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Hispanic Heritage Month: Anitta and Latino Culture [in Portuguese] | | Opinion

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Daniel Da Silva

Brazilian pop star Anitta became the first Brazilian solo female performer to win an MTV Music Award at the 2022 ceremony, performing Bad Bunny, Daddy Yankee for her reggaeton track “Envolver” from her recent album Versions. Beat Best Latin Entries such as my. “

A household name in Latin America, Anitta’s award marks the American music industry’s recognition of Brazil’s contribution to Latino popular music, but it is not without ambiguity.

“Envolver” first gained a wide audience on TikTok and features Anitta singing in Spanish instead of Brazilian Portuguese. “Versions of Me” was produced to reach an English-language consumer, but was a viral phenomenon in Spanish-language reggaeton, in which the Brazilian performer turned to American mainstream popular music for Latino culture within her scene. I have a new representative.

In anticipation of her album’s release, The New York Times commented, “No solo female pop artist from Brazil has ever been a star in North America,” suggesting Anitta could be the first. suggests.

As a representative of cultural Latin music often marketed in vague terms to North American consumers, she follows in the footsteps of 1940s Brazilian performer and Hollywood star Carmen Miranda.

Throughout, Miranda expressed notions of exoticism and otherness that dovetailed nicely with the Hollywood studio Latin craze. She was parodied and remembered for her fruity headdress, but her incomprehension in speaking Brazilian Portuguese was just as often caricatured.

We may not be far from that punchline.On MTV’s official YouTube channel, Anitta can be seen performing “Envolver” live at the awards ceremony, with parenthesized subtitles telling viewers She”[singing in Portuguese]’ Um, close enough?

Latino popular culture is back in vogue and the new Brazilian bombshell is the star of the moment. Like the funk repertoire that arose from the slums of Brazil, it would be better to register Brazilian characteristics as Latino culture.

Anitta argued during the performance as “Envolver” faded into the Brazilian funk rhythms of her 2017 hit “Vai Malandra,” saying, “I didn’t mean to shake my ass tonight.” are you?” I yelled. We can sway our position with her in the hope that Brazil’s position within the rich Latino terrain will not be flattened.

Daniel da Silva is Assistant Professor of Portuguese Language and Russo-Afro-Brazilian Culture at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, and author of Black Mothers and Black Boats: Queer, in Ney Mato Grosso’s Mãe Preta (Barc Negro). Indigenous and Afro-Brazilian Intersections in Ney Matogrosso”. .

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