EXCLUSIVE: The Gift’s Sónia Tavares Talks Touring and New Music

The Gift, a Portuguese alternative rock band, recently toured their new album Altar, produced and co-written with Brian Eno.

We were lucky enough to speak to the lead singer of the band, Sónia Tavares, about her experiences with touring and their album. Altar had an electric and diverse sound to it and we wanted to know where the band got their inspiration from. Sónia shared with us:

I believe most of the inspiration for Altar was more on the go. Obviously, we had tons of material written and demoed since our last album Explode but when Brian joined us to produce Altar, the rule was quite to start anew, play, talk, experiment and that’s why it took over 2 years because we were songwriting and recording what would become the album.

She admitted that although it was hard to choose, “I Loved It All” or “You Will be Queen” are her two favorite tracks from the album.

As for their tour, Taveres labelled it “awesome.”

We have played many cities already in Portugal including sold out shows in Lisbon and Porto. Now it’s time to bring the Altar tour to other territories other than home and we’re pretty excited to play in capitals like Berlin or London, but also we will cross the ocean soon for a tour in the States and try to take it from there.

The Gift’s video for their single “Big Fish”, produced by their own label (La Folie), was released on April 6th to celebrate the digital release of their album. The video took its audience on a creative, visual journey to a parallel universe, inspired by Hollywood in the 50s.

Their new music video was definitely very fun to watch, but we asked Sónia to let us in on how fun it was to film.

Well, what’s there not to be fun when you come from Portugal’s winter time and land in Rio to record on a swimming pool, with cocktails and beautiful people? We had a great time especially with the beautiful Brazilian Deengers from Curitiba which just brought the whole thing to another level of fun.

Her favorite scene to film was the club scene, when they were “dancing with everyone [and] with the amazing Deengers,” as she is very much into what they do.

We also asked questions about “The Gift” as whole, and Sónia revealed to us some of the ups and downs about their journey in the past twenty years.

As a band, you all collectively look after one another, but we understand that it goes further than that and into collectively owning your own label and managing yourselves as a band well. Does it ever get hard finding the balance between retention and Productivity?

In a time everyone else relied on labels to do everything and were disappointed when they didn’t, we decided to take things into our own hands. Twenty years ago. It is always a learning process as taking care of a band and a label and booking our own shows in Portugal it’s never an easy job but what brings The Gift together is our unbreakable friendship and doing music which is creative.

She also talked about their future of the band: who they would like to work with, and what they’d like to achieve.

With whom would you hope to one day collaborate with?

Many people but on top of my personal list would be Damon Albarn (Blur/Gorillaz) and Neil Tennant from Pet Shop Boys. As far as producers go the stakes are high after Brian and Flood ;)

What else do you hope to achieve in these next couple years?

Being happy is the whole message behind our music and we try to reflect through it the different colours and shades that exist in trying to feel good about who you are and the music you play. Ambition takes a different turn when your career is already over 20 years long, but I believe the goals are still pretty much the same: play music that matters and that makes us feel good.

We would like to thank Sónia Taveres for giving us her time and answering our questions about The Gift and Altar.

Make sure to watch the music video for “Big Fish” below, and to visit their official website where international links to download their available single.

Tweet us @CelebMix which song you like best from their album!


Written by Laura Huynh

California gal studying media and entertainment at UC Berkeley. Big fan of music, and big believer in Fate. Feel free to call me, beep me at laurahuynh17@gmail.com or @laurahuynh. xx