5 Brazilian Pop Musicians To Know
Brazil is going through a very exciting pop music renaissance. There are several promising musicians with global aspirations popping up every single day!
If you're not in the loop, here are a few of my recommendations:
Anitta is the biggest thing in Brazilian pop music right now. Her musical roots come from the "Brazilian funk melody" genre, but her latest effort "BANG!" marked an unapologetic transition into pop music. Anitta's global aspirations have been loud and clear, going as far as producing an English version for the single "BANG!" and releasing a fully bilingual track, "Sim Ou Não," with Colombian artist Maluma.
Interestingly enough, the Fine Brothers' YouTube channel seemed to notice Anitta's success and went on to do a "Teens React To Anitta" video. She was also invited by Warner Music Group to be featured in a panel during Cannes 2015, where she was interviewed in English and had the opportunity to present her work to a global audience.
Most recently, Anitta sang along with veteran Brazilian musicians Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games' Opening Ceremony, having caught the attention of Los Angeles Times, Billboard, E! News, and many others.
Karol Conka was also featured in the Rio 2016 Opening Ceremony, but unfortunately she had a much smaller role than Anitta. Karol is currently the most active and outspoken rapper Brazil has in terms of female empowerment and race issues.
Her sound is very dancey and international, having caught the attention of radio presenter Ebro Darden, who in February 2016 played several tracks off of Karol Conka's "Batuk Freak" (2014) album. Even back in 2014, before any talks of Olympic exposure, Rolling Stone Magazine had called her one of the "10 New Artists You Need To Know."
Silva is by far one of the greatest musicians among this new generation of pop in Brazil. His video for "Feliz E Ponto" – seen above – became an instant viral sensation that propelled his career to new heights. I was already a fan since his previous effort, "Ocean View" (2014), but it was the "Júpiter" (2016) album that really introduced Silva to the masses.
It is rare to find a Brazilian pop artist whose sound is so complex and layered, since much of the country's pop spectrum revolves around high energy, straight-to-the-point melodies with mass appeal. Silva's work is a kind of quiet, spacey pop, reminding me of Frank Ocean, Lorde, and The Weeknd (when he first came out).
Liniker is a phenomenon. If you enjoyed how Frank Ocean dabbled with gender-free aesthetics, Liniker is, like, the absolute next-level thing.
But the most brilliant thing about Liniker is how talented he is, and how his appearance breaks through even the most conservative audiences. His music is like a melting sweet spot, with lyrics that utilize mostly plain words that find new meanings and visit different contexts.
Liniker's live performances are quasi-spiritual experiences of introspection, healing, and empowerment. They feel like a group therapy among those who feel misunderstood. That's the whole shtick with Liniker: how simple his complexities look. How average and normal this half-man-half-woman musician seems even to those who insist on the binary cisgender order of things.
Ludmilla is another huge name in Brazilian pop music right now. She is put in the same category of sound and style as Anitta, but there's little to no competition between these two, who constantly make sure they aren't pitted against one another. Though Ludmilla hasn't been as clear as Anitta regarding her international aspirations, her aesthetic seems to expand her Brazilian limitations further and further every day.
"Hoje", Ludmilla's 2014 album, successfully released several hit songs such as "Hoje," "24 Horas Por Dia," and "Morrer De Viver."
Other Great Artists
I like to keep my posts short, but truth is: there are dozens and dozens of Brazilian pop musicians that I'd like to recommend.
So here it is! I created a Spotify playlist with everything I'd like you to give a listen to, including Lexa, Jaloo, Daya Luz, Bernardo Falcone, Lorena Simpson, Jullie, Rico Dalassam, and many others. I plan to keep updating this playlist as I go, so make sure to follow it on Spotify to keep in touch with the very best Brazilian pop recommendations.