Dubbed the next Jennifer Lopez, with music likened to Beyonce and Rihanna, rising star Anitta tells us about her growing celebrity circles…
One Direction’s Liam Payne collaborated with Rita Ora and introduced us to J Balvin after collaborating with him on his latest hit Familiar and now we introduce you to a Brazilian singer who is so close to J Balvin that she calls him her ‘brother’ and has been in the studio with Rita.
Hey Anitta, tell us what you’ve been working on?
I’m doing songs in Spanish, English, Portuguese. Brazil is my first and biggest audience but now the work in Spanish is doing really good. I’ve been putting songs out in Spanish for one year, the market is so well. They are listening, it’s very good. It was better than we thought, so I’m really focused.
Which language is hardest?
I think the language hardest to sing is English and to talk is in Spanish. Because I learnt English first, I can talk it better but when I’m singing there are a lot of tricky accent things that I need to be helped with when I’m in the studio. Spanish is very similar to Portuguese but it’s not so different but English is more tricky. I did some accent course to try to speak not so Brazilian.
Have any of the English musicians been helping you out with English language – you’ve been hanging out with Rita Ora?…
Yeah, when I’m in the studio with people like Pharrell Williams and Rita they always ask me to sing in both language. They really like three languages in their songs. I like it too because it’s funny to listen to my voice in three different languages, it’s really nice.
What’s it like hanging out with them?
I’m a fan, Pharrell is a legend, he is so splendid and when you meet him you understand why because he is a very amazing person. And Rita, she’s like me. Her energy is great, she’s so sweet and humble – I’d really like to work with her.
Are there any plans for you to work with Rita?
I had fun with her in the studio, and sometimes we talk through social media. I’ve been a fan, she’s really big here in Brazil too so it was really good.
You’ve worked with J Balvin on a single…
He’s like a brother to me, I love him. I met him because I would like to do different things in my country so I don’t like to put out a single that’s like the last one. So I travelled to enjoy more music and culture and that’s how I met J Balvin. The song of J Balvin Ginza was huge that time but in Brazil nobody had listened so my first work with reggaeton was a remix in Portuguese with J Balvin in Brazil and it was the first time Brazil met him and now the relationship was growing up and growing up and now we are like a family, he’s like a brother.
He’s got a single with Liam Payne, did you get chance to meet him?
I met Liam in Brazil and I met all the guys from One Direction but the one I keep in contact with is Niall [Horan]. Niall is the one, we always talk. Me and Liam crossed in Mexico – because he was singing with a friend of mine and we were at the same event. Sometimes we cross with everybody but I am not so into Liam but we cross with everybody I’m not so in with Liam but of course I’ve heard his song and everything he does I listen and I love.
How does it feel to be put ahead of artists like Beyonce and Rihanna?
It’s so special, because I’m a fan of them – they were like my teacher. Beyonce I was always watching her things – it was too much. I’m just the start and I have a lot of things to learn and people comparing my work to them is something unbelievable too. I came from Brazil and the place I came from was very simple and very humble. It’s really hard to learn English and to learn music, so when you get something like this it’s unbelievable – I get really happy.’
You have a big fanbase on social media – 28.6m followers on Instagram – how do you cope?
My biggest audience is in Brazil because that was where it started and the second one is Spanish and now English. What I try to do is read what they are talking about and try to separate from a good critique and an idiot one.
Plans to come over to the UK?
I’m performing at the Royal Albert Hall – I don’t have so much time to travel but I’ve got other days in the year that I want to travel to promote other singles in English that I’m doing. Even with Rita, when she decides to put out our work together maybe I’ll come back to the UK more.
Would you like to perform on X Factor? – Rita was a judge on that show…
Yes of course, if it wasn’t a matter of time and distance I would do everything, because I have so busy schedules but if I have the days and anyone would invite me I would go anywhere in the world.
Anitta performs at the Royal Albert Hall in London on June 28, 2018. Tickets are available at LiveNation.co.uk