Welcome to Passport Playlist, our series where we take you on a trip around the world and introduce you to some great artists you may have never heard of before. We’re highlighting artists who may not have had international or mainstream success to bless your ears with undiscovered music from all across the globe!
Today we are traveling to Brazil, the largest country in Latin America that’s mainly known for soccer and samba, but there is so much more to it than that. You may have also heard of iconic figures like Gisele Bündchen, Anitta, and Rodrigo Santoro (yes, the guy from 300 and Rio). While Brazil has mostly been associated with samba when it comes to music since, well, forever, they have quite literally every possible style of music being made there (not that we don’t love samba, but don’t go thinking that’s the only genre going on there). And from some super talented people too! So, please allow us to introduce some of them to you.
São Paulo’s favorite drag queen, Glória Groove, is perfect to start this list. Why? Because she blends so many genres in her songs; Funk, R&B, pop, rap, you can hear all of these in her discography. Her big break came in 2018 with the song ‘Bumbum de Ouro.’ Her vocals are truly unique and her songs go from emotional tracks to songs that make you feel like you’re at a party just listening to them. And if you wanna know what else she’s up to, you should check out the reality show Nasce Uma Rainha on Netflix, which she hosted alongside fellow drag queen Alexia Twister. Also, fun fact, Glória is a voice actor, and responsible for the Brazilian dub of characters like Rico from Hannah Montana, Chase from Paw Patrol, King Ben from the Descendants movies, and more recently, Aladdin in the 2019 live-action!
Songs we recommend: ‘Coisa Boa’, ‘A Tua Voz’ and ‘Provocar’
Hailing from the “Cidade maravilhosa” (“marvelous city”), a.k.a Rio de Janeiro, IZA has been singing since she was 14 years old. She started by doing covers of some of our faves, such as Beyoncé, Rihanna, and Adele, and look at her now, walking around being as stunning as her fellow divas! IZA’s first full-length album, Dona de Mim, was released in 2018, and it’s only been uphill from there. IZA’s music is very heavily influenced by R&B, reggae, and pop. Her music is all about themes like positivity and social causes, like female empowerment. We. love. to. see. it! She also studied Advertising in college and has been a judge on The Voice Brasil since 2019. An absolute queen!
Songs we recommend: ‘Dona de Mim’, ‘Brisa’ and ‘Let Me Be The One’
Next on our list is Brazil’s very own king of emotional songs. Jão is one of those singers who has a very unique voice and songwriting style. His hopeless romantic nature shines through in everything he does since he released his debut single, ‘Dança pra Mim’ back in 2016. Two years after that, in 2018, his first full album, LOBOS, came out and it had everyone in their feels. The very next year, he gave us ANTI-HERÓI, his second album, just as emotional as the first (not that we’re complaining). And from his most recently released singles, ‘CORINGA’ and ‘AMOR PIRATA’, we can tell his next album may not have as many “sad boi vibes,” but it’ll be just as focused on feelings and the difficulties that come with having relationships.
Songs we recommend: ‘Vou Morrer Sozinho’, ‘Me Beija Com Raiva’ and ‘VSF’
The second drag queen on our list is none other than Pabllo Vittar. This iconic singer has had a lot of successes since her first single, ‘Open Bar’ (which is a version of Major Lazer’s ‘Lean On’), in 2015. Since then, it’s been hit after hit, and she even became the drag queen with the most followers on Instagram in the world! Her big break came during Carnaval 2017, with the song ‘Todo Dia,’ one of the singles from her debut album Vai Passar Mal. Her songs are a mix of genres like pop, electronic and forró (a typical style from the Brazilian northeastern region, where Vittar is from; specifically, she’s from São Luís, Maranhão). If you think her name sounds familiar, it’s most likely because of her collab with Charli XCX in ‘Flash Pose’ or ‘Man’s World Empress Of Remix’ with MARINA.
Songs we recommend: ‘MODO TURBO’, ‘Amor de Que’ and ‘Parabéns’
We are taking you all over Brazil on this Passport Playlist because the next member of this list is straight from Goiás and her name is Marília Mendonça, also known as “The Queen of Sofrência” (by the way, Sofrência is a word in Portuguese made up of two other words: “suffering” and “neediness”; yeah, it pretty much means “music for crying over a failed relationship … or celebrating the fact that you don’t have to worry about one”). Marília is a sertanejo singer, which is the Brazilian version of country music, meaning lots of talk of relationships, broken hearts, and alcohol. We just love the feels around here!
Songs we recommend: ‘Todo Mundo Vai Sofrer’, ‘Supera’ and ‘Serenata’
So, Seu Jorge. Has one of the longest careers on this list, seeing that he’s been singing since 1998. And there’s a reason why he’s been so successful for so long: his music is known by almost everyone in the country. Seriously, play ‘Burguesinha’ at a party full of Brazilians and see for yourself if you don’t believe us. Seu Jorge is one of the icons of MPB (Música Popular Brasileira, ou “Popular Brazilian Music”), and one of those singers everyone should listen to at some point in their lives. If you wanna feel like you’re at a Brazilian barbecue, Seu Jorge’s music is the place to start.
Songs we recommend: ‘Burguesinha’, ‘Amiga Da Minha Mulher’ and ‘Felicidade’
The oldest and probably most iconic member of this list is the Queen of Brazilian Rock herself: Rita Lee. Her music influenced so many musicians over the years, especially women, how awesome is that? Most of her songs have been talking about female empowerment for decades, usually with a good dose of sarcasm and acid humor as well. And on top of being one of the most talented artists in the country, she’s also an activist, constantly speaking out on behalf of the causes she believes in and never afraid of what others might say about her for it. One heck of an example to be followed, we’d say.
Songs we recommend: ‘Reza’, ‘Erva Venenosa’ and ‘Amor e Sexo’
You can get a feel for these artists with our Passport Playlist – Brazil playlist below!
Which Brazilian artists will you be checking out? What other countries should we visit with Passport Playlist? Let us know in the comments below or by tweeting us @TheHoneyPOP!
Discover more artists from around the world with more Passport Playlist here.
Featured Image Source: Jazmin Williams/The Honey POP