Gavin a Laugh | 

Gavin James says stint on soap Pega Pega made him big in Brazil

With thousands of Brazilian immigrants now living in Ireland, the performer says he is often recognised these days while socialising in Dublin where he lives.

Gavin appeared on the Brazilian soap Pega Pega where he sang Nervous for two of the show’s characters

Gavin James will be at the Sligo Live festival this Friday

A scene from the Brazilian soap Pega Pega

Gavin will be at the Sligo Live festival this Friday

Eddie RowleySunday World

Irish pop superstar Gavin James has revealed how Brazilians living in Ireland often stop him in public to FaceTime their families back home.

Dubliner James has become a huge star in Brazil since landing two cameo roles with his music in one of their top soaps, Pega Pega, five years ago.

In one episode, Gavin appeared in a romantic scene with a brief talking role before singing his hit, Nervous, for two of the TV show’s big stars.

Gavin James will be at the Sligo Live festival this Friday

With thousands of Brazilian immigrants now living in Ireland, the performer says he is often recognised these days while socialising in Dublin where he lives.

“I always drink around Temple Bar and every time I go there I meet people from Brazil who go, ‘Noo waay!’ Then they check the time back home and it’s usually their mam they put me on to on FaceTime. So I chat to their mam, or sometimes their dad, which is gas. It’s great craic,” Gavin tells the Sunday World.

James recently returned from Brazil where he toured and received a rare Diamond award for sales of his single, Always.

A scene from the Brazilian soap Pega Pega

“I’m going to go over there a lot more now,” Gavin says.

“We did a TV show there recently. It’s a late night Jimmy Fallon/James Corden-type show. Everything was planned, but then the interview started with me drinking a pint of Guinness. I downed it and got the host to join me and the second we did that we got a little bit tipsy.

“He said to me, ‘Do you want to go over and play with the band?’ It wasn’t rehearsed, but I ran over and played Thunderstruck by AC/DC on electric guitar.

“The host joined in, taking his jacket and shirt off and dancing on stage and in the audience. It was pure mayhem. Brazilian TV is so much fun.

“Brazil has a very similar vibe to Ireland. There’s a great party atmosphere and everybody just wants to have a good time.

Gavin will be at the Sligo Live festival this Friday

“The people are amazing. I get stopped on the street and everybody is so friendly and so nice. When I do gigs they know all the songs, even the ones I barely remember how to sing they’re singing them, all the B-sides and all the stuff from the first record.”

Gavin, who has clocked up 1.5 billion streams and has six million monthly listeners at Spotify, has also been touring Ireland and is set to perform at the Sligo Live festival in the Knocknarea Arena next Friday.

“It’s been a long time since I’ve gone around Ireland and I’m loving it,” he says, strumming a guitar early morning on the couch in his Dublin home as we speak.

The hit songwriter reveals that he’s at his most creative in the mornings.

“The morning time is the time,” Gavin tells me. “I usually pick up the guitar when I’m not super awake and I don’t really overthink anything too much.

“I sit down at the piano, I put the phone on recording for about half an hour and just ramble, and then I’ll listen to it. I always find listening to it when I’m playing is good for some reason. I always listen to the voice notes when I’m on a plane.”

Does the morning music and singing drive his girlfriend mad? “No, she’s great,” he laughs.

“It drives the dog mad, to be honest… ‘bring me on a f**kin’ walk will ya.’ But I love writing and I’m always writing songs. At the moment I’m trying to figure out which ones are good and which ones are sh*te. It’s all about songs, the song is always king.”

His career is flying, but James says there are lots of unfulfilled ambitions — top of the list being an appearance on Jools Holland’s Hootenanny show.

“That’s the one my da is always talking about,” he says. “If I got Hootenanny I’d have to bring him.”

  • GavinJames plays the Sligo Live festival in Knocknarea Arena this Friday.


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