2011 and has since gone double-platinum with just one record. And the management behind all this success? Wife and mother, Mrs. Carreira, making this quite the family affair.
This family knows the music world well, and it shows. They frequent Miami recording studios to team-up with only the best producers. Most recently, Mickael met with Rudy Pérez (producer for Julio Iglesias, Jennifer Lopez, Christina Aguilera) to produce his latest album, Viver A Vida.
So what is it about the Carreiras that have enabled them to rise above the not-so outstanding Portuguese market? For starters, Tony Carreira capitalized on his talent 25 years ago and hasn’t let it fall to the wayside. While he’s made great strides since his first single in 1988, the sound is relatively consistent. Carreira is still putting out romantic ballads that speak to thousands, most noticeably crowds that sell out stadiums such as the famed Pavilhão Atlântico in Lisbon or the Olymipia in Paris. The boys are simultaneously forging their own paths. They’re staying within the family business of the arts, but reaching out to a different, younger audience, and raking in just as much success.
In one of his more recent posts, Lefsetz writes: “A star is someone with a symbiotic relationship with his or her audience. Who’s constantly creating, revealing what’s happening behind the curtain, reacting to feedback and testing limits.”
The Carreira family is following this mindset carefully, and has been for years now. While they may not be known the world-over, they have made a killing at their home-base with Portuguese fans. The people of Portugal have taken to this family and continue to support them with each new release, thus creating the essential “symbiotic relationship.” They may not be the biggest testers of limits, but all three singers have found their calling, critiqued it to perfection, and continue to produce, produce, produce. When everyone else is pulling out of the industry, this is a time for the Carreira family to stay in the game and retain their artistic greatness.
Contributing writer: Mary Elisabeth Adams.