Pabllo Vittar has spent quite a lot of time in Miami lately. The Brazilian drag superstar headlined the inaugural Wynwood Pride festival last month (the singer’s first time performing in Miami) and was in town last week to present at Premios Juventud. During Pride Month, Vittar extended her successful Não Para Não Tour to the States, where it stopped in many cities for the first time to perform at local LGBTQ celebrations. After taking New York’s WorldPride stage alongside Grace Jones and Madonna, she “cement[ed] her status as a global music icon,” Vogue declared.
Now, Vittar is gearing up to release her first trilingual album as a gift to the international fan base she’s built over the past few years. At a time when leaders both in Brazil and the United States enact anti-LGBTQ policies, Vittar says it brings her joy to see queer artists celebrated in the way she has been hailed over the past few months. Vittar has been an outspoken critic of Brazil's far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, whose words and actions — despite facing some pushback from other governmental bodies — have made many parts of the country unsafe for LGBTQ people.
The Pride movement, then, has faced a critical year around the world, which makes the actions of community members and allies all the more important. Wynwood Pride, seen by many as an exciting development for Miami’s LGBTQ community, faced harsh criticism from local groups because of the local event company Swarm’s questionable financial support of the community. On a national scale, many of the very same U.S. companies that drape themselves in rainbow regalia throughout June end up donating millions to anti-gay politicians (presumably money earned through the elevated support of LGBTQ consumers). Vittar acknowledges it’s not that different in her home country.
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“I just would like for companies to be mindful and genuine,” she muses. “I’m always talking — especially in Brazil — about how important it is to keep LGBTQ people in mind for more than just the month of June. We need to be vigilant [of] people and companies who promote our cause just as a way of earning money. [Companies] need to know that it’s more than just rainbow flags that people look for during Pride Month; tangible support is even more important. I know of different companies in Brazil that only do it for the money, but I also know some companies and organizations that do help LGBTQ+ people year-round.”
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With a monumental Pride Month in her rearview mirror, a reflective Vittar is planning the next phase of her career. She's spent much of July preparing for the release of “Flash Pose,” her collaboration with Charli XCX and the lead single off her upcoming third album, 111. The song, which will be her first in English, is due out this Thursday, July 25. Vittar will perform it for the first time at Orlando’s Zumba Instructor Convention the following day. Vittar has been using the branded dance workout as a platform to launch her music. Zumba partnered with Vittar to help launch "Caliente," her 2018 collab with singer Lali, and most recently created exclusive choreography for her single “Buzina.”
“Flash Pose” marks a pivotal moment in her career and signals that 111 could expand her international impact. But Vittar asserts she’s making music in other languages to connect with her non-Lusophone fans who’ve learned her lyrics in the past, not to “cross over” internationally to achieve mainstream stardom stateside.
“It’s awesome when people here in the U.S. sing along to my songs and tell me that they’re big fans of my music,” she says. “I’m happy with my status, and I love to mix in popular elements in my music, whether that’s ‘mainstream’ or not. And I don’t want to make music with the intent of trying to cross over; I want to do what I like and create my own world — Pabllo’s world.”
Pabllo Vittar. Friday, July 26, at the Zumba Instructor Convention, 9801 International Dr., Orlando. Registration costs $499 via convention.zumba.com.