Note from: You gotta love how the internet makes it possible for everyday people to be able to gain fame and sometimes fortune by being able to share their particular skill or talent with a wide range of people. Without even thinking about it, how many current stars or at least public personalities have you seen literally blow up because of the internet just in the past decade? Two of the biggest black female singers of MBP (Brazilian Popular Music), Ludmilla and IZA, both honed their skills and developed their fan bases by simply releasing either original songs or cover versions of songs by established artists on YouTube. Look at at them now. Both have signed recording deals, gained widespread promotion, appeared on magazine covers and become representatives of Brazil’s latest crop of musical talent and been nominated for Latin Grammy Awards. But there’s always room for more, right? Tabatha Aquino also gained fame for her singing, on a crowded Rio de Janeiro subway, of all places. But it’s not the place that matters. It’s the widespread exposure she received after having her performance repeatedly shared on YouTube until reaching more than 6 million views! Can Tabatha be the next singing sensation in Brazil? Only time will reveal. Check her story below…
Tabatha Aquino, the singer who has overcome difficulties by raising her own voice
Already at age 4, Tabatha was a child singer. Influenced by her sister, she hummed through the house the hits she heard on the radio, without imagining that a few years later that would be her destiny. Today at 22, she has an artistic name: it is Tabatha Aquino, one of the promises of Brazilian music, and gained notoriety when a video went viral of her singing in the subway of Rio de Janeiro with her daughter in her lap.
In the recording that was seen thousands of times throughout the country, the detail that draws attention is not only the voice, but also the little one in her mother’s lap. Today at 4, Nicoly is Tabatha’s best friend and motivation.
“I do my shows and presentations with my daughter on her lap, on my back. This is my reality with her today. She is very much my friend. At the moment when I was totally anonymous, the one that shouted to me that I was wonderful was her,” recalls the singer.
There was a time when I had nothing to eat, my rent was late and my daughter asking for things.
Little Nicoly is the fruit of Tabatha’s marriage, which happened when she was 16 years old. At 21, she separated and, with her daughter in her arms and all the financial obligations on her back, decided to go out into the world and live off of her voice.
“I trust in what God did, He didn’t give me this path for nothing. There was a time when I had nothing to eat, my rent was late and my daughter asking for things. But I was sure that it wasn’t going to last, and I was right,” says the carioca (Rio native).
Tabatha has a firm voice and certain words when telling her life trajectory. At 3 years of age, she was abandoned by her biological parents in downtown Rio de Janeiro. The Military Police took her to a shelter, photographed the children who were there and reported it in a church newspaper. An aunt, her father’s sister, recognized her and went to the place to adopt her.
“I’m happy to show that my reality didn’t diminish me in anything.”
Tabatha wants to encourage other black women, poor and single moms like her to live their dreams.
And it is she, the aunt, whom Tabatha recognizes as mother. The life of the two had no less clashes because of this. Once, says the singer, she has heard that she should “get a job with a carteira assinada (employment registration book) and a husband.” “But I said she was doubly wrong.”
And she was. The singer has gained recognition for her daily, solitary battle and now wants to use her voice, in every way, to help other women like her: black, poor and single mothers. Today, after the success of her video, she’s signed a contract with a record company.
I’m happy to show that my reality didn’t diminish me in anything. It was not much for me, but for showing women like me that it’s possible to dream,” she says. And she contextualizes: “I want sisters who see their dreams far away, because after having a child it is common for them to be thrown away as if they were leftovers, to be able to look at themselves and believe. I want to ask them to believe, because it’s possible.”
Tabatha hoped that Nicoly, her daughter, would feel truly free in a better society.
Calling women who experience the same reality as yours as sisters is not a mere detail. Tabatha carries in her comments the racial consciousness on the formation of Brazilian society. For her, everything was more difficult, yes, because of being a black woman.
“The black woman is hypersexualized, and they believe she cannot turn down a date, because they already look at us as a sex objects. If she refuses, there is the argument that she is a ‘single mother’ and that she will naturally accept sex. It’s very difficult,” laments the singer.
In the face of all social ills, Tabatha believes her work can help other women and, above all, leave Nicoly a better world.
“My intention is to try to work on this change in society, which is extremely macho, racist, prejudiced and oppressive. I want my daughter to feel really free. I want her to feel happy to be her, simply and whatever she wants, without being labeled anything,” she says.
I had no support, but today I want to be a mirror to other women.
Living days of hard work and preparation after the signing of the contract with the record company, Tabatha hasn’t forgeten any musical note, out of tune and challenge to that pen.
“Signing a contract, which was only possible because meu povo negro (my black people) viralized my video organically is a feeling that I’m on the right track,” she points out. “But not just for me. If you ask me who I looked iup to, I say nobody. I had no recourse, and everyone had something. I had no support, but today I want to be a mirror for other women.”
Tabatha Aquino, the subway singing sensation, signs a recording deal with Sony Music Brasil
Internet users and professionals of the area are betting on the success of the young singer
By Renan Coelho
You’ve probably already have seen on the internet the video of a passenger singing “Apaga a Luz” by the drag queen Gloria Groove on the Rio de Janeiro subway, right? That was Tabatha Aquino, singer and songwriter who saw her life change after having her talent shown in social networks. As a result of the great success, last Saturday, the Sony Music Brasil record label invited the artist to be part of its team.
The video already has more than 6 million views and received several accolades, including from Gloria Groove, author of the original version of the track. “I’m very shocked! I’ve already called her on Insta freaking out and everything! Pisou muito!”, afirmou a cantora.
In a publication on Instagram, the artistic producer Nova Black confirmed the rumors of the possible contract with Sony Music and highlighted the importance of empowerment in Brazilian music. It is worth mentioning that the label has already bet on big names in the current scenario, among them Pabllo Vittar, Aretuza Lovi and Karol Conká.
Thabata Aquino the woman that went viral singing “apaga a luz” by Gloria Groove on the subway signed a contract with the Sony AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA pic.twitter.com/YNWfYWcBMd
– ㅤ ㅤ lusca comunista (@baitedboy) February 16, 2019
While the news is kept secret, we can appreciate the vocal power and all the talent of Tabatha Aquino with “Ainda Não”, a single published on Spotify three days before the great viral. Listen: