Tiago Bettencourt and Mantha arrived in 2007 as a solo project for the vocalist of the already established and well-liked band Toranja. Born in 1979 in Coimbra (although he later moved to Lisbon), he had racked up sales of better than 60,000 units for both of Toranja's albums, 2003's Esquissos and the follow-up, Segundo, in addition to garnering a handful of nominations from the MTV Music Awards.
Toranja's indefinite hiatus in 2006 provided him with the opportunity, and he set out to form his own group with drummer João Lencastre and bass player Tiago Maia. The trio headed to Montreal in 2007 for the recording of his first solo disc. The record was produced by Howard Bilerman, Montreal rock veteran and producer of Arcade Fire's Funeral. Following the disc's completion and release, Bettencourt and his band returned to Portugal for a series of club appearances throughout the nation.
O Jardim (The Garden), released by Polydor in October 2007, was warmly received and reached the Top 40 of the Portuguese charts -- thanks in no small part to the single "Cançao Simples." Second album Em Fuga followed in 2010, and Bettencourt also lent his talents as a celebrity duet partner to the Portuguese television show Sing for Me. He wasted no time with his third album, releasing Tiago Na Toca & Os Poetas in 2011. Acústico arrived the following year, featuring unplugged versions of his material, with guests including Concerto Moderno, Lura, and Jorge Palma. ~ Evan C. Gutierrez