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 has cast Rosalía in his next film Dolor y Gloria, alongside Penélope Cruz and Antonio Banderas.
18. Recently, Pharrell invited her to record with him in Los Angeles.
19. She has been nominated five times for the Latin Grammy Awards 2018. The event will take place in Las Vegas on 15 November 2018.
20. Her sister Pili is in charge of Rosalía’s outfits and look.
21. Spanish fashion designer Palomo Spain designed the outfits for her new tour.
22. Rosalía recently split up with her boyfriend, the rapper C. Tangana.
23. She has signed contracts with YouTube Music, Spotify, Red Bull, Pull and Bear.
24. She also starred in a Levi’s advertising campaign.
25. On 5 November 2018, Rosalía appeared on the front page of the French newspaper Libération.
26. In January 2020, Rosalía won a Grammy for Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album for El Mal Querer.
Photos: Rosalía Instagram, Vogue España, Billboard
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