David Couto

BIOGRAPHY:
David Couto was born in the U.S.A. to Portuguese parents Candido and Ana Couto. He spent time during the year in the U.S.A and his summers in Portugal for as long as he can remember. Growing up, his grandmother in Portugal would play old tapes of recordings by Amalia. They would hear "O Cochicho" in the living room or "Marcha dos Milagres" in their room. "Granted this wasn't Fado, I was exposed to Amalia from an early age. It wasn't until much later on, when I was around 17 years old, that I became captivated with Fado." One day while at home, David decided to look up Portuguese music and found Mariza. He listened to "Barco Negro", and thought to himself, "I know this song". He researched it more, heard Amalia's version, and fell in love. About a year later, he visited the National Pantheon (Igreja de Santa Engracia) and found himself face to face with the tomb of Amalia da Piedade de Rodrigues, the only tomb in the entire pantheon decorated with flowers. There he met a lady who told him she was a friend of Amalia's. She said to him, "I don't understand how a person so
wealthy, and so prestigious in society could be so humble... Amalia fell ill many times and I often asked God that if he were to take her life, that he would take mine instead." David's grandmother then told the stranger that he sang Fado, and the lady grabbed David, hugged him, and began to cry. She then told him, "Continue with Amalia's work. She needs it." David responded, "I promise". And so today, granted he may be different from so many traditional Fadistas, with a style rarely matched in similarity, he stands strong and proud representing his culture and his people, not only because he loves his Portuguese heritage, but because ultimately, he made a promise, "and those who know me, also know that I never go back on my word." 
Having won many recognitions and awards for work supporting human rights, wildlife conservation, and cultural activism in the Portuguese community, David Couto is a firm believer in following your dreams, and being yourself. "We only live once, and we should be who we really are, loving
every moment of every day, being grateful for all the blessings which we so often take for granted."
Being an animal lover and passionate wildlife conservation activist, David is currently a Veterinary Assistant, and a volunteer at Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange, NJ. Having graduated with an Associate's of Liberal Arts, he will most
likely be pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Wildlife Conservation and minoring in something more culturally-based. Aside from Fado, David's many other hobbies include painting, hiking, and human rights/environmental activism.