Beauty, passion and a gipsy soul: Spanish artist Rosalía mixes flamenco, pop and hip-hop, creating a new music genre that attracts millions of millennials worldwide. La Vanguardía describes her as “carnal, classic and transgressive”, while El País sees her as a “paranormal phenomenon”. Why is she so successful? What makes her so unique? Let’s discover 25 facts about flamenco singer Rosalía.
25 FACTS ABOUT FLAMENCO SINGER ROSALÍA
1. Rosalía Vila Tobella was born on 23 September 1993 near Barcelona.
2. She doesn’t have a single family member who is a musician or comes from Andalusia, the cradle of flamenco.
3. She always felt flamenca and wanted to become a singer.
4. She discovered the power of her voice at the age of seven. Her father asked her to sing a song at a family meal. “When I sang, everyone had tears in their eyes,” Rosalía recalls.
5. She started singing at weddings and in restaurants when she was 13.
6. She mixes trap, a style of Southern hip-hop, with flamenco and pop.
7. At the age of 17, she had to undergo a vocal cords operation. She had forced her voice too much. The rehabilitation took two years.
8. After her recovery, she attended the Catalonia college of music Esmuc. She was mainly trained by Andalusian musician José Miguel Vizcaya alias Chiqui de La Línea. He wasn’t very convinced when he first met her.
9. In 2015, Rosalía met Raul Refree, a Catalan producer and guitar player, with whom she worked at her first album for two years.
10. In 2017, she released her first album Los Ángeles.
11. It was streamed 14 million times on Spotify. All of a sudden, millennials discovered flamenco.
12. Spanish superstar Alejandro Sanz invited her to his home to play music. He was fascinated by her talend and decided to help her with her career. “She had a special cante jondo (the deep, mournful cry) that I had never heard before,” Sanz recalls.
13. In 2018, she released her second album El Mal Querer, a flamenco-inspired record. The project was also her senior thesis.
14. In her videos, you often see flamenco dancers, bullfighters, crucifixes and statues of the Virgin Mary. They refer to Andalusia, the Catholic church and the gipsies.
15. Some gipsy associations accuse her of cultural appropriation, because she’s not Andalusian and didn’t grow up with Andalusian culture.
16. Rosalía replies that flamenco is based on a mix of cultures. “Flamenco owes a lot to the gipsy ethnic group, but music has no master,” she says. She never described her work as flamenco, but as flamenco-like style.
17. Oscar-winning film director Pedro Almodóvar cast Rosalía in his film Dolor y Gloria, in which she appeared alongside Penélope Cruz and Antonio Banderas.
18. In 2020, Pharrell invited her to record with him in Los Angeles.
19. In 2020, Rosalía won a Grammy Award for Best Latin Rock Album for El Mal Querer. Moreover, she won 8 Latin Grammy Awards from 2018 to 2022.
20. Her sister Pili is in charge of Rosalía’s outfits and look.
21. In 2018, Rosalía split up with her boyfriend, the Spanish rapper C. Tangana. In 2021, she started dating Rauw Alejandro, a Puerto Rican singer and rapper.
22. She has signed contracts with YouTube Music, Spotify, Red Bull, Pull and Bear.
23. She also starred in a Levi’s and a MAC advertising campaign.
24. Long extravagant nails with plenty of bling play a central role in her clips.
25. In March 2022, Rosalía released Motomami, her third album.
© Cover photo: Oscar Gonzalez for Imago/Zuma press
© Photos: Rosalía Instagram, Vogue España, Billboard
This article was first published on 11 November 2018 and updated ever since.
ROSALÍA – LA FAMA FT. THE WEEKEND (2021)
ROSALÍA – MALAMENTE (BADLY) (2018)
VIDEO: ROSALÍA, OZUNA – YO x TI, TU x MI
CON ALTURA: ROSALÍA & BALVIN
VIDEO: ROSALÍA – DI MI NOMBRE (SAY MY NAME)
VIDEO: ROSALÍA – AUNQUE ES DE NOCHE (EVEN THOUGH IT’S NIGHT)
BILLBOARD INTERVIEW WITH ROSALÍA IN ENGLISH (OCTOBER 2019)
ROSALÍA FOR MAC COSMETICS VIVA GLAM
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