Brazilian singer Anitta has had some major hits in her career before, but “Girl From Rio” just might be our favorite. In the song, she not only pays homage to her hometown of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, she also sends a strong message about body positivity.
Anitta stormed into the music scene after her 2013 hit single “Show das Poderosas.” Its music video has over 160 million views on YouTube alone. However, her most-watched YouTube video is “Downtown” with over 560 million views and features J Balvin.
“Girl From Rio” released on April 2021, as a single off of her upcoming fifth studio album yet to be titled. The album did have another release prior, titled “Me Gusta” and featured Cardi B and Myke Towers. This track got a remix with 24kGoldn, and “Girl From Rio” got a remix with DaBaby.
In an Instagram post, Anitta explained the meaning behind the song; “GIRL FROM RIO” is about the Rio de Janeiro under my perspective, the Rio I saw and lived in. This is a very personal song. I talk a little bit about everything, my family, the place where I came from, where I grew up, the people I saw and see every day, it’s my point of view about women in general and the beauty that I see in them. To be able to translate all that history and meaning into music, I counted on some friends, who are also internationally renowned songwriters and producers.”
Watch “Girl From Rio” Music Video by Anitta
“Girl From Rio” Lyrics Meaning and Song Review
When most other girls in the music industry sing about how hot and sexy they look, Anitta sings “Hot girls, where I’m from, we don’t look like models.” This line may sound contrasting since she calls the girls ‘hot’ but not looking like models at the same time. However, the idea is that ‘hotness’ or ‘beauty’ is a very subjective matter. And beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, colors, and quirks.
Anitta sings about the girls she has seen around her in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Girls with tan lines, big curves, all skin colors, and more. More than anything, everybody is full of energy, happy, and positive. This reflects in the beauty of these girls, which in itself is more powerful than what any makeup or surgery can accomplish.
You are bound to fall in love with the girls from Rio!
In the first verse of the song, Anitta tells us that she has a revelation about Rio. The Rio we know is mostly due to the world-famous ‘Rio Carnival,’ one of the biggest and flashiest carnivals in the world. An estimated 2 million people participate in the carnival per day, and the festival is decorated with gorgeous women in the sexiest outfits ever.
This carnival is what the worl knows Rio for.
But Anitta sings that there is a whole other side to Rio that the world does not see. A city full of ordinary people–but as equally beautiful and happy. This is what “Girl From Rio” is all about.
In the same verse, Anitta also sings about finding her long-unknown brother. In October 2019, Anitta found out that she has a brother named Felipe Tera through a DNA test.
Just found out I have another brother (Hey!)
Same daddy, but a different mother (Have a brother)
Anitta explained the situation in an interview;
“My father had Felipe before he married my mother, but he didn’t know it. Felipe’s mother saw my father on television with me and recognized that he was her father. I was completely shocked and couldn’t focus on the song anymore. That’s when the producers told me that I should put this story in the song (since the song also talks about my life). We did it.”
She always wanted a brother. So the magic of Rio worked out in her favor again!
Watch “Girl From Rio (Remix)” by Anitta featuring DaBaby
In the second verse of the song, Anitta sings about some stories from the streets of Rio she grew up in. She sings how she grew up in the streets and the ‘favela’ which translates to ‘slums.’ It was not always a pretty sight around these streets.
Anitta sings how she witnessed underage girls getting pregnant and having babies due to a lack of proper education in Rio, Brazil (maybe throughout Brazil, too). According to 2017 stats, Brazil has the highest teenage pregnancy rates in Latin American countries.
Anitta also sings about her love affairs growing up. Although she avoided a teenage pregnancy, she did run through a few boyfriends because none of them could handle her fierce personality. Because she is “cold like winter, hot like summer.”
Despite everything, Anitta knows her relationship with Rio is only a “love affair” she just cannot forget. And through this song, we feel it too.
Let us hear what you think about this song in the comments below. Check out the complete lyrics on Genius.