Mike Couto places in top four for the International Portuguese Music Awards

By Zarrin Tasnim Ahmed | Apr 18, 2016
Photo by: Zarrin Tasnim Ahmed Mike Couto poses with his guitar by the Wareham River.

Wareham resident Mike Couto, is one of the top four finalists for the International Portuguese Music Awards "People's Choice" contest. The winners will be announced at the award ceremony, held on April 23 and starting at 7:30 p.m. at the Zeiteron Theater.

Couto, who is of Portuguese descent, is one of four nominees in the “Traditional Songs” category. The comedic song he entered in the contest, called, “A Real Azorean Guy,” may also win the "People's Choice" category, in which participants all around the world voted for their favorite song.

The music awards recognize outstanding achievements in the music industry by artists of Portuguese ancestry. Based in Fall River, this year marks the fourth annual contest and awards ceremony.

"I played in a lot of Irish pubs," said Couto, though his father is from the Portuguese Azores. "I usually work on St. Patty's Day."

By request, he's learned Irish tunes, and entertained audiences with his music on many a St. Patrick's Day.

But the fact he is a man of Portuguese descent working in Irish pubs, singing Irish songs, isn't lost on his listeners. When people ask why he focuses on Irish music, rather than Portuguese, he jokingly answers, “There aren't too many Portuguese pubs.”

"I decided to write a song that explains it," Couto said.

"A Real Azorean Guy" pays homage to his Portuguese ancestry. The YouTube video has a photo story that accompanies the lyrics, which Couto put together himself. It shows the church in Sao Roque, on the island of Sao Miguel, where his father was baptized 108 years ago. As the song progresses, so does the story, moving from his father to himself. In the process, he also explains his close ties with Irish friends and Irish folk music. By the end of the song, he questions, “Am I a real Azorean guy?” and answers “I'm an Irish-Portugee.”

The uptempo comedic song was recorded in Flatbubba Records and submitted to the contest in November.

Couto said he knew his song was nominated for a spot in the "Traditional Songs" category in February, but didn't know about the nomination for "People's Choice" until March 5.

Though he submitted two comedic songs to the competition, only “A Real Azorean Guy” made it to the nomination process.

Although winning the competition would be amazing, Couto said he's being careful about getting his hopes up, and is thankful for how far he's gotten.

“I'm happy to be nominated,” Couto said. "Not to overshoot the analogy, but Leo was nominated six times before he won – to be nominated is a big thrill."

Preceding the awards show will be a black tie gala event with a red carpet entrance at the Cultural Center in Fall River on April 22 at 7 p.m. The show will be held on April 23 at the Zeiterion Theater in New Bedford, starting at 7:30 p.m. Following the show, there will be an after party at The Cove Restaurant and Marina in Fall River.

To listen to Couto's songs, visit his website www.mikecouto.com. His song, “A Real Azorean Guy,” is on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ctliE1PXBIo.

Comments (2)
Posted by: Society for Suppression of Noise | Mar 23, 2016 18:16

Delightful song!  I voted for ya, Mike, but had to remove an "a" in the web address above.

Posted by: totellthetruth | Mar 23, 2016 18:55

GREAT!!!!!!!! Song Mike. Ireally enjoyed it, and I'm not a big music fan. Loved the pictures of Mom And Dad and Fairhaven.   Thanks.

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