Ivete Sangalo on Protests in Brazil: "The Country Is Developing and We Want a Share"
Saudade is an untranslatable Portuguese noun that describes a feeling of yearning that goes deeper than the English equivalent miss. And saudade is what so many expat Brazilians feel, no matter how acclimated or integrated they might have become with life in the U.S. After all, their rich culture and laissez-faire lifestyle is something that not even Florida -- home to arguably the largest immigrant Brazilian community in this country -- can provide.
That is where Ivete Sangalo -- Brazil's biggest-selling solo artist today -- comes in, helping to soothe that feeling with a lively, high-energy concert.
Sangalo is a charming, charismatic singer with an easy smile who won fans' hearts during her years as lead vocalist of Banda Eva (she followed in the footsteps of performers like Daniela Mercury and Luiz Caldas). Once she struck out on her own in 1999, she quickly became one of the country's most popular voices.
We caught up with Sangalo over a phone interview from her hometown of Salvador, Bahia. During our chat (done in Portuguese), she spoke of the show format, her recent releases and also took the time to give her thoughts on the recent protests that have rocked the country.
Crossfade: Let's talk about your new show. It is your first major tour of the U.S. since you came here in 2011?
Ivete Sangalo: Yes, in 2010 we had a show in Worcester (MA), another in Miami and finally at Madison Square Garden - they were all sold out, and we used the footage for the live DVD (2010's Multishow ao Vivo: Ivete Sangalo no Madison Square Garden). This time I am playing in cities I've never been to, which is the case of Los Angeles. I am very happy with this show, which is based around my new record, but since this is a show outside the country, this will be a very mixed show that will feature today's hits but the set list will tell a little about my musical story for those who have missed their home country and its music for such a long time.
Are you looking to expand to a more international audience with this tour? On your previous stops here, like during Brazilian Day in 2003, you focused mostly on expats...
I am quite aware that I do have a foreign following - there are Americans who travel to Brazil during Carnaval and I also notice this via social media sites like Twitter, Instagram and Twitter. We also notice that when we do live shows, there is a considerable presence of non-Brazilians in the audience. However, Brazilian fans are a priority for us, because they are like agents for us - they are like promoters of Brazilian artists because if they have a restaurant, they will play the records - if they run a manicure salon, they do the same - so it's like thousands of promoters. I have lots of respect for them, lots of love and the "saudade" they feel - they miss the land, the habits, the food - it's a way that I have to give back to them, so I am excited to play for these people who feed my work to new listeners over there - when the audience is out there, we don't know who is who or where they come from - the music comes to them and it speaks to them - and that is very important.
Are you bringing the same band you play with in Brazil? Or will there be any changes?
No, it's my regular band, my whole team travels with me. The props, the clothing, and everything is like we do in Brazil.