Anitta’s artistic talent is beyond impressive. She possesses the skills, style, and attitude it takes to become a superstar on the music scene. At 27, Larissa de Macedo Machado — her birth name — has already released five records, each of them different from the other. All of these albums are original, a word she likes to use when defining herself. It is not surprising that she has established herself as the number one singer in Brazil and the queen of global pop only ten years into her career. In a candid interview with HOLA! USA, Anitta reflects on her humble beginnings in the neighborhoods of Rio de Janeiro and her rise to stardom as the Queen of Brazilian pop.
She has been her own agent since she was 21 years old. The singer was born in the humble favela of Honorio Gurgel. This did not stop Anitta. Her vision of scaling and taking over the musical landscape is not a coincidence. She has a perfectly planned marketing strategy which has single handedly been crucial to her success. Anitta has (only on IG) over 49 million followers, let alone millions of followers in fan clubs worldwide. Her social media reach has had an incredible impact on her global market presence. Everything she has accomplished has positioned her as the tenth most relevant artist on the planet.
Topics of her songs include women empowerment, love, and fun which have been successful everywhere. Anitta has collaborated with J Balvin, Maluma, Cardi B, Snoop Dog and Madonna, among others. Let’s fully appreciate all Anitta has to offer as we get to know her in this sincere and thoughtful interview.
Every person controls their own path. We should not listen to what other people have to say about the decisions we make for our future. My advice is to follow your intuition and your dreams because you have to believe in yourself.
Anitta: Very sad because I was here, canceling many things. I was going to sing at Coachella. I had many television interviews, a lot of launchings ... and then I was discouraged about all that. Later, I realized that I was forced to be indoors, which made me think a lot. I realized that I have been in my house all this time, I have this house for a long time, and I had never slept more than a week in it. That helped me to realize how important my life is and to value some time for myself. I took advantage of that time to study and be more with my dogs, mother, and family. It helped me rest, eat things that I can’t while on tour or traveling the world. Later, there was another moment when I released a song in Italian, it was a great success in Italy, and I had to go there to take advantage of the success of the song. I didn’t stop working, and those two have been different moments that I have spent in this quarantine.
I try not to think so much about this so as not to go crazy because there are too many things that happen, events, people ... new things that happen in my life that I try not to get confused in the weight it has. I prefer to be calm and think that things have changed, but I am not aware of my work’s size or how people see me as I believe I am fine like that.
I don’t know if at precisely 30, but it’s my plan because I’ve been working here in Brazil a lot for ten years, and I’m the type of person who really loves to dedicate myself to what I’m doing; I’m very demanding. For this reason, I want to have my family moment, so when I do this, I prefer to stop singing because, with all this life as a hefty singer, a routine that demands a lot from me, I would like to have time for my family. Besides, I have other jobs. I’m not just a singer, I was my manager. I was the manager of other artists here in Brazil. I don’t want to be over 35 and not be a mom.
I was a very playful girl, and I still am. I still have that same personality when I was little because I always had this way of being with many jokes, very relaxed. I remember playing a lot on the street with my friends. The bad things had to do with the reality I saw of the other children. My family is from humble origins, and the tricky part was wanting to do some things and not being able or having the opportunity or the resources.
I chose the name from a Brazilian soap opera. I loved the character of Anitta so much. She didn’t like being just one type of woman. She enjoyed waking up every day and being a different woman. I would listen to someone talk about her. I thought that this is how I wanted to be; a different woman every day. I love the idea of being many women in one.
I was both because I made many pranks and crazy things in school, but I also had the best grades. I love studying up until today. When they used to call my mother from school, they used to tell her that I had to let the other children study because I was doing well with grades, but the others weren’t, so they told her to tell me to behave better.
Oh ... I think the most significant mischief I did — and this is terrible (laughs), was that at the end of the year, when I realized that my crazy friends had awful grades, they found a way to get the test before it started and I did the whole thing so they could get good grades. It was madness! What happened was that I already had my good grades and only went to school to do this kind of crazy thing. Now I don‘t see it as something funny (laughs).
The truth is that my grandfather played piano in churches when I was 7-years-old. The first time I sang was at 7 with my grandfather in the churches in Rio de Janeiro. I did that for almost 10 years without stopping. That was my first connection with music and where I learned everything with my grandfather.
The moment I decided that I wanted to be famous was all from a very young age. I said that I wanted to be a renowned singer, and I always said to my family, “When I am a singer, I will do this or that.” It was something very present in my head, I was very sure since I was a child. I don’t know where I got these ideas from, but I told my parents when I was 5-years-old.
I listened a lot to Mariah Carey and Luis Miguel. My mom and my aunts have always been their fans. They spent all day listening to their music, so I ended up becoming a fan too.
Yes, I met Mariah, she was lovely to me. Luis Miguel, not yet. We always communicate with Mariah, and the day I met her, she treated me very well, and I told her that I became a singer because of her. My first contact with music was when I listened to her album when I was very young. It was a fascinating time.
I uploaded a video to YouTube singing, and I had some friends who worked at local parties in Rio de Janeiro, in favelas. They called me to do a test to see if I would start singing in the favelas, and it was when I realized that I had an open door to make myself known.
Of course! For many, like my dad, for example, he didn‘t like the idea and told me, “You are not going to do this, you studied so much to end up like this, singing in the favelas!” I said, “Yes, this is what I want because it is a path that will serve me until it becomes known.” That’s when I thought I really had a chance to get started in the world of music. In the favelas, there are no fears, because I am from there. It didn’t scare me at all, it didn’t scare me like my dad, for example.
Never. People treat me very well and are always supporting me. For me, it is something familiar, it is like being in my place. I belong to this world, so it’s something that doesn’t bother me.
I have a good one that happened to me as a singer… at these favela parties, we were there once, and I realized that the stage was very improvised. At that time, I worked with my mother and my brother. I said to my mother, “Look, this platform is going to fall at any moment.” Well, my time to sing came, and I went on stage without moving. I was standing still without moving a single leg. I finished my show, which was like three songs, and I went out. The party owner saw me and said, “But this girl doesn’t have any energy. We hired her, we paid her, and she didn’t dance, she didn’t do anything.” Then a group came after my presentation… they got on the stage, and I swear to God it sounded like a big boom! Everyone fell to the ground, and all the people in the audience started running scared. My mother told me, “It’s good that you didn’t move.”
It was a stage for growth because I did not earn a lot of money. I was winning little by little, and I saved until one day, I saved enough. The first thing I did was buy a car, but a terrible car, used and all. But it helped me to go to my concerts and not pay for transportation. Later, I saved more money and made my first music video, and then my work got a little more expensive, with dresses, suits… it started to go much better for me.
Well, I already married, and I already separated (laughs). I believe that I will live love to the fullest when I put all my focus and time on it. I have to stop because, together with my career and all the things that I do simultaneously, I am not striking a balance. For now, nothing at all in love.
Yes, right now, I am single.
A lot! Every month a different person or every week, it depends (laughs). I believe in marriage, and it is something that has to happen to me at some point.
Yes ... the truth is that with anyone who loves me and is good to me. I don‘t care about the things that if it is someone from the industry or rich or poor, I don’t care about that. As long as he loves me and is good to me, that’s fine.
Sympathy. The look says many things. I am very good at reading people before I was not so good, but today I am attentive to a man’s gaze.
Twice was enough to learn and enough to never go through it again. I learn very quickly, you hit me once, and the next time I hit you.
From a Brazilian soap opera. I chose the name because I loved the character of Anitta so much that she didn’t like being just one type of woman. She enjoyed waking up every day and being a different woman. Then I would listen to someone talk about her, I thought that this is how I wanted to be, a different woman every day. Today crazy, tomorrow romantic, sexy, the other day intellectual. I love the idea of being many women in one.
Of course, there are regrets in our life, not everything we do makes us feel proud, but everything serves as an example to learn from. Of course, there are certain things from my past that I did that I don‘t like, like attitudes or moments that I went through. If you want to call them that, those mistakes are essential because they have helped me be the person I am now. I would not change anything.
I am a person of zero excesses. I just drink and don’t use anything because I’m afraid of getting dependent on something. I drink when I go to parties, or if there is a reason to do so. I’m not one of those who go to dinner and have a bottle of wine, and I don’t like to stay out very late. I am very responsible for what I do.