Pabllo Vittar on being a political figure, new music and Charli XCX

Brazilian superstar PABLLO VITTAR has had an enormous rise over recent years, exploding onto the scene in 2014, becoming the world’s most followed drag queen, appearing on both CharliXCX‘s mixtape, Pop 2 and her album, Charli, and releasing her own music including the 2019 hit, ‘Flash Pose’ taken from her forthcoming album, 111. She’s amassed billions of streams and views, was the first drag queen ever to win an MTV Europe Music Award in 2019 and has collaborated with the likes of Major LazerCharli XCXSofi TukkerAnitta, and Diplo.

She’s also been heralded as a symbol of hope for the LGBTQI+ community, globally but more particularly in Brazil where her community’s rights have been under attack from a discriminatory government. In the face of adversity and in the face of all those who are against her very existence, Pabllo Vittar refuses to fade away and instead continues to shine brighter and brighter with everything she does.

Ahead of her appearance at this year’s Mardi Gras in Sydney, we got to know Vittar a little better to talk new records, the pressures of being a political figure and what she’s looking forward to here in Australia. Read it all below!

You’ve spoken about how your favourite part of your career is the connection you have with your fans and your community, and the messages you’ve received saying you’ve helped people. Do you think this direct connection helps keep you grounded and focused on why you got started in this industry in the first place?

I’ve always been very down to earth, and I have a wonderful team and fans. This connection is always essential. In addition, I am also aware of the responsibility of my work and the love I feel for my audience, which would not even be different, right? (laughs). 

Being a political figure can be extremely exhausting – what do you do to make sure you’re looking after yourself mentally, physically and spiritually?

Doing what you love and being with people who understand your work is very important. 

You’ve had some amazing successes in your career – what has been a personal highlight for you so far?

I hope that it’s still to come (laughs). Because I have so much gratitude and affection for what I have lived so far, I cannot highlight a single moment. Each event is important in my trajectory in music. 

You’ve been proclaimed as a beacon of home for LGBTQI+ Brazilians – do you ever feel any pressure with this title? Does this affect your music at all or does it encourage you to be bolder and brighter than before?

No way. In fact, it is a great responsibility, but I also understand that my image can contribute to these actions that expand the debate and visibility for different topics. 

You’ve collaborated with the likes of Major Lazer, Sofi Tukker and more, but your collaborations with Charli XCX just feel special in a whole different way. Do you think this comes from being friends as well as working together?

Every partnership I had was very special, and the one with Charli XCX was also like that. We really get along well. 

You’re now bound for Mardi Gras in Sydney this year which is the most iconic LGBTQI+ night in Australia. What does it mean to you to be able to perform internationally at major pride events now?

I’m excited to be with everyone at Mardi Gras. It is going to be a really amazing day! I am very honored and happy to perform on different stages. I want to take the message and joy of my music to every possible place. I think this connection around art is incredible. 

You’ve just released part one of your 111 Eps, with the second part coming in 2020. Part one shows you experimenting more with your sound and trying new things, and it also sounds so confident and bold. How did it feel to release something this powerful in 2019?

This is the third album of my career and the first in which I sing in English and Spanish, in addition to Portuguese. I was able to experience myself even more in 111 and this is special, because I manage to bring news in line with what I think, a little of how I am and the regional music I grew up listening to. 

Can we expect more of this from part two in 2020? What else are you hoping to achieve this year?

A lot of music! I have a North American tour, concerts at various festivals around the world and the release of music videos and the second part of the album “111”. There will also be some surprises, of course (laughs).

MARDI GRAS PARTY 2020
Sat 29 February – Hordern Pavillion – Moore Park
10pm – 8am
Final release tickets on sale now at $221.95 + transaction fees at
mardigras.org.au

Interview by Emma Jones

Image: Ernna Cost

About:

Three-time uni dropout who just can’t stop telling people about this great new song she’s found.