quinta-feira, 26 de abril de 2012

Brazilian pop song by heartthrob Michel Telo a global phenom

A catchy Brazilian pop song by heartthrob Michel Telo is a worldwide hit that has generated nearly half a billion YouTube hits. Now ‘Ai Se Eu Te Pego’ is beginning to wash over this country.


There’s a virus spreading around the globe, but the symptoms aren’t fever or body aches. No, this epidemic manifests itself in giggles and grins, waving hands, pumping hips and a bubbly chorus that goes like this:

Nossa, nossa, assim voce me mata. Ai, se eu te pego, ai, se eu te pego!” (Wow, wow, you’re gonna kill me that way. Oh, if I catch you, Oh my God, if I catch you!)

Ai Se Eu Te Pego (Oh If I Catch You), a pop song by Brazilian heartthrob Michel Telo, may not be Sondheim, but neither were I Wanna Hold Your Hand or Macarena, its predecessors as massive, mysterious global hits. Indeed, Ai Se Eu Te Pego may be the most popular song to come out of Brazil since The Girl From Ipanema.

The danceable ditty, which has generated nearly half a billion YouTube hits, has upped Brazil’s pop-culture presence as the country’s surging economy and political clout — and its role as host of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics — have increased its presence on the world stage.

Now the Ai Se Eu Te Pego wave is beginning to wash over this country. The song has topped U.S. Spanish language radio charts for several weeks, and Telo makes his U.S. debut Thursday at the Billboard Latin Music Awards, which will be broadcast live on Telemundo from BankUnited Center in Coral Gables.

Neither the singer nor his label, Brazil’s Som Livre, can explain the phenomenon.

“There’s some magic element to the song,” Telo said by telephone from Sao Paulo. “We recently toured in Europe and people were singing the song in Germany, in Holland, in Russia, in Switzerland, all these places. These people don’t know a word of Portuguese and they’re singing along.”

“We could never have imagined this,” said Som Livre CEO Marcelo Soares. “This was a first for us, a first for any of our artists, a first for anywhere in Brazil. It was absolutely unexpected.”

The song exemplifies the global, viral capabilities — and oddities — of the Internet. Released last summer, it became a hit in Brazil, but despite its catchy chorus and distinctive dance, it didn’t seem destined for international success.

Then Brazilian soccer players, most significantly hot young phenom Neymar, started doing the dance, passing it on to teammates in Europe. A video showing Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo and Brazilian teammate Marcelo celebrating a goal with the Eu Te Pego boogie went viral on YouTube, and soon players of the world’s most popular sport from Italy to England were celebrating to its rhythms.

The official video, with Telo singing along with an adoring crowd of Brazilian beauties, has racked up 300 million YouTube hits, and spinoff versions — soccer players, Turkish, Japanese and Russian language translations; SpongeBob, Teletubbies and Alvin and the Chipmunks parodies; toddler sing-alongs; a string quartet — have racked up tens of millions more views. (Standout oddities include a municipal band in Spain playing the tune in a Holy Week procession and armed Israeli soldiers dancing to it.)

The song has topped radio charts in 15 countries and been No. 1 in iTunes downloads in 25.

Portuguese may not be widely spoken, but the song is simple and almost irresistibly catchy, with an ecstatic audience sing-along that impels listeners to get in on the fun. The dance, which features waving hands and a gentle hip pump, adds to the party atmosphere.


Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/04/25/2768132/brazilian-pop-song-a-global-phenom.html#storylink=cpy

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