To close out day three of Billboard‘s Latin Music Week, superstar Anitta sat for an intimate conversation with Billboard News host Chelsea Briggs on the Faena Bazaar rooftop Wednesday (Sept. 22).
The pair discussed everything from the singer’s nonstop run lately — from performing at the MTV Video Music Awards to attending the Met Gala — as well as how Anitta has grown as an artist and business woman … and a partier, too.
Below are seven major takeaways from their chat.
On Her Growth
“Every year for me is getting better and better,” said Anitta of her trajectory, adding that while she’s exhausted, she’s not a coffee drinker. (Rather, she says, junk food keeps her going.) She’s particularly proud of her U.S. crossover hit “Girl From Rio,” which peaked at No. 24 on Billboard‘s Pop Airplay chart this June, while the music video has over 34 million YouTube views. “It is my second song in English and already so much is happening, so we hope the next ones will get [even] bigger.”
On Making History
Anitta became the first Brazilian to ever attend the VMAs this year — a historic moment for her culture, she said. “Anywhere I go, people are always saying, ‘Now it’s easier because Latin music is popping,’ and I’m like … ‘I’m Brazilian.’ But because of the language, everything is very different for us. For me to break into the Latin market, singing in Spanish, it took a lot of work to be respected … I love making this happen.”
On Her Family
“My family doesn’t even know what [the Met Gala] is,” Anitta reveled when asked how her family has reacted to her success. “I come from a very humble, simple family. So when I told my mom I’m going to be at the Met Gala, she was like ‘That’s nice.'” Her mom did, however, freak out about her daughter being interviewed by the iconic Gloria Estefan. “In the group chat with the family, she was like, ‘I was with Gloria today! She’s knows who Larissa [Anitta] is!’”
“Everybody said since I was 6-years-old years old I [wanted to do this]. Because we have a simple life and don’t have opportunities to do things, [my mom] used to ask me, ‘What will we be rich for?’ And I said, ‘Because I’m going to be famous.'”
On Being a Boss
Anitta managed herself for a decade before hiring a team to help take her career to the next level. “Two years ago, before the pandemic, I said, ‘I’m done,'” revealed Anitta. “I want to relax and have time to enjoy life a little bit … that’s why nowadays I’m going wild. Every club, every party I’m going out and shaking my a–. I know how to have real fun, I go out and get drunk and f— everyone, because I didn’t have time for that in the past.”
On Having Fun
When asked about the importance of being open about her sexuality, Anitta said, “I’ve always been like that,” and recalled a time when her brother had friends over at their neighbor’s pool, and so she wanted to look her best for them — she was 5 years old at the time — “and I was already thinking about guys.”
“People are hypocrites sometimes,” she added. “Sex is part of life, that’s how we were born.”
On Clearing “The Girl From Ipanema” Sample
“That was so hard,” said Anitta. “I was in between this process of not being my manager and getting my own team — in Brazil, my brother is taking care of everything. Usually, people record the song and don’t ask for copyright or anything, and then after it’s done, they go and ask, but I always go on the right way; I’ve got to respect the writers from my country. When we wrote this, the label [Warner] and publisher [Warner Chappell] was like, ‘We’ll get it done.’ I was waiting for one year and I got sick of waiting, so I called the two families [of songwriters Antônio Carlos Jobim and Vinícius de Moraes] and I was like, ‘I need to clear this song,’ and then I stared to negotiate the clearance myself. Now we’re friends with the families. Because I’m Brazilian, maybe that’s why it was easier.”
On Her Upcoming Album
Anitta teased that a new single might be coming sooner than fans expect, sharing that she just finished filming the music video. She revealed that it’s a collaboration with a female American singer who is currently charting, and whom she’s never worked with before. “It’s a funk,” she said. “It’s all in English, but with a Latin flavor in the melody.”
“We’re going to have a lot of funk [throughout the upcoming album],” she continued. “It’s the rhythm I was born with.” She said while the album was supposed to come in August — “it was ready before the pandemic” — she said there was a moment where she realized, “I just want to redo everything.” After she moved to Miami in January, she shared, “I started to get so many opportunities with better producers and tracks, so now I’m not sure when [the album] is coming out. But before the end of year we’ll have [songs out] in English, Spanish and Portuguese.”