Brazilian Sertaneja Music is On The Rise, From Michel Telo to Gusttavo Lima
Brazilian Sertaneja Music is On The Rise, From Michel Telo to Gusttavo Lima

It seems like a statistical impossibility. But six months after Michel Teló's "Ai Se Eu Te Pego" topped European and South American airplay and digital charts, another Brazilian track -- in Portuguese -- is climbing those same charts.

This time, it's Gusttavo Lima's "Balada," another sertaneja track -- the equivalent of Brazilian country music -- but if anything, even catchier than Telo's. Laden with accordion and also endorsed by popular Brazilian soccer players -- namely Neymar -- it stands at No. 19 on both the Euro Digital Tracks chart and the Euro Digital Songs chart this week. It's also No. 1 on Italy's Digital Songs chart and The Netherlands, No. 2 in Switzerland and Belgium, No. 3 in Luxembourg and France (it was No. 1 earlier in the month) and No. 6 in Austria.

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"'Ai Se Eu Te Pego' became such a huge hit that it was inevitable that people got curious about other songs with a similar feel," says Marcelo Soares, president of Brazilian indie label Som Livre, to which both Lima and Telo are signed. "This interest came from the labels we were licensing music to but also from the general public that started looking for new songs on YouTube."

Although Teló and Lima both sing sertanejo -- a genre that until a few years ago was shunned by pop fans -- their music is pop friendly and dance-inclined enough that Soares labels them a new brand of Brazilian pop, or "B-pop" as he calls it. The genre "has been landing such powerful hits that the fans all around the world are never disappointed with the search," he says.

"Ai Se Eu Te Pego" and "Balada" were released close to each other last year and both became huge hits in Brazil and Argentina. On YouTube, there are multiple "Balada" video that easily total over 100 million views, including one uploaded on Lima's page nearly a year ago that has amassed over 31 millions views and one with both Lima and Neymar performing live.

More than the Neymar connection, says Soares, "the whole football connection has been important to help spread the hits faster around the world. But, again, this would not have any effect at all were the songs not the big hits they are by nature."

"Balada" is far more gimmicky than "Eu Te Pego" and its chorus of "Tchê Tchê Rere, Gusttavo Lima e vocé," punctuated by pelvic thrusts, makes it not only memorable, but also effectively brands Lima, who wrote the song in its entirety ("Eu Se Pego" is a cover) and who at the last minute included it in his live CD/DVD.

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Here in the U.S., the song entered the Latin Pop Songs airplay chart this week at No. 36, helped by a remix with urban duo Dyland y Lenny.

"I honestly think it will hit Top 10 in a month," says Nir Seroussi, GM of Sony Music Latin, which also licenses Teló in the U.S. and produced the remix of "Eu Te Pego" featuring Pitbull that has helped propel the track here. "That song has been cooking for a while."

And there are others in the pipeline, says Soares. They include "Eu Quero Tchu, Eu Quero Tcha," by sertanejo duo Lucas & Marcelo, a track in which Neymar got involved at another level: He's actually featured in the official video. The original live video on youtube has 12 million views, while the Neymar video has 4.8 million, with 90% of those coming from the United States during the days before Brazil played Argentina in New Jersey, says Soares.

Also coming up, is "Le Le Le" by Joao Neto & Frederico and most recently, "Camaro Amarelo" by Munhoz & Mariano, which has over 5 million views after one month on youtube.