Sofi Tukker, the American duo who broke out behind the iPhone-X-ad-synced single “Best Friend,” recruited the Brazilian pop star and noted drag queen Pabllo Vittar for a remix of “Energia.”
It’s an easy union. “Energia” is high energy, all-purpose club music. Vittar sings with the grandeur of Nineties house vocalists; the bass line pumps; the drums pound; everything wraps up in under three minutes. The clip is full of quick cuts between the three performers and gorgeous shots of Portugal, where it was filmed.
This marks Vittar’s third recent collaboration with an act in the English-speaking mainstream following Major Lazer’s “Sua Cara” and Charli XCX’s “I Got It.” Vittar’s gradual infiltration of Top 40 pop reflects a larger trend: Brazilian music is reaching a global audience with new frequency.
Baile funk, the country’s speedy hip-hop variant, now routinely launches videos into YouTube’s Top 100 — see singles from MC Kevinho (“Olha a Explosão”), MC Kekel e MC Rita (“Amor de Verdade”) and MC G15 (“Cara Bacana”). Partially because of this, Portuguese-speaking Brazilian acts and Spanish-speaking reggaetoneros are working together more frequently, with impressive results. Anitta has teamed up with the Colombian superstars Maluma (“Si O No”) and J Balvin (“Downtown”); Maluma reworked a Brazilian hit (Nego do Borel’s “Você Partiu Meu Coração”) for his own single “Corazon.”
These songs have, in turn, started to filter into the U.S.: “Corazon,” for example, climbed to Number One at Latin radio in the U.S. earlier this year, and Balvin and Anitta’s “Machika” followed suit in March. The commercial success of many of these collaborations all but ensures that Brazilian singers will continue to make inroads Stateside.