‘I wasn’t worried about what gringos wanted!’ Ludmilla, Brazil’s next pop superstar

Last Updated: June 19, 2024By

Brazilian Star Ludmilla: From Coachella to the World

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In the midst of her rocking debut at Coachella last month, while the buzz was spreading like wildfire, Ludmilla, the Brazilian sensation, juggled business meetings, a quick Miami trip, and dived into fresh music ventures. Catching her breath on the way back from a mini mountain escapade near the iconic Hollywood sign, she squeezed in this chat, sandwiched between her hectic schedule that’s wrapping up with a well-deserved bash. “I need some fun too,” she chuckles.

Chasing Pop Stardom

She’s ticking off the pop stardom checklist, eyeing an international breakthrough. Belting out Portuguese tunes, blending Brazil’s raw baile funk vibes with pagode rhythms, Ludmilla has clinched a Latin Grammy, claimed the title of Brazil’s most streamed Black artist, and crossed the billion streams mark on Spotify, all while rocking Coachella’s main stage. Even Queen Bey herself, Beyoncé, hailed her with a voice note: “From Rio to Coachella, ladies and gentlemen, Ludmilla!”

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“This whole thing feels surreal,” she admits. “In a place like Brazil, teeming with Black women and a history spanning over 500 years, it’s hard to believe I’m the first Black woman to sell out a stadium or hit a billion streams.”

Coachella Chronicles

At Coachella, amidst a sea of dancers and a colossal LED cube, Ludmilla kicked off with the fiery “Rainha da Favela” (Favela Queen), transitioning into soulful pagode tunes, and culminating with her latest Spanish singles like “Piña Colada.” Her wife, Brunna Gonçalves, joined her onstage for a heartwarming moment. “When the curtain fell, it felt like shedding a ton of bricks off my shoulders,” she shares, having splurged 8 million reals on props and pyrotechnics. “I had 45 minutes to show the world Ludmilla. Singing in Portuguese isn’t easy for an international crowd, but I had a mission, and I nailed it.”

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Roots and Resilience

Born in 1995 and raised in Rio’s bustling suburbs, baile funk was Ludmilla’s anthem from the late ‘90s. In 2012, she burst onto the scene as MC Beyoncé with “Fala Mal de Mim” (Talk Behind My Back), shedding the alias later but never straying far from Queen Bey’s hive – hence the Coachella shoutout.

“Today, I’m more grounded,” she asserts, reminiscing about her journey. “I’m a pagodeira, I groove to R&B, yet I’m a funkeira. Baile funk is our voice, rising from our communities, from folks like me striving for a better life. We don’t sing for the gringos; we own our narrative.”

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Fighting for Representation

Despite Brazil’s diverse population, Black artists often find themselves sidelined. “When I started, racism was my silent foe,” Ludmilla reveals. “But now, I know my worth, and I stand for women like me. After Coachella, I faced backlash from fellow Brazilians, just because of my skin. This fight is far from over.”

Navigating Controversy

Post-Coachella, Ludmilla found herself in the eye of a storm over a backdrop frame referencing religious figures. Defending her stance, she cited Erika Hilton, a Black transgender MP, and asserted her stand against hate. “This is my turf, and hate has no place here,” she declares.

Love, Politics, and Progress

Married to Brunna Gonçalves for four years, Ludmilla champions LGBTQ+ rights in Brazil, especially in the face of political adversity. “We’ve come too far to backtrack,” she asserts, drawing strength from the support of bisexual and lesbian fans.

Bright Lights Ahead

Amidst a flurry of praise, Ludmilla treasures a message from Lauryn Hill. “Coachella marked the start of my global journey,” she beams, eager to explore new horizons.

Ludmilla: Setting the Stage ablaze, One Beat at a Time

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