meta-scriptThalía On Her New Album 'DesAMORfosis,' Past Lovers & How Her Innovative Intuition Has Paid Off |
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Photo: Enrique Vega


Thalía On Her New Album 'DesAMORfosis,' Past Lovers & How Her Innovative Intuition Has Paid Off

The legendary Latin American superstar and fashion icon Thalía candidly talks about how her love life inspired her new album and how the music industry has caught on to the musical curiosity she’s had for years

GRAMMYs/May 15, 2021 - 02:04 am

The history of the mojito cocktail is largely disputed. Though the exact etymology of the word "mojo" is uncertain, its origin traces back to Africa where the word refers to a magical charm or talisman. Add a Spanish suffix for a diminutive and you get “mojito,” the sweet yet tart summer drink that some believe was created by African slaves in Cuba. Though originally medicinal, in Latin American icon Thalía’s case, it’s the magical love enabler.

"When I first saw you, I never thought you’d be suga’ for my cocktail," the queen of Latin pop croons in Spanish over a simple guitar strum on her latest single "Mojito." The song captures that first contact with passionate love, and treads through the many ways it unfolds, culminating in a mojito-induced kiss. This lust-filled moment marks the starting point for Thalía’s voyage through love, heartbreak and metamorphosis on her latest album, desAMORfosis.  

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"[The album] is opening a dialogue about what has broken you into pieces ... what has wounded your heart, what has tattooed your soul, what has slashed your sense of being, and how you’ve rebuilt yourself to move forward," Thalía says, explaining desAMORfosis’ theme over a Zoom call, as she sits in front of a perfectly adorned pastel blue and pink colored backdrop. "In that moment, you learned and grew in some way because of those loves.” On the album, the singer and mogul thanks past lovers who have taught her something and simultaneously lets them go. “It’s an appropriate time to take that internal trip and experience an intense and beautiful metamorphosis in your current life," she explains.  

A multi-hyphenated artist, Thalía’s legendary career spans musical releases in Spanish, English and even Tagalog. She’s acted in telenovelas and created fashion and lifestyle businesses. And while limiting her legacy to a single paragraph doesn’t do her justice, she’s an institution of Latin pop music, not only in Mexico and Latin America but throughout the entire world—and that speaks volumes. Throughout her 30 plus years in the industry, Thalía has maintained herself at the top of her game by always innovating her craft, whether with sounds or lyrics or fashion. Some of her latest accolades include her 2018 collaboration "No Me Acuerdo" with Natti Natasha becoming the most listened-to song of that summer in Latin America and receiving the Latin GRAMMYs' President's Merit Award in 2019.  

With desAMORfosis, we go on a ride through the Mexican singer’s self-reflective exercise, revisiting moments of rejection and loneliness, to the exaltation of a sentimental and sexual attraction, and concluding with development in her character. It encompasses her signature discography, the sonic palette of the record is assorted with catchy pop melodies, heartfelt ballads, and embraces the present: perreo-inducing reggaeton infused bangers. It, of course, wouldn’t be a Thalía album without plenty of collaborations. For desAMORfosis, the "¿A Quién Le Importa?" singer enlisted el movimiento staples Jhay Cortez, Myke Towers, Farina, and Tainy, as well as her fellow Mexican stars Sofía Reyes and Sergio Lizárraga from Banda MS, among others. 

Thalía spoke to near the end of last month about desAMORfosis, the stories she’s sharing through the album, relying on her intuition to make career moves, and hosting the tribute to women in Latin music by the Latin Recording Academy, Ellas y Su Música

This interview was conducted in Spanish and has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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Congrats on desAMORfosis! How are you feeling about finally releasing the full album after teasing us with a few singles from it? 

I’m very eager to share this adventure called desAMORfosis, in which I take mi gente on a very personal journey through 14 songs on what falling in love, falling out of love, and [the process of] metamorphosis have been like in my life.  

What are some of your favorite songs on the album?

I love them all. But I can tell you that one is my most treasured, which is the song I close out the album with. It’s called “Barrio” and I love it. This album, the way in which I constructed and formed it, tells the story about what love is to a human being. The way in which it develops, when you meet someone, when you fall in love, when you’re blinded by it, when the blindfold falls, when your heart is broken, when you end a relationship but then get back together but it’s still not good for you… And at the end you realize that it’s actually all about self-love, that you have to start by loving yourself. That’s what’s important. That song completes the entire circle, it goes back to self-love. 

The word "metamorphosis" implies transformation, evolution. Since the album is not only telling stories about the love you experience with someone else, but with yourself too, can you talk about that emotional growth you depict throughout desAMORfosis?

I believe everyone in one way or another, during this pandemic, we’ve had to take an internal journey no matter what, there wasn’t an option. I think all of this made us realize where we wanted to take our lives from now on. I think there’s a before and after, and there are things from the past that are a hindrance and you don’t have to carry them with you, in your thoughts, your memories. There are things you have to let go off. In the last months, I let go of several heartbreaks, of several loves that, in their time, were important. I embraced, thanked, and let go [of them]. What has stayed with me is that metamorphosis that gives you the strength to stand up, to rebuild yourself, to liberate yourself. It’s like healing. And what I’ve lived through these past months is depicted in each song [on the album].

How does the newest single, "Mojito," fit into this narrative arc?

"Mojito" is that exact moment when you feel a connection with someone. It’s the moment when eyes meet, sense of touch follows, then the endorphins, and it goes from there and there’s no turning back. This song opens the album and it’s something we made in a studio in Miami, Elena Rose, the producers, and I. And when Elenita and I team up, sparks flare and our most sensual sides come out. The result of that is “Mojito.”

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It’s interesting that the album opens with that initial connection with someone else, and it concludes with "Barrio," which has to do with the sense of belonging.

Exactly. It’s about first looking for love outside of yourself and then realizing that what you’ve traversed throughout your entire life, where you were born, your roots, your family, up til who you are today. That has given you a sense of unique appreciation and that’s what shapes your identity. 

Speaking of identity, desAMORfosis is a very Thalía album when it comes to genre and sonic diversity. There’s some bachata, banda, reggaetón pop. And since the ‘90s, you’ve incorporated many Latin sounds in your music, which is now the trend in global music. What’s your take on how music has changed and, in a way even, adapted to what you’ve always been doing?

I feel like everything is cyclical in music, in fashion. All of a sudden, the same behavior patterns repeat themselves but in a new interpretation. In my discography, I’ve been very curious. My spinal column is pop, but at the same time, I’ve always liked to interact with other rhythms, with other characters, other singers that will give me different elements. Which now, it’s something that people expect from their artists. You expect to hear, on the same song, four artists from different genres, countries, in different languages, and that’s OK, it’s perfect. But when I first started, that was seen as "that’s weird, you can’t do that." So it’s incredible to see, to realize "híjole [wow], my intuition." And that’s what I always tell people, never lose your intuition because that’s what makes you different from the rest. 

Now that we’re on the topic of collaborations, this album also has several of them with newer or emerging artists in the Latin field. Since you’re an artist with a longer, more accomplished career, what have you learned working with these artists at the dawn of their careers?

I appreciate those collaborations a lot. Not only with artists, singers and producers, but with everyone, engineers, musicians, anyone who shares some of their knowledge with you. Everyone has their own way of viewing life and that’s something I love because when I get out of my comfort zone and I’m in the studio with someone who sees life differently than I do, and uses different words, and structures songs differently than how I do it, it excites me, it provokes [something in] me. It makes me feel like there’s still a long way to go. 

I’m still obsessed with "Tímida," your collaboration with Pabllo Vittar...

It’s so good!

It’s so good!!

[sings] Ti tímida, ti tímida. I love it. 

It gets stuck in your head all day, in the best way. How do you pick the collaborations you do?

They have to give me a sense of like, they jump out of the screen. In many instances, they’ll say, "this person, it’d be great if you collaborate with them,” but then I see a video or something on their social media, and I don’t connect with them. But there are others where they do something and I say, "that’s how we’re going to connect and the public will feel it." It’s when you feel the, "Yes, we vibe well and the public will vibe with that too."

It resonated with me when you talked about relying on your intuition to make decisions that 15-20 years later have proven fruitful. For example, in the mid-2000’s you released your first English album, and the single "I Want You" even charted on Billboard’s Hot 100. Back then, there were many Latinx artists attempting their crossover by singing in English. But now, Latinx artists are charting or even gaining global recognition with their songs in Spanish. What’s your take on this, especially since you’ve been part of the two so-called Latin waves in mainstream music? 

I think that now is our moment, and in our language, which is the fascinating part, in comparison to what happened in the ’00s, which was us trying to have our crossover in English, but with our Latin sounds. Today, there’s respect, love, and recognition for us, for our community, our industry, our music and message. I think that’s marvelous, and that it’s here to stay for a long time. There’s no language anymore, it’s just music, it’s just rhythm, it’s just about feeling it.

You’ve had a decades-long career where you’ve always stayed on top, which is not easy, especially for a woman. And, in my opinion, at least, you’ve always stayed ahead of or adapted well to the times and trends. How do you do this? 

I like to listen. I’m stubborn, but I like to listen and learn, too. That’s something I learned from my father during the few years I had him with me. But that was it—always ask, always learn, always read, investigate, never settle for the answer given. My father was a criminologist, so he always taught me to learn for myself and that everything is always changing. And I like that. I like to adapt, I like to change, I like to go out of my comfort zone. 

Going back a bit to the collaborations, I also loved "Tick Tock," with Farina and Sofía Reyes, because not only is it a dope song but the looks you’re all wearing are amazing. And the first time I watched it I thought, "Of course, Thalía has always been avant-garde but in a very pop fashion icon way." So in the context of your trajectory and tying it to what you said about everything, especially fashion, being cyclical, how do you choose your looks? What do you want to communicate through them?

Fashion is an extension of a version of yourself from a specific moment. And because we’re always changing, we’re always evolving. Fashion is a way to express ourselves, and I’ve used it to create controversy. I’ve utilized [fashion] to express myself and as an extension of the Thalía from that moment.  

Changing topics, there’s this reckoning happening right now set off by the Britney Spears documentary on how the media and society as a whole have led toxic, misogynistic narratives about young female stars like her or even Paris Hilton which have impacted their lives and careers. You also started your career as a teen girl, and you experienced a lot of that. Like being criticized for your lyrics or what you wore, or like that time on a TV program where the host said that you looked "corrientota" (cheap, trashy) to your face. I feel like that’s something in particular that wouldn’t happen today, for example. What are your thoughts on this?

I think that those are instances that aren’t permitted by society nowadays. The fact that with a hashtag you can rally communities in an instant and give them a voice and set off a movement [against] an aggression or a disrespectful instance — I think social media is what has made that difference. And I love that because it’s an open platform for everyone who has something to say, to fight for, so that they can unite and bring attention [to their cause]. 

You hosted Ellas y Su Música on May 9, the Latin Recording Academy’s tribute to Latinas and women in Latin music. What can you tell us about that?

[It’s exciting] because it was about time that we had a program like this, especially backed by the wonderful Latin GRAMMY’s. I think it’s the right moment to celebrate so many women in the music industry that have paved the way for many others to be able to stand here and to celebrate their achievements. And bravo to the Academy for making this homage and this great program for every woman who has left her mark in the music industry.  

Earlier this year you released Thalia: Los Inicios digitally, which included your first few albums. What songs from those records would you tell people to revisit or go discover for the first time?

All of them! Those first three albums are spectacular and they have very profound lyrics, like "Flores Secas En La Piel," "Sangre." There are many intense songs, the music proposal was very sensual or sexual, like “Pacto Entre Los Dos,” “Love.” There are many, many songs, and those are albums that needed that vindication, especially in the digital age. I was very surprised to see them in first place on iTunes, I was like, “This is a dream! If only my mom could’ve seen this.” It’s surreal. 

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Yes, especially since many of those songs were banned on Mexican radio stations back then.

Those songs were forbidden because of the content! Now you turn on the radio or download a song, the lyrics go above and beyond, but back then it was about going against the grain. And how cool was that? That a 17-year-old girl stuck to her guns and said, "I don’t care, I’m going to sing about that!"

And now you can even say "y te encabronaste" (pissed off) on "Ya Tú Me Conoces" and no one bats an eye. 

Exactly, and that’s it!

Other than the release of desAMORfosis, what other projects do you have coming out?

We have lots of surprises. Obviously music. We have two other plans that I’m finishing up, and they’re spectacular, about to launch. I’m also very excited about the business side, the Thalía Sodi collection, and we have a new collection for the home, things for the bedroom, bathroom, accessories. Many projects, I never stop. I never stay still or quiet. I’m always creating.

Relive Ellas Y Su Música: Chiquis & Dolly Parton Perform "Jolene" And Other Performances From The Historic Night

Collage image featuring photos of (from left) Maka, La Plazuela, Mëstiza, María José Llergo, C. Tangana, Queralt Lahoz
(From left): Maka, La Plazuela, Mëstiza, María José Llergo, C. Tangana, Queralt Lahoz

Photos: Atilano Garcia/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images; Ricardo Rubio/Europa Press via Getty Images; Juan Naharro Gimenez/Getty Images; PABLO GALLARDO/REDFERNS; Aldara Zarraoa/WireImage; Mario Wurzburger/WireImage


6 Artists Reimagining Flamenco For A New Generation: María José Llergo, C. Tangana, Mëstiza & More

Contemporary artists like La Plazuela, Queralt Lahoz, and Maka are transforming flamenco by blending traditional roots with innovative sounds and global influences.

GRAMMYs/Apr 22, 2024 - 03:24 pm

Flamenco is undergoing a sweeping transformation. Propelled not by a single artist, but by a wave of creative talents, a new generation of artists are injecting fresh life into this storied genre. 

Six years after Rosalía's 2018 release, El Mal Querer, catalyzed a wider renaissance in the flamenco world with an approach inspired by the legendary Romani flamenco singer Camarón de la Isla a new wave of artists are rushing in to redefine the landmark Latin sound.  

A new generation of Spanish musicians draw deep inspiration from flamenco's rich traditions while redefining its contemporary form. Rooted in the flamenco traditions cherished by their ancestors, today's artists are innovating this heritage with a new set of sensibilities. Flamenco itself, with its diverse array of styles or palos, offers a unique medium of expression, characterized by distinctive rhythmic patterns, melody and emotional intensity. 

Discover the vibrant future of flamenco through the innovative works of trailblazers like La Plazuela, Queralt Lahoz, Mëstiza, C. Tangana, Maka, and María José Llergo. From Maka's trap-fueled infusions of reggaeton to Lahoz's innovations on traditional guitar-playing techniques, each of these artists, with their unique contemporary take on traditional styles, is reimagining flamenco and captivating audiences around the world. 

La Plazuela

La Plazuela duo Manuel Hidalgo and Luis Abril are both from Albaicín in the Andalusian city of Granada. It's a district infused with rich cultural history, where steep, winding streets are bursting with art and the sounds of flamenco. 

La Plazuela soaks the rhythms of flamenco in a distinctively sunny sound, forgoing the woeful connotations of the genre to explore new, optimistic possibilities. On their new song "Alegrías De La Ragua" the pair teamed up with flamenco singer David de Jacoba and electro producer Texture. The track is an ode to the sugar cane fields of Andalusia, highlighting the region’s agricultural importance and intrinsic relationship with the land — distinctly Granada both in sound and story.

Queralt Lahoz

Born in Barcelona to an Anducian family, Queralt Lahoz was raised on the sounds of flamenco at home where her Granada-born grandmother immersed her in the musical traditions of southern Spain. 

While her soulful, urban style deeply resonates with flamenco, Lahoz has stressed that she is not a purist of the genre and enjoys experimenting with different styles. Stripped back, brutally honest and direct, tracks like "De La Cueva a Los Olivos" is a multifaceted track that opens with rasgueado (percussive guitar technique integral to flamenco) that evolves into a brassy, jazzy chorus, and even includes a rap verse. She cites late flamenco great La Niña de los Peines alongside Wu-Tang Clan among her influences — a testament to her love of musical diversity. 


Mëstiza envisioned flamenco for the nightclub: The DJ duo Pitty Bernad and Belah were already hot names in the Spanish club scene before they combined forces.  

Pitty hails from the southern region Castilla-La Mancha, and Belah from neighboring Andalucia. The two met in the Madrid DJ scene and shared a love for electronic music steeped in folkloric tradition. They are behind legendary Spanish club night Sacro, an immersive audiovisual experience rooted in ritualistic Spanish folklore. The duo has plans to bring their unique Sacro sound across the globe soon with to-be-announced performances planned for Europe, Asia, and the United States. 

C. Tangana

C. Tangana (full name Antón Álvarez) co-wrote eight songs on former flame Rosalía's El Mal Querer and demonstrates his dexterity and vision in the sounds of flamenco on his 2020 release, El Madrileño. The album explores regional sounds from across Spain and Latin America, employing the finest artists from these genres as collaborators. 

The album's first single, "Tú Me Dejaste De Querer" features flamenco stars Niño de Elche and La Húngara singing in the chorus between Álvarez’s rapped verses. Alvaréz’s tour of the album was based on a typical Spanish sobremesa (post-dinner conversation), with bottles of wine placed on a long table set with tapas, elbow-to-elbow with fellow musicians who clap palmas flamencas, play guitar, and provide backing vocals. El Madrileño earned three Latin GRAMMYs in 2021 and The Tiny Desk performance of the album is among the series’ most-watched concerts


Granada-born Maka has been a pioneer in viewing flamenco through an urban lens. A versatile artist, he is both a skilled rapper and prolific singer/songwriter. In his 2014 release, Pna, Maka combined flamenco singing (canté) over hip-hop beats ("La Dirty Flamenca") and reversed the formula to rap over flamenco rhythms ("Vividor").  

Maka returned to flex his mastery in flamenco in his 2021 album, Detrás de Esta Pinta Hay un Flamenco, which pays homage to the melodic pop-flamenco bands of the 1980s and 1990s with a throwback feel. His latest 2024 single "Amor Ciego'' combines a reggaeton beat with flamenco vocal embellishments, calling back to many of his early reggaeton and trap-fueled releases. 

María José Llergo 

María José Llergo released her debut album Ultrabelleza last October to critical acclaim, sparking an upcoming U.S. tour. As a trained flamenco vocalist, she graduated from the prestigious Escuela Superior de Música de Cataluña (Rosalía is a fellow alum.)

Llergo grew up in the small town of Pozoblanco, on the outskirts of the Andalusian city, Cordoba. Her grandfather, a vegetable farmer, taught Llergo flamenco from a young age, singing with her as he worked the land. 

Llergo’s music combines flamenco with the sounds of nature, reimagined synthetically through electronic experimentation that results in lush, immersive soundscapes. "I turn like the moon in the sky... If I stop moving, I’ll die", she sings in Spanish on the track "Rueda, Rueda," contemplating the rhythm of life. Her lyrics are deeply poetic and metaphorical, tying place to emotion, and nature to feeling. 

María José Llergo On Her Debut Album 'Ultrabelleza,' Her Upcoming US Tour & Flamenco As A Cultural Bridge

La Santa Cecilia poses for a photo together in front of a step and repeat at the GRAMMY Museum
La Santa Cecilia

Photo: Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for The Recording Academy


La Santa Cecilia Celebrates Their 'Alma Bohemia' With Documentary Screening & Performance At The GRAMMY Museum

In a documentary screening detailing the making of their album 'Cuatro Copas' followed by a discussion and live performance at the GRAMMY Museum, La Santa Cecilia recounts years of making music and friendship.

GRAMMYs/Apr 9, 2024 - 06:32 pm

"Oh no, I’m going to start crying again," says La Santa Cecilia singer La Marisoul during a touching scene in Alma Bohemia, the documentary directed by Carlos Pérez honoring the Los Angeles band’s 15 year anniversary. 

As it turns out, there are many reasons to be emotional about this film — and the very existence of La Santa Cecilia in the contemporary Latin music landscape. Fittingly, Alma Bohemia was received enthusiastically by the capacity audience during an exclusive screening on April 3 at the GRAMMY Museum’s Clive Davis Theater in Los Angeles. 

Formed by La Marisoul (real name is Marisol Hernández), bassist Alex Bendaña, accordionist and requinto player José "Pepe" Carlos and percussionist Miguel "Oso" Ramírez, La Santa Cecilia was for years one of the best kept secrets in the Los Angeles music scene.  As close friends and musicians, they won over audiences with an organic, down-to-earth sound and a lovely songbook that draws from traditional formats such as bolero, ranchera and nueva canción.

Alma Bohemia follows the making of La Santa’s 2023 album, Cuatro Copas Bohemia en la Finca Altozano. A celebration of the band’s longevity, the session also functions as a subtle, yet powerful musical experiment. It was recorded at the Finca Altozano in Baja California, where the band members stayed as guests of celebrated chef Javier Plascencia — a longtime fan.

Argentine producer Sebastián Krys — the band’s longtime collaborator — calls this his Alan Lomax experiment. The album was recorded live on tape with a variety of strategically placed microphones capturing hints of ambient sonics — a sweet afternoon breeze, the clinking of glasses, the musicians’ banter, the soft sounds that accompany stillness. 

From the very beginning, the making of Cuatro Copas mirrors the band’s bohemian cosmovision: A communal approach where the quartet — together with carefully selected guest stars — get together to share the magic of creation, the unity of like-minded souls, homemade food, and more than a couple of drinks. In effect, the bottles of mezcal and never ending rounds of toasting quickly become a running joke throughout the documentary.

La Marisoul’s fragile lament is enveloped in spiraling lines of mournful electric guitars with soulful understatement on the track "Almohada." Guest artists liven things up, with Oaxacan sister duo Dueto Dos Rosas adding urgency to "Pescadores de Ensenada," while son jarocho master Patricio Hidalgo ventures into a lilting (yet hopeful) "Yo Vengo A Ofrecer Mi Corazón," the ‘90s Argentine rock anthem by Fito Páez.

Visibly delighted to be part of the bohemia, 60-year-old ranchera diva Aida Cuevas steals the show with her rousing rendition of "Cuatro Copas," the José Alfredo Jiménez classic. "Viva México!" she exclaims as the entire group sits around a bonfire at night, forging the past and future of Mexican American music into one.

Read more: La Santa Cecilia Perform "Someday, Someday New"

Following the screening, the band sat down for a Q&A session hosted by journalist Betto Arcos. Sitting on the first row, a visibly moved young woman from El Salvador thanked the band for helping her to cope with the complex web of feelings entailed in migrating from Latin America. La Santa’s songs, she said, reminded her of the loving abuelita who stayed behind.

"We love the old boleros and rancheras," said La Marisoul. "We became musicians by playing many of those songs in small clubs and quinceañeras. It’s a repertoire that we love, and I don’t think that will ever change."

Carlos touched on his experience being a member of Santa Cecilia for about seven years before he was able to secure legal status in the U.S. When the band started to get concert bookings in Texas, they would take long detours on their drives to avoid the possibility of being stopped by the authorities. Carlos thanked his wife Ana for the emotional support she provided during those difficult years.

Ramírez took the opportunity to acknowledge producer Krys for being an early champion of the band. "He had a vision, and he made us better," he said, flashing forward to a recent edition of the Vive Latino festival. "There were about 12,000 people to see us," he said. "And they were singing along to our tunes."

"The band is just an excuse to hang out with your friends," added La Marisoul just before La Santa performed two live songs. Her voice sounded luminous and defiant in the theater’s intimate space, always the protagonist in the group’s delicately layered arrangements.

"The first time I got to see the finished documentary, I felt proud of all the work we’ve done together," said producer Krys from his Los Angeles studio the day after the screening. "On the other hand, there’s a lot of work ahead of us. I believe La Santa Cecilia deserves wider exposure. They should be up there among the greatest artists in Latin music."

Martha Reeves Takes L.A.: The "Queen Of Motown" Shares Memories Of Smokey Robinson, Her Solo Career & Finally Receiving A Hollywood Star

Pablo Alborán
Pablo Alborán performs on stage at WiZink Center in Madrid, Spain.

Photo: Aldara Zarraoa / Redferns / GettyImages


Pablo Alborán Reflects on His Latin GRAMMY History, Talismans & Lessons From 'La Cu4rta Hoja'

Pablo Alborán discusses his emotional journey with the Latin GRAMMYs — a total of 29 nominations and no wins — as well as the process behind his GRAMMY-nominated album 'La Cu4rta Hoja.'

GRAMMYs/Jan 8, 2024 - 02:59 pm

Spanish singer/songwriter Pablo Alborán has a unique history with the Latin GRAMMYs. Although he receives a nomination for each album he releases, he has yet to win a golden gramophone. 

At the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs, Alborán was the Spaniard with the most nominations. He received a total of five nominations, including Album Of The Year, Record Of The Year, and Song Of The Year. Yet on the Biggest Night In Latin Music, none of the envelopes that announced the winner had Alborán's name. Since 2011, he has been nominated 29 times without a win; his most meaningful accomplishment, however, is the freedom to continue making music and having untiring support from his family, friends, and fans. 

"Refer to last year's #LatinGRAMMY post," Alborán wrote on X (formerly known as Twitter), followed by a series of smiling emojis after the ceremony.

At the 2024 GRAMMYs, Alborán's 2022 album La Cu4rta Hoja is nominated for Best Latin Pop Album. The record competes against Don Juan by Maluma, A Ciegas from Paula Arena, Pedro Capó's La Neta, Gaby Moreno's X Mí (Vol. 1), and Beautiful Humans, Vol. 1 by AleMor.

During his Latin American tour, Alborán sat down with via Zoom to speak about the lessons from La Cu4rta Hoja, his history with the Latin GRAMMYs, and his return to the stages in the United States.

In 2011, you received your first Latin GRAMMY nominations for Best New Artist, Best Male Pop Vocal Album for his self-titled debut LP, and Song Of The Year for "Solamente tú." What do you remember from that ceremony?

When they told me about the Latin GRAMMYs; it was an enormous thrill. I wasn't familiar with the Latin GRAMMY because my career just started. They called me and said, 'Hey, Demi Lovato is going to sing with you,' which was also very intense. 

I remember taking my parents [to Las Vegas], which was the terrible part because they dressed formally. My mother looked like Cinderella, my father looked like a prince, my brother... They were all there and seated a little farther from us. When they announced the winners…I looked back, and my parents' faces, poor things, they looked as if I had been killed. [Laughs.]They were outraged, trying to pretend they were okay so I wouldn't see them upset. I had Sie7e and his wife sitting next to me, the happiness they felt when he won the Best New Artist award; I was shocked at how happy and excited they were. 

I was genuinely happy, suddenly seeing their happiness after so much work. I understand there's a competitive aspect; we're human beings, but I've been watching the Latin GRAMMYs for many years, living how it is, enjoying, learning to enjoy under pressure.

Unlike in the past, you had no talismans for the 24th Latin GRAMMYs ceremony. Although you did not use any at the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs, you often use talismans such as eagles, twins, and silver clothes for luck. When did this practice start? It appeared that it became an obsession, as you constantly searched for signs everywhere.

It was a way to protect myself and hang on to something and, of course, be able to let go of it as well. Thank goodness I didn't win the Latin GRAMMY when I had all the eagle signs; otherwise, my house would be filled with eagle talismans (laughs). I could see myself getting hooked on the eagle stuff. We must put everything into perspective and live the experience without overthinking. I try not to be too superstitious about anything, anyway, because it's a kind of slavery.

It has been a year since the release of La Cu4rta Hoja. What have you learned from the album and its 11 songs?

Each album is a journey; it is a new experience. Each album teaches you something different, and this one has taught me to live at the speed of musical consumption and not lose the essence in the middle of this journey. 

Being able to innovate while simultaneously maintaining your roots and supporting what you like in music —that balance will always be more challenging to maintain due to what surrounds you, the speed with which music is consumed, and the fact that millions of songs are released weekly. There are times when that effort is more challenging and other times, it is effortless. 

Touring gives me the illusion of seeing an audience that wants to feel the songs regardless of their style. People want to feel and want to see their feelings reflected in the lyrics and the music. And that reminds me why I make music and why I am here. 

Have you been surprised by reactions to any particular song from La Cu4rta Hoja?

"A Batir las Alas" surprised me a lot during concerts because it is a very personal song and, at the same time, a little strange… The lyrics, the way of singing it, the structure, and the response from the people in concerts were excellent. 

"Voraces" also surprised me a lot. It is the third song on the show's setlist. It amazes me that people sing and like it since it is a song that wasn't a single and has a strange concept; it's like a tanguillo [an upbeat and catchy flamenco palo] and, simultaneously, a chacarera [a polyrhythmic Argentinean folk subgenre].

You've always been involved with producing your albums, but you've taken a more prominent role in your last two albums. Why was that? 

In [2020's] Vértigo, I worked remotely, which was challenging. That album was very complicated to put together because I worked with Julio Reyes Copello from Miami, the strings were made in Prague, and my guitarists were in [Spain]. It was a fun process on the one hand but cold on the other. I felt like things were lost. I learned a lot on that album as well. In the end, you know how you want your song to sound, so you have to be very involved. 

On this last album, some songs didn't change much from the demo I produced at home. We wanted to stick with that first idea…playing it live and improving some things. But that production was already done. For example, "A Batir las Alas" worked with a guitar and a string, and there was not even a drum; there was barely a bass. It is a reasonably large ballad, yet we wanted to make it small. There are other times that the producer's work obviously, no matter how much I am involved, [is needed].

What do you like the most about producing?

The freedom. You feel an absence of judgment, an absence of limits. I can spend hours in the studio without eating, without seeing anyone, working with the musicians and the producers, or whoever is there. It feels like anything is possible — not because you know that the process can change suddenly, but because you know that what you produce, maybe you will hear again the next day, and it seems like a disaster, or it could be the best thing in the world.

So I really enjoyed it, knowing that moment was mine and that of those who were there, no one would hear it or give their opinion. Once it's finished, that song is no longer mine; it belongs to everyone. But it is enjoyable to feel that you are jumping into the void and that you are going to fall into the water.

La Cu4rta Hoja was created during your last tour. Has the album inspired you to create new songs?

There are ideas... When I'm on the plane, I spend hours listening to the voice notes on my phone, which are ideas [for] millions of songs I have. I'm in the hotel room, coming from a show or going to a show, and an idea comes to mind, and I record it and then review it. 

Silence is indeed necessary to create. So, I am very focused on giving 100 percent on this tour. There are many trips, many countries. It is the longest, almost the most extended tour we are doing, and then when I return home, and I am in that silence and in that tranquility, everything I am experiencing will explode. There are a lot of emotions and inputs that I'm receiving that I still can't capture because I'm non-stop.

This is the most extensive tour you will do in the United States. What is it like preparing for all those dates? You will go to cities you've never performed in before.

There's a lot of enthusiasm and excitement. We were already in the United States a few years ago, and it was necessary to come back, and the fact that people want it is a gift to me. 

Different things happen at each concert, the repertoire changes, and we let ourselves be carried away by what happens and the place we are in. We also sing versions, maybe a song by a local artist, and in the United States, I'm excited to do some covers of things I already have in mind.

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Kendrick Lamar GRAMMY Rewind Hero
Kendrick Lamar

Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic


GRAMMY Rewind: Kendrick Lamar Honors Hip-Hop's Greats While Accepting Best Rap Album GRAMMY For 'To Pimp a Butterfly' In 2016

Upon winning the GRAMMY for Best Rap Album for 'To Pimp a Butterfly,' Kendrick Lamar thanked those that helped him get to the stage, and the artists that blazed the trail for him.

GRAMMYs/Oct 13, 2023 - 06:01 pm

Updated Friday Oct. 13, 2023 to include info about Kendrick Lamar's most recent GRAMMY wins, as of the 2023 GRAMMYs.

A GRAMMY veteran these days, Kendrick Lamar has won 17 GRAMMYs and has received 47 GRAMMY nominations overall. A sizable chunk of his trophies came from the 58th annual GRAMMY Awards in 2016, when he walked away with five — including his first-ever win in the Best Rap Album category.

This installment of GRAMMY Rewind turns back the clock to 2016, revisiting Lamar's acceptance speech upon winning Best Rap Album for To Pimp A Butterfly. Though Lamar was alone on stage, he made it clear that he wouldn't be at the top of his game without the help of a broad support system. 

"First off, all glory to God, that's for sure," he said, kicking off a speech that went on to thank his parents, who he described as his "those who gave me the responsibility of knowing, of accepting the good with the bad."

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He also extended his love and gratitude to his fiancée, Whitney Alford, and shouted out his Top Dawg Entertainment labelmates. Lamar specifically praised Top Dawg's CEO, Anthony Tiffith, for finding and developing raw talent that might not otherwise get the chance to pursue their musical dreams.

"We'd never forget that: Taking these kids out of the projects, out of Compton, and putting them right here on this stage, to be the best that they can be," Lamar — a Compton native himself — continued, leading into an impassioned conclusion spotlighting some of the cornerstone rap albums that came before To Pimp a Butterfly.

"Hip-hop. Ice Cube. This is for hip-hop," he said. "This is for Snoop Dogg, Doggystyle. This is for Illmatic, this is for Nas. We will live forever. Believe that."

To Pimp a Butterfly singles "Alright" and "These Walls" earned Lamar three more GRAMMYs that night, the former winning Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song and the latter taking Best Rap/Sung Collaboration (the song features Bilal, Anna Wise and Thundercat). He also won Best Music Video for the remix of Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood." 

Lamar has since won Best Rap Album two more times, taking home the golden gramophone in 2018 for his blockbuster LP DAMN., and in 2023 for his bold fifth album, Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers.

Watch Lamar's full acceptance speech above, and check back at every Friday for more GRAMMY Rewind episodes. 

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