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Rosalía | Urban Flamenco Music That Will Make You Obsessed

There are a handful of women on the face of this earth that really strike a chord with me. The urban flamenco singer Rosalía would be one of those women. In a short three-part documentary about her upcoming album, Rosalía shares that through her music, she wishes to find something she hasn’t found yet; and that really pinpoints what her music and art means to me. Her sound is something I’ve been longing for without me even knowing.

A little more than a year ago, the 25-year-old Barcelona-born Rosalía released her debut album Los Ángeles. The album combines traditional flamenco singing techniques with modern influences; layered rhythms, constant changing of melodies and voice fluctuations. Her voice is soft and vulnerable, while also incredibly powerful and strong. A music video for the track De Plata accompanied the album, consisting of flamenco dancing and the trendiest of outfits. And now, about a year later, Rosalía is ready to release her second album: El Mal Querer.

“I’m taking a big risk. Nowadays I haven’t signed with anybody. I’ve never done so,” Rosalía shares in a Youtube clip documenting the preparations for her upcoming album. “Ultimately, this project is what I’ve always wanted to do. I’ve been thinking for a long time to make an album like this. It’s quite different from Los Ángeles, but the essence remains. You can sense the flamenco inspiration, but at the same time, it’s a whole new thing,” she continues.

After watching this three-part documentary, I was more excited than ever to see what Rosalía had up her sleeve. A few days later, the first single, Malemente, dropped – as did my jaw. The sound was refreshing, avant-garde, yet humbly subtle. And the music video for Malemente was just as invigorating. You can watch it below.

“I believe a lot in this project. I love the songs, and over time they have become more radical… different ways to understand flamenco, or the flamenco imaginary, or what is inspired by flamenco. At the same time, they are very accessible. They are designed so that everyone can enjoy them,” she shares in the documentary.

It’s been a minute since I was this excited about an album release. I believe an artist like Rosalía is just what the world needs: a fresh sound shaped by true talent and passion.

By Michelle Hallstrom
Images via NOWNESS  (Rosalía: De Plata Video)