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  • Writer's pictureFleur Menezes

Junior Eurovision 2023 Portugal profile: 'Where I Belong' by Júlia Machado

Photo Credit Junior Eurovision tv

This year, Portugal will be represented at Junior Eurovision 2023 by Júlia Machado, performing her ballad 'Where I belong’'.

Read on below for more details about the entry, the artist, and the history of Portugal at Junior Eurovision!

About the artist: Júlia Machado

12-year-old Júlia Machado hails from New Jersey, USA. Her parents are from Portugal and she grew up spending her summer holidays living with her grandparents in the small town of Monsanto do Ribatejo.

In her spare time, she can be found performing in her local theatre in New Jersey. She enjoys singing, cycling and is an active member of the Portuguese club in her home state. When Júlia is in Portugal, she loves surfing in Nazaré which is a popular seaside town located on the Silver Coast (Costa de Prata) known for its big waves. Júlia is an aspiring veterinarian but will consider focusing on a singing career as well.

Júlia earned her ticket to Nice by winning the Portuguese edition of The Voice Kids. She performed Part of Your World’ from the The Little Mermaid soundtrack as her winning song. Júlia states that winning the competition was “her dream”. She had temporarily moved to Portugal to enter the competition.

Júlia is a strong advocate for standing up to bullying behaviour and is a victim herself. She describes her Junior Eurovision selection as “an opportunity” to get away from the United States.

About the song: 'Where I Belong'

Júlia Marchado says “'Where I Belong' is the story about a trip and all the uncertainties and risks that the search for a better place can involve. The story of someone who lives in a dark and sad place and tries to find a brighter life. A place you can call home. It is a scream of solidarity for all those going through a similar situation”. The song will be performed in Portuguese and English.

'Where I Belong' was written by Fernando Daniel, João Direitinho, Aurora Pinto and Luís 'Twins' Pereira.

Daniel was Júlia’s coach on The Voice Kids. He himself won The Voice: Portugal in 2016. He previous cowrote ‘O rapaz’ for Simão Oliveira who was his protegé in The Voice Kids in 2021. Most notably Daniel finished in 5th place to Salvador Sobral at the 2017 edition of Festival da Canção. Sobral famously became Portugal’s first ever winner of the Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv that year.

Twins also has a Eurovision connection. He co-wrote ‘Ai coração’ with Mimicat which finished in 23rd place in Liverpool this year.

Portugal in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest

This is Portugal’s seventh foray in the contest. Their debut was in 2006 when Pedro Madeira finished in 14th place out of 15 entries with ‘Deixa-me sentir’. Their 2007 entry finished in the same position and the broadcaster decided to forgo the opportunity for the next 9 years.

Portugal returned to the competition in 2017 after Sobral’s win at Eurovision and have continued their presence at Junior Eurovision since, with the exception of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 2022 provided the Iberian nation their best result with Nicolas Alves finishing in 8th place at Yerevan with his song ‘Anos 70’. This was the first time that Portugal finished in the top 10 at Junior Eurovision.

Junior Eurovision 2023 will be held in Nice, France on 26 November 2023 (27 November 2023 in Australia).

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