In countries like the U.S. and the U.K., many popular drag queens make music, but they aren’t largely known for doing so. In fact, music often seems like a side gig for most of the artists, and very few have made any real commercial impact with their singles and albums.
In Brazil, however, the situation is a bit different thanks to one rising talent.
Pabllo Vittar is a drag queen, but her focus is squarely on her music career. She has been releasing music consistently since 2017, delivering five full-length albums in just six years, and that’s to say nothing of singles, remixes, EPs, and more.
To date, Vittar has charted nine top 40 hits on the Brazilian charts – a performance rarely seen among drag queens who are also musicians. She’s earned plenty of platinum records, and in her own way, she’s a proper star in her home country (and to many LGBTQ fans around the world as well).
Vittar recently released her fifth album Noitada, which includes a collaborative single with 2023 Best New Artist Grammy nominee Anitta. The two have worked together before, and clearly they have amazing chemistry.
We spoke with Vittar about her new album, working with Anitta, and why she’s chosen to pursue her music career in this manner when so many others haven’t been able to make it work.
Congrats on the new album! Tell me what it’s about.
Thank you! This album is all about nightlife and how a night out with me would be. It tells a story from the beginning to the end of it.
How does this album differ from your previous material?
My last album was super solar and all about my heritage and an homage to some of the amazing artists I used to listen to when growing up. On this album, I wanted to show a little bit more of who I am right now and put together more contemporary beats that have a nocturnal vibe to the album.
Tell me about this awesome new single with Anitta.
I just love Anitta and we were talking about another song together for a long time but couldn’t find the right one. We wanted to bring something fresh and current, that wouldn’t sound like anything we’ve done before.
What makes you want to pursue your music career in drag versus out of drag?
I have sung since I was a child but I couldn’t find myself as an artist until I started doing drag. The combination of singing and performing as a drag queen is the way I found to really show who I am as an artist.
Do you perform out of drag? Or, do you ever do drag shows that don’t involve your music?
I don’t remember ever performing out of drag before and I don’t know if I would be comfortable doing so. I already hosted some TV shows in Brazil that don’t involve music, but most of the time it is.
What struggles have you faced forging a career in music as a drag queen?
We didn’t see that many drag queens in the music mainstream in Brazil, so the hardest part was to fight the prejudice that I, as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, suffer every day. It wasn’t any different in the industry and sometimes still is.
Talk about the importance of you living your life and performing authentically.
[The] Brazilian LGBTQ community faces so many hardships. For me the most important thing is to show younger generations that they can be who they really are and also respect what other people are!
Pabllo Vittar’s music is available on all major streaming services. Follow her on Instagram at @pabllovittar.
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