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How Rosalía Is Reinventing What It Means To Be A Global Pop Star

Rosalía

Photo: Photo by Oscar Gonzalez/NurPhoto/Getty Images

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How Rosalía Is Reinventing What It Means To Be A Global Pop Star

Nominated for five Latin GRAMMYs, meet the artist who is getting noticed for her striking blend of new and old, flamenco and electro-pop, and tells the world: "Not now or ever will I put flamenco aside"

GRAMMYs/Nov 10, 2018 - 07:14 am

Meet Rosalía. The young Spanish singer is getting noticed globally for her modern take on her country's tradition of flamenco music, rife with passion and infused with her electronic-infused and pop-ready flair. Her unique sound is something the world is showing its ready for and feels almost as if it should belong in a new genre shaped by her alone.

The 25-year-old is from Sant Esteve Sesrovires, a suburb of Barcelona in the Catalonia region in Spain. She began studying music since age 13, the same age she first fell in love with traditional Spanish flamenco music. She learned flamenco formally at the Taller de Músics in Barcelona, which only accepts one student a year, and received a degree from the Catalunya College of Music, where she developed the concept for her latest album as her graduate thesis.

Music clearly runs through Rosalía's veins, and her desire to perfect her art and make it her own is admirable. Reflecting on the first time she heard flamenco, "It was like getting pierced by an arrow—it was the purest thing I had ever heard," feeling called to the sound and later realizing, as she told Pitchfork, "I have the power to communicate something, and I'd like to develop that. This is what I want to do with my life."

She co-produced both of her albums and released her debut, Los Ángeles, on Feb. 10, 2017, when the buzz began, even resulting in a nomination for Best New Artist at the 2017 Latin GRAMMY Awards. On May 29 she released the lead single "Malamente" for her sophomore album El Mal Querer, which just dropped on Nov. 2, and the excitement around Rosalía has only continued to build, in Spain and far beyond.

This year she is in the running for five Latin GRAMMYs, the second-most nominated artist behind reggaeton king J Balvin, even though nominations went out before her second album was released, with just its lead single eligible for consideration. Pointing to the record's wide appeal, "Malamente" is up for Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year, Best Urban Fusion/Performance, Best Alternative Song and Best Short Form Music Video.

The momentum the rising star has built in just a year in both Spanish and English language markets is quite impressive. She has been garnering a diverse, growing group of music fans, including other musicians. She worked with the likes of Pharrell Williams and J Balvin; "Brillo" is featured on Balvin's hugely popular Latin GRAMMY-nominated album Vibras.

Other musicians such as James Blake and Dua Lipa have noticed her as well and are on her growing list of fans—Lipa shouted her out when we asked her who she wanted to collaborate with a few weeks back. Rosalía told Pitchfork how "working with Pharrell was a dream….Collaborations like that are where you come up with sounds that maybe you wouldn't have found otherwise." The future looks bright for the young, innovative singer—keep reading to get a taste of her sound and style.

"Malamente"

Rosalía released "Malamente" as the lead single from El Mal Querer, and the music world has paid attention; the music video has 29.8 million views on YouTube to date. It is a great introduction to Rosalía and her sound, with flamenco-inspired clapping, or palmas, over a catchy, electronic beat and a mix of both haunting vocals and spoken word; her singing and clapping is interspersed at several points with an echoing repeat of words "mira," or look—indeed the world is.

She recently addressed the personal and cultural significance of the video's visuals themes, like the motorcycle "bullfight"— a controversial subject in Spain, as bullfighting was banned in Catalonia in 2010 and later overturned by the Spanish government in 2016 for reasons of "cultural heritage." 

Her aim was for the video to reflect traditional and modern elements of her Spanish culture, as she does in her music by having Nico Mendez, the director of both videos ("Malamente" and "Pienso en tu Mirá"), "visually translating this musical idea, which is about tradition but also about experimentation, with the current sound of electronic music. So on one hand it has this classic side, and on the other this current and transgressive vision." she explained to Billboard. "I told him I wanted to do a video that had to do with Spanish iconography, with all of the images that make up our culture."

"Pienso en tu Mirá"

This song also features a steady dose of palmas, which play a part in much of her music. The video features more artist references to her Spanish heritage, semi-trucks, which were a regular feature of the industrial suburb she grew up in, a bull mounted on the wall, a miniature singing flamenco girl in the style of a Lladró, cermamic figurines made (and popular) in Spain. In her videos we get a taste of the star's edgy, hip fashion sense, which is at times very street-style inspired and at others almost VIP-entrance-to-the-club ready. The young star is an artist and experimenter in all senses of both words.

"[For this new album] I felt that I wanted to experiment with electronic music, to develop an idea that I´d had since I was 17. The idea of flamenco and sampling. Because electronic music forms part of my background. I wanted to develop a project that had the voice at the forefront, a lot of harmonies, very rhythmic, nothing like Los Ángeles," she said.

"Catalina"

"Catalina" is the one single she released from Los Ángeles and gives you a taste of her sound on that album, with a somewhat more traditional take on flamenco, without electronic sounds. She describes her experimentation on the album as focused mainly on playing with the way the guitar is used, with both the sharp chords of the guitar and her piercing vocals shining through on this song, offering a sample of a slightly more "pure" flamenco version of Rosalía's music.

"That folklore is part of who I am, and that's the key: I don't want to lose my roots. I think that's what gives you your identity," Rosalía said. "Rather than trying to adhere to some kind of global pop standard, it's much more interesting to look to my roots and to the popular music of where I'm from. Not now or ever will I put flamenco aside."

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Allen Hughes' "The Defiant Ones" Wins Best Music Film | 2018 GRAMMY

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Allen Hughes' "The Defiant Ones" Wins Best Music Film | 2018 GRAMMY

Director Allen Hughes' four-part documentary takes home Best Music Film honors for its portrayal of the unlikely partnership that changed the music business

GRAMMYs/Jan 29, 2018 - 02:09 am

The team behind The Defiant Ones celebrated a big win for Best Music Film at the 60th GRAMMY Awards. The crew awarded include director Allen Hughes and producers Sarah Anthony, Fritzi Horstman, Broderick Johnson, Gene Kirkwood, Andrew Kosove, Laura Lancaster, Michael Lombardo, Jerry Longarzo, Doug Pray & Steven Williams.

In a year rife with quality music documentaries and series, the bar has been set high for this dynamic category. The Defiant Ones is a four-part HBO documentary telling the story of an unlikely duo taking the music business by storm seems better suited for fantastical pages of a comic book, but for engineer-turned-mogul Jimmy Iovine and super-producer Dr. Dre, it's all truth.The Defiant Ones recounts their histories, their tribulations and their wild success. These include first-hand accounts from those who were there in Iovine's early days, such as Bruce Springsteen and U2's Bono, as well as those on board when Dre and Iovine joined forces, such as Snoop Dogg and Eminem.

The competition was stiff as the category was filled with compelling films such as One More Time With Feeling, Two Trains Runnin', Soundbreaking, and Long Strange Trip. 

Attention Music Fans: Take The GRAMMY Challenge NOW On KIK And Facebook Messenger

Pearl Jam Named Record Store Day 2019 Ambassadors

Pearl Jam

Photo: Kevin Mazur/WireImage.com

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Pearl Jam Named Record Store Day 2019 Ambassadors

Pearl Jam's Mike McCready says "if you love music," record stores are the place to find it

GRAMMYs/Feb 13, 2019 - 04:05 am

Record Store Day 2019 will arrive on April 13 and this year's RSD Ambassadors are Pearl Jam. Past ambassadors include Dave Grohl, Metallica, Run The Jewels (Killer Mike and El-P), and 61st GRAMMY Awards winner for Best Rock Song St. Vincent.

McCready was also the 2018 recipient of MusiCares' Stevie Ray Vaughan Award

The band was formed in 1990 by McCready, Jeff Ament, Stone Gossard, and Eddie Vedder, and they have played with drummer Matt Cameron since 2002. They have had five albums reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and four albums reach No. 2.

"Pearl Jam is honored to be Record Store Day's Ambassador for 2019. Independent record stores are hugely important to me," Pearl Jam's Mike McCready said in a statement publicizing the peak-vinyl event. "Support every independent record store that you can. They're really a good part of society. Know if you love music, this is the place to find it."

With a dozen GRAMMY nominations to date, Pearl Jam's sole win so far was at the 38th GRAMMY Awards for "Spin The Black Circle" for Best Hard Rock Performance.

Pearl Jam will be performing on March 3 in Tempe, Ariz. at the Innings festival, on June 15 in Florence, Italy at the Firenze Rocks Festival and at another festival in Barolo, Italy on June 17. On July 6 Pearl Jam will headline London's Wembley Stadium.

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Portugal. The Man To Aida Cuevas: Backstage At The 2018 GRAMMYs

Photos: WireImage.com

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Portugal. The Man To Aida Cuevas: Backstage At The 2018 GRAMMYs

Also see James Fauntleroy, Reba McIntire, Latroit, and more after they stepped off the GRAMMY stage

GRAMMYs/Jan 29, 2018 - 05:39 am

What do artists do the moment they walk off the GRAMMY stage from presenting, accepting an award or performing? Now, you can find out.

Take a peak at Album Of The Year GRAMMY winner Bruno Mars, 60th GRAMMY Awards Host James Cordon, Cardi B minutes before her electrifying performance of "Finesse," and more!

Also see Best Pop Duo/Group Performance GRAMMY winners Portugal. The Man posing with their first career GRAMMY Award, Best Roots Gospel Album GRAMMY winner Reba McIntire right after she walked offstage, Best R&B Song GRAMMY winner James Fauntleroy, Best Remixed Recording GRAMMY winner Latroit, and many more, with these photos from backstage during the 60th GRAMMY Awards.

Getting The Latest Music News Just Got Easier. Introducing: GRAMMY Bot. Find it On KIK and Facebook Messenger 

Original Misfits Unleash One Night Only L.A. Reunion Show

Glenn Danzig

Photo: Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images

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Original Misfits Unleash One Night Only L.A. Reunion Show

Dark punk legends to play first show with Glenn Danzig and Jerry Only since last year's Riot Fest reunion

GRAMMYs/Aug 22, 2017 - 05:28 am

There's big news today for punk-rock fans aware that the Misfits made much more than just T-shirts.

The massively influential punk band announced a special show touted as the "only 2017 performance in this world… or any world" and billed as "The Original Misfits" in Los Angeles at the Forum on Dec. 30.

This will be the first Misfits show featuring original singer Glenn Danzig and original bassist Jerry Only with long-time guitarist Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein since the band reunited for a pair of Riot Fest appearances in Chicago and Denver in 2016. Last year's Riot Fest gigs, which featured drummer Dave Lombardo, marked the first time in 33 years the original Misfits members played together.

"OK Los Angeles, you've waited almost 35 years for this, here's your chance to see the "Original Misfits" in this Exclusive L.A. only performance." said Glenn Danzig. "No Tour, No BS, just one night of dark metal-punk hardcore brutality that will go down in the history books. See you there."

Tickets for this "one night only" show go on sale Friday, August 25.

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