Drag Musician Lia Clark Talks 'Bumbum No Ar,' Anitta & Brazil's 'Difficult' Political Situation


“I believe individuals ought to take a look at their very own privileges and begin fascinated about one another. After all, all of us simply wish to be blissful and free to be who we’re.”

As the presidential election approaches in Brazil, the nation’s LGBTQ group faces a severe threat of dwelling below an ultraconservative authorities, as right-wing candidate Jair Bolsonaro leads polls with 28 % of the vote. The front-runner has made a number of derogatory remarks all through his marketing campaign, saying that he would beat homosexual males if he noticed them kissing on the streets and implying that congresswoman Maria do Rosario doesn't should be raped as a result of she is "too ugly."

The alarming scenario caught everybody's consideration with the rise of a Facebook group named “Women Against Bolsonaro,” which now has greater than three.four million members. What began as a gaggle of ladies protesting in opposition to the candidate rapidly escalated to the web marketing campaign #EleNão (#NotHim), the place individuals level out the explanation why they won’t vote for Bolsonaro. The marketing campaign has taken over social media in the previous couple of days and has now been supported by a number of artists like Cher, Madonna, Dua Lipa, Dan Reynolds, the Black Eyed Peas, Nicole Scherzinger, Diplo, Kehlani and Pabllo Vittar.

Last week, Brazil’s greatest pop star Anitta obtained herself into the middle of a social media storm when her fanbase (which features a important following from the LGBTQ group) seen that the singer adopted an Instagram account that publicly helps Bolsonaro and requested her for an evidence. Anitta first refused to make any feedback on the problem, leaving followers feeling betrayed. The hashtag #AnittaIsOverParty rapidly took over Twitter and have become a trending matter. After days of intense hypothesis, Anitta lastly introduced that she was in opposition to the conservative candidate and joined the #EleNão marketing campaign. The entire scenario raised the controversy if artists could be on the fence about vital political points, particularly when it issues their followers.

In the center of all this, 26-year-old drag queen Lia Clark, who began her profession in 2016 within the Brazilian funk music scene, launched a politically charged music video for her newest single “Bumbum No Ar," which options pop singer Wanessa Camargo. In the video, the 2 painting hit ladies attempting get their revenge on a presidential candidate character with a historical past of actions in opposition to the LGBTQ group, racial minorities and girls. The video is eerily much like a current occasion, because it was filmed days earlier than Bolsonaro was stabbed within the abdomen throughout a marketing campaign occasion. He is now recovering within the hospital.

Billboard spoke to Clark about her new video, the LGBTQ group and the political scenario in Brazil.

What was your inspiration for the “Bumbum No Ar” video?

My greatest inspiration was some music collaborations between worldwide artists. Since I listened to the music for the primary time, I knew the video was alleged to be like an motion film. I advised my concepts to the director, Felipe Sassi, and he got here up with the idea of speaking about every little thing that’s occurring in Brazil proper now. As an LGBTQ artist, I beloved the concept, since I’m one of many individuals who is being silenced on this political course of. What occurred to Bolsonaro was by no means in our script, although. We shot the video method earlier than the incident, however I used to be nonetheless afraid that folks would suppose we have been making enjoyable of his situation. We would by no means do such factor.

What was your followers’ response to the video?

The greatest doable! I’m too onerous on myself on the subject of music movies, as a result of I’m a fan of my very own visible work and I’m all the time attempting to enhance the standard of my movies. In my opinion, that is my greatest one up to now, and from what I’ve heard from my viewers, they suppose that too. My followers who’re into politics are additionally very blissful that we spoke out concerning the scenario. Not solely me, but in addition Wanessa, who’s a cisgender singer who has all the time supported our group.

You began your profession doing Brazilian funk music, a style that was born in Brazil’s marginalized communities. Have you ever confronted any prejudice or difficulties being a drag queen within the style?

For certain. I’ve confronted lots of prejudice. … I don’t suppose it comes precisely from being a funk artist, although. I consider it’s a mixture of parts, like my fashion of drag, that’s form of camp. There’s additionally the truth that I’m not an excellent vocalist, which is the primary purpose I began within the funk style. Since the start of my profession, I all the time mentioned that I’m not a singer. I’m somebody making music for individuals to have enjoyable. That’s it.

Now, because of the eye drag music is getting right here, individuals are beginning to embrace my work. It’s nonetheless tough, although, as a result of I’ve to cope with lot of detrimental feedback. I’m all the time working onerous to evolve as an artist, however I do know I’ll by no means be capable to hit a excessive observe. I’m actually targeted on creating music for individuals to have enjoyable and dance within the golf equipment and on the live shows.

How does your work as a drag queen affect a younger technology of LGBTQ individuals in Brazil?

I believe what is going on with the drag tradition in Brazil now could be past wonderful. The phrase for that is illustration. I consider Gloria Groove mentioned this in an interview, and I all the time take her reply as mine: I really feel jealous of this younger technology that’s dwelling now, as a result of once I was youthful I had no artists to look as much as as a mannequin. As an effeminate child, I used to be all the time feeling unhealthy about myself. I felt I used to be in some way incorrect and I struggled loads to know that I used to be regular too. And I consider our work now reveals that, as a result of we’re effeminate boys in drag, with wigs, ladies’s garments, and we’re on the market, being profitable, and proving which you could be whoever you’re.

What are your ideas on the political scenario in Brazil proper now and the upcoming election?

It’s a really tough second for our nation. I even get nervous speaking about it, as a result of it’s a scenario that was not alleged to be occurring at this level. Respect and the precise to be whoever you’re are usually not issues that must be even a subject of dialogue in 2018. And it’s so unhappy to see such a major a part of our inhabitants supporting this sort of speech and saying that he’s racist, misogynistic and homophobic, however he may be good for the economic system. I believe individuals ought to take a look at their very own privileges and begin fascinated about one another. After all, all of us simply wish to be blissful and free to be who we’re.

As Brazilians, we have to open our eyes and get collectively to cease this from occurring, as a result of it might be such a tragic situation for us. Unfortunately, we’ve seen this occur within the U.S. with Trump, regardless of all protests in opposition to him. I pray every single day for this to not occur in Brazil, as a result of it might be such a tragedy.

Do you suppose it’s important for musicians to have a task in political activism?

Absolutely. I believe each artist must be acutely aware about this, however particularly those whose viewers is the LGBTQ group and people who come from a working-class background. When you’re an influencer and you’ve got a voice, you need to use it to unfold kindness, love and respect. I consider that is an perspective that comes from inside. It’s greater than politics; it’s humanity. It’s respect. We all witness hate in our on a regular basis lives; the one distinction is that it’s additionally in politics now. In my opinion, in case you are a public individual, whether or not a singer, a blogger or a politician, you need to use your voice to unfold love.

Recently, Anitta confronted some backlash on-line for being on the fence about political points. What are your ideas on the entire scenario?

I really like her a lot. She’s my favourite artist right here and, as a fan, I used to be form of torn. I do know she’s an excellent businesswoman, so I assumed perhaps she was afraid to say one thing for some advertising and marketing purpose. Deep inside I knew she would by no means assist that, as a result of she is a feminist, and he or she faces lots of sexism. There’s additionally the truth that the artists that are actually supporting #EleNão are going through an enormous hate wave on-line. Maybe she was afraid of it, however thanks God, she spoke out concerning the scenario. I really like you, Anitta!

What does it imply to you to see internationally acclaimed musicians corresponding to Cher, Dua Lipa, Imagine Dragons’ Dan Reynolds and the Black Eyed Peas talking out concerning the #EleNão marketing campaign?

It’s wonderful! Artists who assist this are really displaying that they’re particular human beings, as a result of they realize it’s vital to speak about it and lift consciousness about the entire scenario in Brazil. As I mentioned earlier than, it’s not about politics; it’s about respect. If you’re a individual that may see past your individual privileges, you recognize that there are individuals dying due to racism, homophobia and sexism, and we have to battle this. Brazilians are used to taking the opinion of worldwide artists extra critically, so I consider the consequences of the marketing campaign are going to be a lot greater now.

How can Americans assist the scenario in Brazil?

I don’t know if Americans may also help us straight. Maybe via social media. Dan Reynolds wore a T-shirt with the hashtag lately, and I used to be at Nicki Minaj’s live performance final night time and #EleNão was written on her drum set. I consider these small actions are necessary to provide us energy to battle and transfer on from this entire factor.