Sobral was born in
Lisbon and has lived there most of his life. He was born into a formerly noble family,
 the son of Salvador Luís Cabral Braamcamp Sobral and Luísa Maria Cabral Posser Vilar. His paternal grandparents are Salvador José de Almeida Braamcamp Sobral and Maria Elisa Perestrelo de Matos de Figueiredo Cabral; and his maternal grandparents are João Luís Posser de Andrade Vilar and Luísa Maria de Melo Breyner Freire Cabral. The politician
Hermano José Braamcamp de Almeida Castelo Branco was his great-great-great-great-grandfather.
At the age of ten, he participated in the TV programme Bravo Bravíssimo, and at 20 he was one of the ten finalists of
Ídolos, the Portuguese version of the
Idols franchise. As a finalist, he sang music by
Leonard Cohen and
Psychology at the
Instituto Superior de Psicologia Aplicada , in
Lisbon. He spent time in
Mallorca as an
Erasmus student, where he started singing in bars.
Salvador Sobral is a fan of
Chet Baker and
bossa nova singers including
Caetano Veloso and
 He speaks five languages: Portuguese, Spanish, English, a little Italian and Catalan.