American singer Ciara visits Rio: Artist took in Carnaval with husband Russell Wilson and met with Brazilian divas Ludmilla and Iza!
By Marques Travae
One category of topics that I haven’t written on much lately is that having to do with the growing number of African-Americans visiting Brazil or having some sort of dealings with Brazil. This category includes African-Americans who visit Brazil for business or tourist purposes, have had some sort of experience with Brazilians on social media or form connections with Brazilians in general or specifically Afro-Brazilians. To be truthful, I haven’t even fully explored this subject, but just in the past x-amount of years on this blog, this list includes people like actress Tichina Arnold, actor and rapper/rapper Will Smith and Kanye West, film director Spike Lee, activist/professor Angela Davis, activist Malaak Shabazz, neuroscientist Carl Hart, singer Beyoncé, rapper Ja Rule, activists Joe Beasley and Jesse Jackson, actress Sanaa Lathan, and actor Jaden Smith. To be sure, this list is by no means exhaustive and only includes famous people. But this development is an intriguing prospect for the possibility of future relations between the two groups. There is actually an untold history of Brazilian officials not wanting to see African-Americans and Afro-Brazilians getting too close, but that’s another story for another time.
Today, I just wanted to discuss the visit to Brazil of another well-known African-American public figure, this time singer Ciara and her husband, NFL quarterback Russell Wilson. The couple was recently spotted hanging out in Rio de Janeiro during the tourist thing, visiting the Cristo Redentor, or Christ the Redeemer statue and Copacabana Beach, as well as taking in samba school performances in the Sapucaí stadium. During her visit Ciara also met with Globo TV variety show host Luciano Huck and recorded an appearance on his Saturday afternoon program Caldeirão do Huck.
The “Goodies” singer also found time to meet with arguably the hottest two black women MPB (Brazilian Popular Music) stars, Ludmilla and Iza. The funkeira (funk singer) Ludmilla excited her fans posting photos and video with the star whose full name is Ciara Princess Harris-Wilson. Ludmilla and Ciara also took advantage of their meeting to collaborate on two songs, the “Favela Chegou” and “Level Up” remixes, one of which will apparently appear on the two singers’ new projects as well as another song, “Favela Arrigo”. “I’ve always been a fan of this woman, now even more, after getting to know her up close, what a light, what a smile, what charisma,” wrote Ludmilla.
Ciara was also seen hanging out with Brazilian top model Laís Ribeiro and took photos with former futebol great Ronaldo Fenômeno. Ciara was also seen singing “Happy Birthday” to the city of Rio de Janeiro, the anniversary of which was on March 1st. The American “crunk” singer would then go on to meet Brazil’s other black diva, singer Iza. The “Pesadão” singer showed off her English-speaking skills with the “Promise” star as the two seemed to be enjoying each other’s company. It is also known that the two listened to a few tracks together although it is not clear whether they collaborated on any material.
In a video, the two are seen complimenting each other. “Oh my God, such a beautiful day with you, I could retire now… (laughs),” said IZA. “You’re so sweet and beautiful, I’m having a great time here in Brazil,” added Ciara. “We’re having fun, she’s killing it in Portuguese, she’s half Brazilian,” added the “Ginga” singer.
Could the Ciara/Ludmilla collaboration be a sign of more black American and black Brazilian artists getting together and creating memorable sounds? Who knows? Both Ludmilla and Iza had both previously performed with American artists, sharing the stage with Jeremih (“Tipo Crazy”) and CeeLo Green (“Earth Song”) respectively. There are a number of great possible collaborations I’d like to see happen, but they would just add to already expansive history of American/Brazilian musical collaborations. A short list includes Stan Getz/João Gilberto, Stan Getz/Luiz Bonfá, which some Hip Hop fans may be familiar with due to the 1995 J-Dilla produced classic “Runnin” by California Hip Hop group the Pharcyde.
But it doesn’t end there.
We also have other musical meetings of Americans and Brazilians by Dizzy Gillespie & Trio Mocotó, Frank Sinatra and Antônio Carlos Jobim, Eumir Deodato’s late 70s/early 80s productions of Kool & the Gang, Marcos Valle and Leon Ware, Wayne Shorter and Milton Nascimento, Sarah Vaughn’s 1978 LP O Som Brasileiro, an album of all Brazilian songs, with all Brazilian musicians including Milton Nascimento, Dori Caymmi and Antônio Carlos Jobim. Then there was singer/songwriter Djavan, whose 1982 visit to Los Angeles saw him collaborate with producer Ronnie Foster, Stevie Wonder and a group of American musicians in an effort that produce his 1982 LP Luz. In 1980, the legendary American R&B band Earth, Wind and Fire backed MPB legend Gilberto Gil onstage at the famed Maracanãzinho stadium during a rendition of Gil’s song “Realce”.
Again, the list above is by no means exhaustive, but the above collaborations have a little bit for many musical tastes and is just a small sample of the magic that can happen when American and Brazilian musicians get together. Will Ciara’s collaboration with Ludmilla have that magic touch as well? I guess we’ll have to wait and see!