The soulful sounds of fado are not something many youngsters – even those studying music – would consider ‘hip’. But the melodies, emotions and lyrics behind this spectacular genre of music are eternal.

Cidade de Goa celebrates the fado in Goa at its Noite de Fado each month at its fine dining restaurant Alfama. One of the stars of these soirées is Chantale Cotta e Viegas. Hailing from a musical family meant that singing and playing instruments came naturally.

Singing was part of life from an early age, participating in inter-school competitions and the like. From eight years onwards, Chantale accompanied her family for regular performances on All India Radio Panaji for its weekly programme Renascença.

It was through the radio that she first discovered fado, captivated by the “soulful and magically haunting voice” of Amalia Rodrigues. She would also listen to the legendary fadista on her neighbour’s record player. Since then, her prowess for singing fado has grown exponentially, her talent taking her across the world over the years. Chantale has performed in places including Denmark, Macau, Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and of course, here in Goa at Cidade de Goa’s Alfama restaurant.

At each of these places, she demonstrates a true love for the genre and an exceptional showcase for it, in a way that grabs people’s attention. Chantale sings the Lisbon fado – traditionally sung only by women – that tells of lost sailors, feverish passion, unrequited love and broken hearts, all with powerful emotion and feeling.

Fado is a beautiful genre in a class of its own, and hearing it opens one’s mind to a new sense of emotive music. Experience Chantale Cotta e Viegas’ lilting voice at Cidade de Goa’s Noite de Fado on the first Tuesday of every month at Alfama.