Ivete – A Crossover Artist?

“Unless you are Brazilian, Ivete Sangalo is likely the biggest star you’ve never heard anything about — but that’s about to change. The 38-year-old pop diva, who is often called the Beyoncé of Brazil and has sold millions of albums and played for crowds 80,000 strong, will make a very bold New York concert debut at Madison Square Garden on Saturday.

The show, which will be recorded for a live CD/DVD, will feature A-list guests like Nelly Furtado, Juanes and Wisin & Yandel, in an ambitious effort to introduce Sangalo to new audiences and position her as a global star. The charismatic Sangalo, known for her candor and energetic performances, will be the first Brazilian artist to headline the Garden, and the event has become a national obsession.

“Brazilian people are completely euphoric. They are very excited with me. It’s like a World Cup sensation here,” Sangalo said in English over the phone from Manaus, in the Amazon, where she was performing a few days before flying to the U.S. for a warmup concert in Miami last Saturday.

“It’s a celebration of the Brazilian community, with audiences from the U.S., my new fans, my family, my friends,” she added excitedly. Her camp estimates that more than 5,000 fans from Brazil are flying to the city for the occasion. Brazilian Twitter users — Sangalo has more than 1 million followers — and the media are chronicling every move in her journey toward Nova Yorque.

“She is a machine of rhythm and energy,” said the Colombian superstar Juanes, who will perform a classic song from Bahia with Sangalo on Saturday.

“She should be cloned,” boasted Spanish powerhouse Alejandro Sanz, who kick-started his own Brazilian crossover when they sang a duet of his hit “Corazón Partío” at a Sangalo concert in the massive Maracaná stadium in Rio four years ago. “I loved getting onstage with her. I felt the roar of the Maracaná that runs through her veins.”

She also works with English-language stars who, like her, are hungry for a new market. Sangalo was recently at Furtado’s studio in Toronto, where they wrote four songs in English, and she just recorded a version of the track “You and Me” with the Dave Matthews Band.

In February, her production company brought Beyoncé on tour to Brazil — with Sangalo as the opening act, of course.

“I understand people want to make a comparison, but we have a different kind of voice: I’m always a man, she’s a girl,” Sangalo said laughing, referring to her trademark husky voice. “Our styles are very different.”

Born the youngest of six children to a jewelry-designer father and a teacher mother in Juazeiro, a small town in Bahia, Sangalo started singing with a carnival group called Banda Eva when she was 22. Banda Eva exploded as one of the main exponents of axé, the melody and rhythm-heavy style that became hugely popular in the ’90s. Already a household name in Brazil by the time she went solo in 1999, Sangalo is as ubiquitous as she is beloved. She hosts her own TV show, serves as the face of countless ad campaigns (Garnier, Avon and Panasonic) and recently released her own toy doll.

The plan for Sangalo’s pop domination is to release the CD/DVD by December and then tour extensively in the U.S., Latin America and Brazil next year.

“It’s time,” she said. “Latin America and Brazil, we are prepared to share feelings, our songs, our artistry.” – Source

NYT on her Madison Square concert


5 thoughts on “Ivete – A Crossover Artist?

  1. Pingback: Ivete – A Crossover Artist? « Eyes On Brazil | Cheap Dave Matthews Tickets

  2. I went to the Ivete Sangalo concert in Worcester, Mass the other night. It was a very good show and I enjoyed it very much. What surprised me however was the attendance. I expected a sold out DCU Center, which holds about 12.000 for concerts I think and I’m guessing there was no more than 4.000. Perhaps the flat/slow economy triggered such sluggish ticket sales in Worcester{which were not cheap} and I am interested what the attendance in Miami was.

    For such a popular figure, extraordinary advertising campaign on television and newspapers for months and a large Brazilian community in the Boston/Worcester area I couldn’t believe all the empty seats.

    Because it is New York City and a huge Brazilian Day celebration going on this weekend I am sure her Madison Square Garden show Saturday evening will be much better attended.

    As for Sangalo being a crossover star, she has the personality and strength to do it but crossing over is so tough. Yes, Shakira did it but overall Thalia didn’t have the same success. Also, her age works against her. At 38 obviously she isn’t “old” but she must be much more precise as to how she crosses over and who she appeals to. I hope she does it, although she isn’t my favorite Brazilian music star, she is a great performer and even a greater personality.

    As far as I know, her American concerts were promoted solely within the Brazilian media outlets here. That tells me Sangalo isn’t trying to crossover but rather open the US market to increase sales & exposure to the Brazilian community here. If she wants to crossover, performing on US soil doesn’t do much if you don’t promote yourself to the American people.

    We shall see in time if Ivete will make that crossover leap. I hope she does, she is so dynamic and I think very genuine as well. She did sing a couple of songs in English the other night. She did a fine job but it was obvious that her English needs some polish for Americans to accept her. I say keep being a Brazilian icon but little by little dip into the American scene and if she can catch lightning in a bottle with a hit song or whatever than fine but if not, so be it.

    • “Sangalo isn’t trying to crossover but rather open the US market to increase sales & exposure to the Brazilian community here.”

      I agree with you, Jimmy. I read the article as using the crossover idea to get readers rather than as something Ivete is considering. She loves Brazil and is very Brazilian, so I doubt she’d give up part of her market share by focusing on the US. From the last statistics I saw, which seem to be quiet consistant, the largest three Brazilian communities in the US are Boston, then NYC then Miami. I’ve seen Brazilian artists here in California and they play to packed clubs but obviously that doesn’t compare to a stadium. Once, I saw Lenine playing a few feet from me in a small venue in SF for 20 bucks, which is the setting I prefer. Lenine, though, isn’t attempting a crossover. Personally, I think all artists should stick with their own language because that’s how they sound best.

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