Ivete Sangalo continues her push to global stardom

By 07 September, 2010

One of the biggest Brazilian events of the last week took place in New York as Ivete Sangalo performed at the Madison Square Garden in New York. Sangalo, who is the biggest star in Brazil right now, at least as far as record sales are concerned, seems intent on breaking into the international market, something which is quite tricky when you only sing in Portuguese.

The night was technically a sellout, with 14,500 in attendance. This is some feat. Although Ivete can sell out the Maracana in Rio with over 60,000 people, non-English speakers generally fare a lot worse at the Garden, topping out at around 3,000 or 4,000 people. However, this show will form a new DVD as well as Brazilian TV special, and around 5,000 Brazilians were actually flown in for the occasion. It was no surprise then that she actually refererred to the audience as ‘Brazil.’ Helping her diversify were a number of guest stars including famous hispanics and Brazilians. Here’s what it says on her official web site:

The first guest of the night was Juanes that sang the new song ‘Dar-te’ in portuguese and spanish with Ivete. One of the highlights of the night was the performance of Michael Jackson’s ‘Human Nature’. Magnificent, wearing a beautiful golden dress, Ivete shined on The Garden stage. At this moment, the singer thanked the public and with the intensity of the moment, she cried with emotion.

Right after that was Seu Jorge’s turn to take over the public. With him, Ivete sang another new song called ‘Pensando em nós dois’, and the public, literally shaked the Madison Square Garden structure. The next guest was Nelly Furtado. Together they sang in english ‘Where it Begins’, another new song, written by the two of them.

Unbelievable to think that Seu Jorge can feature in such a high profile concert, even despite the fact that he is touring America right now. Even more unbelievable is the fact that James Morrison also guested. For some reason a record label has decided to push this guy whole-heartedly, in spite of the fact that there are infinitely better singers and songwriters out there. His rise to fame will continue to be one of the great mysteries of life.

The Associated Press also wrote a nice article about the concert with plenty of info on Ivete and this was how their perceived her push to achieve some stardom in the US:

But her brand of Carnaval-inspired dance-pop, known as axe (pronounced ah-SHAY’), isn’t what U.S. listeners usually think of as Brazilian music, and her audience tends to be concentrated among teenagers and twenty-somethings looking for a chance to hook up. Her lyrics express the irrepressible optimism of youth, and her sound is a world away from the cool, cerebral bossa nova of Joao Gilberto or the smooth sounds of Caetano Veloso and Marisa Monte, all of whom are better known in the United States, even if Sangalo outsells them all at home.

So despite all the conquering America swagger, Sangalo’s intent is actually something entirely different: The Garden show was mainly intended to serve as a backdrop for her new DVD and a TV special to be broadcast in Brazil in December.

Which seems a nice place to leave it. Sangalo isn’t the kind of artist we’d normally feature on Sounds and Colours, but it is interesting sometimes to look at some of the bigger artists, and how they affect culture and trends.

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