There was no other possible path for João Gustavo. The brother of Marília Mendonça, the 20-year-old wanted to play up his incipient career as a member of the country duo Dom Vittor & Gustavo after he received the news about the artist’s death. It was the matriarch of the family who convinced the youngest to change his mind. “You’re going to stay in music, and you don’t have a choice,” she said, weeks after the plane crash that killed her 26-year-old daughter. Today, João Gustavo recognizes that this would be the will of Marília, who in the last year had assumed the position of businesswoman and producer for her brother. With partner Dom Vittor, the singer-songwriter plans a tour and the recording of a DVD for 2022, in which he will pay tribute to the sertaneja (see more details about the duo).
Understand: Marília Mendonça Law is approved by the Senate
“I know what I’m doing.” God knows too. And I know I’m not wanting to gain fame on top of what happened – he says, who had to rebut comments from followers on social media after being criticized for appearing “happiness”.
Murilo Huff’s first show features Marília Mendonça’s brother and mother
Before signing a professional partnership, did you and your sister create music together? What was this relationship like?
Marília always supported me in everything I did. And she always respected me a lot. We had never written a song together before I started writing. But we talked about music, because I saw that she understood a lot. And she also saw that I understood a lot about this universe. She always asked me for opinions about the songs she wanted to record. At that time, I did other things, and I didn’t think about messing with music. I went to college (Physical Education), played basketball, promoted live games on a computer platform… And she never tried to get the music into my head. Deep down, deep down, I think my sister knew that I was going to go through a lot of things, but that it was going to end up in music, because that was inevitable, and because I had to be here.
You stated that you would give up on music shortly after your sister’s death. What made you rethink that decision?
My first thought, when I stopped and put my hand on my conscience, was to say, “I can’t go on with my partner.” We had lost a piece of our structure, the person who put us under their arms. And I missed it. So it wouldn’t make sense to continue without her here to see what we’re doing, at least to applaud us, give us a smile. What made me rethink all this was the fact that she dreamed it all right [como irmã e empresária]. She planned everything just right for us. If I gave up on this dream, which was also hers, I would be being selfish. My mother told me exactly that, that my sister had left everything in order. And he told me, “You’re going to continue, and you don’t have a choice.” That’s what made me rethink. I talked to Dom, some friends, the family… And so we developed this strength to continue.
How is your nephew Léo, aged 2, and the result of Marília’s relationship with Murilo Huff, dealing with his mother’s absence?
He still doesn’t have the understanding about it. He doesn’t know (of Marília’s death). In his head, Mom is traveling. We are going to start a preparation, with the help of a psychologist, to say this in the right way and at the right time. Let’s say his mother was a queen, the queen of Brazil. We want to make him proud of his mother. I know he will miss you. We will too. But we don’t want him to feel pain. So we will try to say this in the best way possible.
You recently rebutted a follower on social media who criticized you for showing “happiness” on social media. How do you handle judgment coming from the internet?
That’s not something that affects me anymore. I answered this time because I was doing a test to understand how the internet works, being a person with visibility. Today I understand what the internet is. After my reaction, several others appeared wanting attention. I understand what they want. And that no one will have. It doesn’t affect me because I know what I’m doing. God knows too. And I know I’m not looking to gain fame from what happened. Nobody wants that: not me, not Dom, not our partner. Nobody would ever do that sort of thing.