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Photography Ernna Cost, via @pabllovittar

Brazilian superstar Pabllo Vittar on new music and the future of drag

Dazed Beauty LGBTQ+ editor Munroe Bergdorf catches up with the new face of Calvin Klein in lockdown to discuss her new album – 111

As well as being an important activist for transgender rights and an all-around 21st Century trailblazer, Munroe Bergdorf has squeezed in the time to become our Dazed Beauty LGBTQ+ Editor, and we’re incredibly excited about it. Munroe has spent the last few months speaking to her favourite LGBTQ+ icons about some of the most pressing issues facing the LGBTQ+ community today, as well as asking: when your identity is inherently marginalised, what does it take to feel beautiful?

If you’ve not heard of drag superstar Pabllo Vittar, now is the time to get acquainted. After taking Brazil by storm with her music and high octane performances, she now has her sights set on the world – and she’s not doing a bad job with a fanbase on Instagram that boasts 10.8m. 

After launching her latest album 111, Vittar was forced to stop travelling due to coronavirus and returned to her hometown to spend time with her family – not that she’s letting that stop her from performing. To celebrate Pride, the drag superstar has banded together a roster that includes Lil Miquela, Diplo, Dorian Electra, Rina Sawayama, Princess Nokia, Yaeji, and lots more – all of whom will be performing as part of Pride with Pabllo & Friends on Sunday June 28. 

“I’m excited for you all to join me and my friends as we honor and celebrate Pride together,” Vittar said. “It’s going to be a party, but we will continue to spread the message of inclusivity and love because no matter what anyone says; Pride is not cancelled!”

Here, LGBTQ+ editor Munroe Bergdorf catches up with Pabllo on life in lockdown and all the tea on 111

Firstly, I’ve been a huge fan for a long time, so it’s an honor to interview you. Congratulations on your new Calvin Klein campaign! How does it feel to be one of the faces of this year’s CK Pride collection?

Pabllo Vittar: It’s like a dream come true! I grew up seeing the CK’s campaigns all over and in magazines and now I am one of the faces! I’m honored to be a part of it.

You appear in and out of drag in the campaign, we stan the versatility. Can you talk us through the Pabllo Vittar aesthetic?

Pabllo Vittar: That’s something I loved to do! We can dress however we want to, there’s no such thing as a boy way or a girl way to dress! It’s all clothes and we should wear them the way we want to! Also, sometimes people only see me in drag, so it was wonderful to show the world my out of drag side.

Who are your early style influences?

Pabllo Vittar: I’m always taking references from everywhere and everyone I see! I’ve never followed one specific person or style, so everyone inspires me in some way. 

What are two products that changed your life and why?

Pabllo Vittar: Cleansing face oil to take off my make-up and keep my skin beautiful and huge sunglasses to hide it when it is not looking good. 

Out of all your many, many LOOKS, which has been your favourite look to date?

Pabllo Vittar: OMG! That’s a hard question to answer! My EMA’s looks maybe, the whole EMA’s were unforgettable but the looks were important to me as I used them to spread an important message.  

Where have you been staying during lockdown? How have you been keeping yourself busy?

Pabllo Vittar: I’m in my hometown, it’s called Uberlândia, state of Minas Gerais, Brazil! I’m here with my family and trying to remain sane during all this situation! I’m working out a lot, writing new songs, working the way I can, spending time with my family, and watching the movies and series that my busy life didn’t allow me too.

Can you share with us something that has made you feel good this lockdown?

Pabllo Vittar: Talking to my fans on social media and getting a closer relationship with them! Also having time to spend with my family, I barely see them when I’m touring!

What do you see for the future of drag in a time where live shows are moving online?

Pabllo Vittar: I think it’s something all artists will have to improvise and go online to work! I’m managing to do some live shows on my YouTube channel and working on new projects!

Can you tell us about your new album 111, what inspired it?

Pabllo Vittar: 111 is in reference of my birthday, November 1. I took inspiration from what my birthday party playlist would like. It starts with “Parabéns” (Happy birthday in Portuguese) which is cute and even your grandma would have fun listening to it. Then it ends up with “Rajadão”, which is the moment you’re with your friends having some shots and dancing! 

What was different about this album compared to previous ones? 

Pabllo Vittar: I grew as an artist and experimented a lot more. It still has a huge influence from regional Brazilian sounds but I played more with global references too. 

What do you hope people listening to 111 take away from it? 

Pabllo Vittar: Happiness and joy! We are already living in a hard world with brutal issues that we have to face every day, so listen to my album, dance a little, and forget about your problems – even if it's just for a while.

Pride with Pabllo & Friends will livestream on Sunday June 29 at 9pm BST.