A shortlist of Brazilian artists to watch out for in 2022!
It’s quite obvious Brazil’s contributions to the great global sound system were quite remarkable over these past decades. In this continent-sized country, every region has strong musical traditions that have spawned over a wide variety of local music styles and Brazilian versions of global musical genres. If Brazil is globally renowned for samba and bossa nova, it has way much more to offer.
If modern Brazilian music doesn’t travel as much as the recent genres from neighboring Spanish-speaking countries, the country still has many cards in its hand to shine in the international charts thanks to its numerous local superstars, as music becomes more global.
So, to help you discover the sounds that are rocking Brazil right now, our local team has put together a list of Brazilian artists who hit the charts in 2021 and will certainly do so again in 2022!
Created in 2018, Gilsons is a trio composed of Francisco “Fran” Gil, João Gil and José Gil. If the name sounds familiar, it may be because José, João and Fra are respectively the son and grandsons of prominent artist Gilberto Gil, former Brazil’s Minister of Culture but more importantly, one of the founders of 1960’s Tropicalia movement that later evolved of what is now called the Música Popular Brasileira.
José, João and Fran may have inherited from their illustrious forefather’s talent, still they have their own way of doing things and approach MPB with their own vision by bringing in elements of pop, electronic music and rap. In 2019, the trio released their first EP Varias Queixas, whose eponymous track is a bossa-pop cover of Bloco Afro Olodum, a community and musical group from the Salvador de Bahia Carnival. So far, ‘Varias Queixas’ has been played more than 40 million times on Spotify!
Since this EP, the band released several laid-back singles such as ‘Algum Ritmo’ featuring the band Jovem Dionisio as well as ‘Proposta’ and ‘Duas Cidades’ in late 2021. Recently signed with Believe Artist Services Brazil, the band will launch their new album in early February.
Clarissa Müller is a newcomer to the Brazilian music scene, as she only released her first EP 'Clarissa' in June 2021. However, the 22-year-old carioca singer was not completely unknown to the public.
Clarissa first became known via on Instagram and Youtube, where she was already posting musical covers. Her success on social networks first allowed her to become a model before ushering into a career as an actress: in 2018, she participated in the cult series Malhação, followed by a beautiful role in the musical film Ana e Vitória. It was this role that prompted her to launch herself into music with her own compositions.
If her first EP was very appreciated, her career really took off in August 2021 with the follow-up single ‘Nada contra (ciúme)’. A viral hit on TikTok with over 400,000 plays, this pop anthem became an instant hit and now reaches 16 million streams on Spotify. There is no doubt that Clarissa will be one of the artists who will make the music news in 2022.
Despite being a singer and multi-instrumentalist, it was behind the camera that Julio Secchin started his career in the music industry. Before 2018, Julio was a music video director, for the pop singer Anitta among others. It was while participating in the Rio Carnival that he decided to change his path and devote himself to music.
He released his first single 'Bote’ in the fall of 2018, and the song's excellent reception on streaming platforms encouraged him to continue. Three singles followed, included in his first album Festa De Adeus which was released in 2019. Julio Secchin consolidated his style, a blend between Música Popular Brasileira, carioca funk and brega, with lyrics inspired by the everyday life of young cariocas (the name given to Rio inhabitants). Although the album was a critical success, it was actually the following single ‘Jovem’ that propelled Julio into stardom at national level. The track was a blast on TikTok, and quickly reached a million hits in streaming and views on YouTube.
These past two years, Julio has released many singles such as 'Quero Ir Pra Baia Com Vocé' with pop singer Rebeca or 'Bambolê' with Psirico, a cult pagode band, subgenre of samba. His latest track, "Tabaquinho," was released in October 2021, but if we are to believe his Instagram posts, Julio Secchin foresees a 2022 full of good surprises.
Aña Canas is a major feminine figure of the MPB scene, a singer, composer and actress from São Paulo who started her career in 2007 with the album Amor e Caos. However, it was the song ‘Pra Você Guardei O Amor’ with Nando Reis that established Ana Cañas as one of the new MPB popular figures: it became a national hit in 2009, after the release of her second album.
During the 2010s, Ana Cañas releases three studio albums. While Volta (2012), and Tô na Vida (2015) have deep rock and blues influences, TODXS (2018) turns to more electronic and sensual sounds. This album, nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Pop Album, also has a strong political content in favor of feminist and LGBTQIA+ causes.
In July 2021, during the pandemic, Ana Cañas performed a live show paying tribute to the MPB maestro Belchior which received an enthusiastic welcome from both the public and the critics. The success of this live show led to the release of her 6th album Ana Cañas Canta Belchior in late 2021.
George Henrique & Rodrigo
Widely known in Brazil with very little coverage overseas, sertanejo or musica sertaneja is a southern-country originated musical genre that appeared in the 1920s. If the style has evolved a lot for the past century, it managed to keep its pastoral image, which is why it is often compared to American country music. The particularity of sertanejo is that it is very often sung in duets, in particular by brothers.
This is the case of George Henrique and Rodrigo, two brothers from Goiânia, a hotbed for sertanejo kind of city located in the center of Brazil. Initially playing in bars, the duo rose to fame in 2011 thanks to the release of the DVD ‘Esquenta Pra Balada’ presenting their concert filmed in a garage in a front of a live audience. The brothers released no less than six albums in the following years and multiplied hit songs like ‘De Copo Em Copo’, ‘Coração Desocupado’ or ‘Quando amanhecer’, listened to by millions of fans.
Released at the end of 2021, their song ‘Vai Lá Em Casa Hoje’, featuring the late Marília Mendonça, is a phenomenal success: the song has more than 71 million views on YouTube and 63 million streams on Spotify. Needless to say that fans are expecting more hits from them this year!
At only 19 years old, Ananda is one prime example out of many Gen Z artists spring boarding their careers off of social networks. Since the age of 13 , she has built up an incredible fan base of 8 million people on TikTok and 7.7 million followers on Instagram.
Ananda posted covers of Brazilian and international hits, like ‘Amar Amei’ by MC Don Juan or ‘Blank Space’ by Taylor Swift, quite regularly: she was bound to release her own songs eventually, which she did in 2019 with 'Portugal', a track in collaboration with MC Kawe that quickly became a pop hit, reaching 17 million streams on Spotify.
Currently, Ananda already has 600K monthly listeners on Spotify and has released more songs in the same relaxed-pop style, such as ‘Só Eu’, and ‘Fiz 18’, which both went viral on TikTok, accumulating more than 1M streams each. ‘Meu LLLugar’, her last single released last November, is a catchy pop and RnB song deemed to gain her even more success. that was released last November
Born in Sao Paulo, DJ Gugga started his career in 2008 as a singer. He then turned to producing and writing to make his own tracks, before embracing a DJ-only career for several years. It wasn't until 2018 that DJ Guuga returned to singing for his first album Baile do Guga. During the same period, he released numerous tracks with MC Pierre, such as the track ‘Cabaré’, whose video has accumulated more than 120 million views since its release in early 2020.
In a pure arrocha funk style, a sub-genre of Carioca funk (known internationally as baile funk), DJ Guuga's tracks are in the spirit of Brazilian urban music: simple melodies, party-oriented beats, and very explicit lyrics (most of the time) about relationships and partying. DJ Guuga also distinguished himself on tracks in the sertanejo genre (with the duo Guilherme e Benuto) and also ventured on piseiro tracks, a new emerging genre from the Bahia region.
Very prolific, DJ Gugga regularly releases new singles. One of his latest tracks, ‘Depende’, from December 2021, has gone viral on TikTok and accumulated more than 8 million views on YouTube while his Christmas track ‘Feliz Natal, Feliz Ano Novo’ has exceeded 800,000 views in less than a month.