Flamenco meets modern R&B – say Beyoncé and Justin Timberlake – in another fascinating project from Rosalía.
The first moment we heard this Barcelona-based artist’s debut album “Los Ángeles”, which hit the top in our Best of 2017 list for Spain, Rosalía became one of our favourite young artists not just in her country but worldwide.
On her first full-length, Rosalía managed to do one of the most difficult but precious things in music, which was making tradition – in this case alegrías, tarantas, malagueñas, fandangos and tangos – truly contemporary art. But without losing anything precious in the process.
This praise is even more true about Rosalía’s new project. Once again, she’s deeply inspired by the rhythms, melodies and emotions of her culture, especially flamenco. But for the accompaniment, she swapped elegant guitar for modern pop/r&B beats. And as the singer, she combines the best of both worlds.
Later this year, she’s expected to release her second second album called “El Mal Querer”. We already know two “chapters” off this LP, “Malamente” and “Pienso En Tu Mirá”. Both were co-produced by El Guincho and received spectacular (if old-school) video treatment from CANADA.
The earlier piece, “Malamente” (look above), seemed like a manifesto of her artistic freedom. “Los Ángeles” was criticized for not keeping the tradition “pure”. After this first taste of her new work noone can have any doubts on what she thinks about such opinions. It’s short, it’s powerful – but not bombastic – it’s a perfect mixture of audacity and elegance.
In the second single, “Pienso En Tu Mirá”, which came out a few weeks ago, Rosalía maintains this impossible balance, and the video is as captivating. It seems a bit more introvert, as Rosalía not only faces armed gangsters, but “fights her own demons and emotions” as well.
At the end of August, she’s planning to release another single. She says she wants to pay homage to R&B stars like Beyoncé or Justin Timberlake, as she listened to “a lot of pop in the 2000s”. Both videos have already collected millions of views and as many spins on Spotify. So who knows, one day she might end up in the same league and she more than deserves it.