Superstar singer Anitta brought Rio to Las Vegas at Billboard’s inaugural MusicCon on Friday (May 13) at Area 15, ahead of her performance at the event.
The Brazilian icon’s energy was on display during her conversation with Billboard Latin senior writer Griselda Flores — who penned Anitta’s recent cover story — as she discussed her trailblazing Coachella performance, plans for retirement, her team’s doubts about “Envolver,” and much more.
Here are five takeaways from Anitta’s “Brazil to the World” panel at MusicCon.
She “didn’t have fun at all” during her first-week Coachella performance
“The first week I wasn’t able to enjoy anything, I just wanted it to go amazing and exactly the way I wanted,” Anitta explained. “I just wanted to make sure it went perfectly. You want your country to feel they were well-represented.” The Rio-made singer described the pressures for her Coachella set to go seamlessly, especially as the first-ever female Brazilian solo artist to grace the Coachella stage. After the debut performance, Anitta didn’t party. Instead, she went back to her hotel straightaway to watch her set over and over again, saying she was excitedly jumping on the couch, thanks to how well it went. By the second week, Anitta’s nerves dissipated. “I was having a blast and so drunk,” she laughed.
Speaking of firsts, Anitta also gushed over a few Billboard milestones
“Everyone in Brazil said it felt like the World Cup for them,” Anitta explained of her Coachella first and Billboard spread, as the first Brazilian to grace the cover. “It’s the first time of so many things for Brazilian people that I am managing to do with my work now. Everything that happens, my country just goes crazy.” She also noted her explosive single, “Envolver,” which reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Global Excl. U.S. chart and on Spotify’s Global list, making Anitta the first Brazilian artist to achieve both feats.
Her brother Renan became her co-manager out of protectiveness
Initially, Renan was skeptical about Anitta’s massive dreams of being an international star. “He was looking at me, like, ‘We’re so poor, we live in the middle of nowhere, what do mean?’ He was scared if he didn’t help me, I would find somebody else,” Anitta said. “[What if] this somebody else was a bad person? He helped just to protect me and it worked out amazingly.” At the time, Anitta was studying business and Renan worked with computers. The iconic singer managed her own career for a decade before her brother officially stepped into the role. “I was reading all the contracts, closing all the deals, everything besides being an artist,” she said. “There was this moment I looked at him and said, ‘Okay, now you’re ready. [Help me] before my mind goes crazy and I break.'” Once Renan stepped in, Anitta finally let loose. “I used to be the mom for him and now he’s the dad,” she said. “I didn’t used to go out and take time for myself –the first time I got a drink in my life I was 23 years old. He was there taking care of me, holding my hair back.”
In five years, she plans to be retired and in the “middle of nowhere”
When asked what she sees for herself in five years, Anitta plans to go back to basics. “I want to be retired with kids on a farm in the middle of nowhere after saving my country from this terrible government,” she said. “It’s sad we have to get to the point of having to everything to realize it means nothing. I don’t have a car, yachts, private jets, I am a simple person. I don’t even know how much money I have.” When it comes to future parenting, Anitta intends to make her children earn their dollars, the same way she did. “People ask about my kids, I say I worked to have my money, they can work to have theirs too!”
The release of “Envolver” was thanks to a dream
When Anitta was gearing up to release “Envolver,” her team was reluctant. According to the chart-topping artist, those around her thought the track needed a male feature to succeed, but no one would bite. Then, she had a dream the song would go No. 1. “I had this dream, then I told [my manager] I don’t care.” Her hunch was right, “Envolver” hitting No. 1 on the Brazil Songs chart. Anitta opted not to share details of the dream, to avoid “scaring” anyone, but “now every decision I make they ask, ‘Did you dream about something?'”