Introducing: Portugal Portugal at MEETSSS Tell us a little more about yourselves and your music career journey to date.

Mariana Duarte Silva: “I have a degree in management and whilst I had my 9-5 official job as a media manager in a big company, I also had a hobby as PR and promoter for some parties. I was then invited to run a bar during the summer of 2005 and started my management company (Madame) to book, manage and promote underground electronic acts. In 2007 I decided to move to London to pursue this passion and got into the scene there, booking and managing acts and putting up parties in many clubs in the city, while my office was in Village Underground, in Shoreditch. When I decided to move back to Lisbon, I also decided to bring that bit with me, so I opened Village Underground Lisboa as an independent cultural venue in 2014 and since then have been managing it with lots of music and other performative acts. I recently opened a music school for 10 to 18 year old kids from all social backgrounds, it’s called Skoola.”

Mariana Moore Matos: “I started my music-based professional journey as production assistant for “Filhos da Madrugada — cantam José Afonso” that was funded by Lisboa-94 EU Capital City and released under BMG Ariola — the project that won’t say a lot to people outside of Portugal but it was a tribute to one of Portugal’s Music Icons/Poet/Singer comprised by a 2XCD, Vinyl, K7 and a live concert (that still is considered the biggest concert in attendance to date with Portuguese bands) in Alvalade Stadium. This means I started working in the business 28 years ago, having the opportunity to develop skills and expertise in multiple roles from Production Director, Label owner, Management, Media PR, Event Production Manager, Radio Producer to name a few! I currently work in the Music Marketing & Communications sphere as a Global Music Project Manager and I manage my own company “Music Wherever She Goes” a Marketing and Communications global agency which provides services to selected clients. My previous role included project managing global communications for Red Bull’s Live Music Festivals broadcasted on RBTV such as Primavera Sound, Roskilde, Montreux Jazz Festival, Gorillaz’s Demon Dayz and a couple more. My connection to Red Bull started back in 2005 in Portugal, where I was invited to executive produce the award winning Red Bull Music Academy documentary “Lusofonia, a (R)Evolução” which developed into a 10 year professional relationship in Portugal (and 6 for the Red Bull HQ), growing into the concurrent roles of managing Culture Communications, producing RBMA Radio shows and Culture Marketing Events.

“It has been a rocky road but I’m so grateful to have been able to navigate my passion and work life which has given me the extensive knowledge about the international music landscape and led me to travel and work across six continents.”

Mariana Moore Matos What inspired you to be involved with

Mariana Duarte Silva: “The mission. The vision. The urgency. I met Andreea back in 2015 via skype and we immediately started plotting to expand to Portugal… Andreea invited me to participate in a panel at IMS (Ibiza) and we immediately clicked as women in the electronic underground business, sharing thoughts on the industry and the fact that we needed to raise awareness for the ongoing growth of talented young women in the business. Her speech “the future of feminism is men” at IMS, opening this event where 95% of participants and attendees are men, really struck me and inspired me.

Mariana Moore Matos: “Landing at MEETSSS in Portimão in the South of Portugal in 2019, this was my first contact with A couple of months before I was introduced by Filipa Marinho (a long-time community member who was linked to the first Portugal event in 2016) while we were talking outside of a bar in Lisbon and that spiked my initial interest. Then at the international gathering MEETSSS a group was formed by local community members who wanted to take their participation further and re-launch in our country. Although most of us had already met, this was an important stepping stone as we acknowledged that we had similar interests and shared common goals. And then Covid hit and it took us a little longer than we expected, but together with Co-Director Mariana Duarte Silva who has been campaigning since 2016, an incredible team and a small but dedicated community we are confident we are on track now in 2021.” How would you describe the music scene in Lisbon and Portugal?

Mariana Duarte Silva: Very interesting right now. The pandemic highlighted so many great local talents who started to perform as soon as the local clubs could open for a limited number of people. The promoters couldn’t afford international names and really focused on giving the stage and the visibility to a diverse group of very talented DJs. I also saw many female DJs finally putting themselves out there, promoting themselves, creating their own stuff either labels, movements, parties and so on.”

Mariana Moore Matos: “Vibrant, exciting and bustling. The capital city of Lisbon has been ranked indisputably in the most recent years as one of the world’s best, when it comes to nightlife and a thriving electronic music scene. Although the fusion of sounds and influences have been present since the 16th century, nowadays it’s the melting pot of electronic based Afro-Portuguese and Brazilian influenced genres that we are recognised for. Lisbon is constantly reinventing its sounds that mix with nightlife movements. We are also experiencing a boom of newly produced music by women and rising underground LGTBI events, clubs and scenes. I’m also very curious to see how creativity and the music scenes subcultures evolve in this post-covid lockdown era.” Why did you want to form a chapter in Portugal?

Mariana Duarte Silva: “When MEETSSS happened in Portimão (October 2019) some of the most powerful women in the Portuguese music industry met there and we decided that was the time to officially open our chapter. Then the pandemic came months after that and it became quite impossible to do anything else then trying to save our own businesses, but now we feel strong to bring it into life with the same energy and focus we always wanted!”

Mariana Duarte Silva

Mariana Moore Matos: “I sort of landed in a group of people who already had cemented the base of the local Portuguese chapter, so my contribution has been more in the latest phase of re-launch, supporting the team and giving it a push. I identify with’s manifesto of intentions and I felt it was time to contribute to the community, support the community as an empowering force in itself and unify under the common objective of closing the gender gap when it comes to equality, diversity and inclusivity for women and gender minorities.” What are your hopes for shesaidso.Portugal?

Mariana Duarte Silva: We hope to create a community who support each other, who share knowledge and experience, who mentor each other, as well as raise awareness for the potential of the diversity in the music industry, from all corners of the industry.

Mariana Moore Matos: “From my perspective, I would be more than satisfied if we could lay a solid community foundation that supports correcting imbalances and empowers women and gender minorities in the music business in the next 2 to 3 years. The first steps will be to unify interests with other communities, groups and organizations who already do amazing work and partner with key events/brands/festivals that will allow us to increase awareness about the topics we want to discuss locally and provide new paths for community members to progress in their own careers. Also to establish a network between Portuguese speaking countries/communities (as Angola/Brasil) which contributes to widen the opportunity channel both ways.”

Join shesaidso Portugal here.

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