Rosalía Elevates Flamenco Fusion Like No Other
By now, you’ve heard of Rosalía. You probably have her two J. Balvin collabs on repeat, or peeped the Barcelona-born singer cameoing on Dua Lipa and Gigi Hadid‘s Instagrams; either way, she’s way more than an A-list crew member.
Rosalía is an artist innovating a completely new sound, best described as an urban-infused flamenco, and it’s taking the world by storm. If I had to describe her, I’d say ‘Spanish Solange,’ but more pop. Still, it wouldn’t do her justice. Rosalía is in her own element, experimenting with classical Catalonia flamenco and making it sound as new and fresh as she is.
But to say she’s experimenting in no way implies she’s not purposeful. On the contrary, the 24-year-old is fully aware of herself, her artistry and the direction she wants to take her music. Her vision has buoyed a very niche genre into the mainstream and while always upholding tradition narrates what it means to be a proud young and Spanish woman in a globalized world.
I’ve been a huge Rosalía fan since I first encountered her music, but what made me full on stan, were her videos. On camera she is magnetic, so sure of her identity and message, the result is cinematic each time.
Just check out the video for her single “Malamente” and you’ll understand:
I recently got the chance to see Rosalía at Coachella and realized her music has an even greater impact live with a hype crowd. The performance was theatrical in a way I hadn’t experienced. Each element from the dancing, the chants, the choreographed audience participation by clapping al son de flamenco and screaming, was utterly unique. It felt different, special. It’s not the same when people just sing along to Ed Sheeran or cry when they see T Swift. This was distinctive. Rosalía’s show put her cultural pride in the forefront which allowed us all to celebrate the ways that we could identify.
Before I stop writing, just picture this: you’re in a crowd filled with Latinx people, around 10 of your closest friends listening to an unapologetic Spanish singer who’s changing the face of music and this hits the stage: