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The New Face of Catalan Flamenco

Rosalía, young singer from Barcelona brings new flavours to traditional music

March 22nd, 2019
Anastasia Petrova, News from Berlin

"Flamenco, in the end, is not a racial issue, but a music that has such an emotional charge that it connects with people from any part of the world"

Usually, when one listens to flamenco music, a specific image of a woman dancing in a traditional dress dancing is seen. However, Rosalía gives a unique twist on the traditional music style, combining it with hiphop and R’n’B influences, while still maintaining the classic regional flavor. This summer she will be the headliner on major festivals such as Primavera Sound in Barcelona.

At 23 years old, Rosalía released her first album, Los Ángeles, together with Raül Fernández Refree. With death as a central theme for both artists, starting from flamenco they trace new paths of difficult cataloging. The novelty and the experimentation to return to the old, to the primary. In the interview to La Vanguardia she says that she dedicates herself to music and various projects. Rosalía says that all branches of flamenco are interesting to her: “a seguiriya is more visceral, but at the interpretation level it takes me to a different path in front of a granaína that is softer and sweeter.”

In November 2018 Rosalía released her latest album “El Mal Querer”. The Catalan artist showed her second studio album after Los Angeles, a genuinely flamenco root premiere sifted by the guitar of Raül Refree Fernández at the beginning of 2017. Now it has changed noticeably. Rosalía, who at 25 years old is demonstrating an unsuspected dominance over a career that is acquiring proportions of an international phenomenon.

Rosalía’s turn to a combination of classical flamenco influences are current urban sounds -with the significant co-production of Pablo Díaz-Reixa (El Guincho), and two of her singles from the album - Malamente and Pienso en tu mirá – sought global success. Praised and supported by stars of the level of Pharrell Williams, J Balvin, Charli XCX, Dua Lipa, Alejandro Sanz and Lana del Rey, her star dimension has also certified her participation in Pedro Almodóvar's next film, Pain and Glory. Possessing an image of strong personality, Rosalía is on her way to becoming the artistic voice of a new generation, also praised in such prestigious media as Billboard and The New York Times.

In the interview to La Vanguardia, one of the questions has been about cultural appropriation in one of Rosalía’s music videos. When she published those first singles with their respective video clips, in some field critics accused her of gypsy cultural appropriations. Rosalía said that this debate is on the table because there is some kind of concern. “Any initial debate is good, and if an ethnic group feels discriminated against it is very important that they can show it. At the same time as an artist I have grown up with flamenco with all its imaginary, visuals, expressions, and we must not forget that in Catalonia the Andalusian environment is very present. In the same way that we have to remember that flamenco comes from the mixture of cultures, and that in my case I have always created from respect and freedom.”
Rosalía will headline Saturday at Primavera Festival in Barcelona on 1st of June.


Berlin Global, News from Berlin