Brazilian pop icon Pabllo Vittar and burgeoning alt pop singer-songwriter Bruses both have viral fan bases to thank for their ascendance to the stage. Pabllo’s Portuguese cover of Major Lazer’s “Lean On” (retitled “Open Bar”) was a breakout clip when it debuted in 2015, catapulting the drag queen to stardom and jumpstarting countless other collaborations, like “Sua Cara” with Best New Artist nominee Anitta, “I Got It” with Charli XCX, and several with RADAR artist Rina Sawayama.
Bruses is the stage name of Amalia Ramirez, a Capricorn from Tijuana, Mexico. Growing up, Amalia knew she wanted to be a songwriter but never anticipated she could be a pop star. When she started posting videos of her singing on social media however, she found a community of fans who “wear the same band t-shirts, have the same hair colors, and make me feel safe.”
Both now find themselves in each other’s company as two of Spotify’s first designated GLOW artists.
GLOW is our new global music program celebrating and amplifying LGBTQIA+ artists and creators. At launch, we supported Bruses and Pabllo Vittar on-platform with a dedicated hub and flagship GLOW playlist, and off-platform through billboards and other takeovers. Going forward, our commitment to both of them, and to equity in audio, will continue year-round.
Get to know Bruses and Pabllo Vittar and what makes them GLOW.
Why is it important to amplify LGBTQIA+ voices?
Bruses: I’ve always been out, and I talk about me liking girls in my music from time to time. It’s not the main focus but I don’t hide it. But when the industry finds out, they want to highlight you for Pride month, and not the rest of the year. But I don’t want to feel used. I don’t want to feel like my art only matters from time to time, just because I am a lesbian. That was what I was afraid of when I started doing this. The industry is changing and it’s finally catching up with us.
In your own words, what does it mean to GLOW?
Pabllo Vittar: To me, GLOW means that you can be yourself and to love yourself the way you are! It’s about not caring about what other people say. We need GLOW because we have lots of LGBTQIA+ artists who are super talented and just don’t have the space to show it! That’s why we need to amplify it even more and more.
What’s one thing people might be surprised to learn about you?
Bruses: A lot of people think I’m super tough because I’m covered in tattoos. But I’m super soft inside. That’s what I’ve been working on in therapy—I use this shell, this thing to give me confidence onstage and in my everyday life. That’s how I present to the world—this is my drag. But I’m a super-shy introvert. And sweet. Most people don’t know that about me until they meet me.
What do you want people to know about your music?
Bruses: Most of my lyrics talk about mental health. Most of the hit songs, most of the time, especially in Latin America, talk about love or heartbreak. But I wasn’t really connecting to that much. I feel love, of course, but I’ve felt pain most of my life. That’s the monster I’m familiar with. So one day, I was like, “Maybe I should write about it.” So that’s what I did with Bruses, and that’s my first record, Monsters. It was a healing process. When I hear my songs, when I sing my songs, I’m constantly feeling like I’m connecting with my monsters in a totally new and different, healthier way. I don’t hate them anymore, I’ve learned how to cope with them and celebrate them. They made me who I am, and I’m thankful for that.
Tell us about your journey into music. How did you find your voice?
Pabllo Vittar: Music has always been a part of my life, ever since I was a small child. But I think I found my voice when I started singing as a drag queen! After that I started to feel complete as a human being and an artist.
Who are some queer artists or cultural icons who have inspired you?
Bruses: Definitely Lady Gaga. She was one of my first crushes. In general, drag queens inspire me so much. One of my friends here in Mexico who is a queen, Rebel Mork, is super inspiring to me because she also uses her art to talk about mental health. And she’s actually designing my costumes for my next tour. We do a lot of great stuff together. And Freddie Mercury. David Bowie. Elton John. The gay icons!
What is the best advice you received when you were growing as an artist and person?
Pabllo Vittar: My mom told me, “Never hide who you truly are.”
When or where do you find your voice?
Bruses: When I’m healing. When I’m being my true self. When I’m feeling a lot of emotions at the same time. When I’m around my cat. When I’m around my community, my fans, my supportive friends. I hate being alone. So I’m always thinking about other people. And if they’re okay, I’m okay. I glow when the people I love are glowing as well.
Catch both Bruses and Pabllo Vittar on our flagship playlist, GLOW.