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I just discovered this singer this morning and have been listening to her two albums while working in the shop. El Mal Querer is pretty recent, I think it was released this month, but she had an earlier release last year, “Los Ángeles”, so maybe she’s old news for the Foro.
She’s Catalan and apparently has been accused of cultural appropriation because of the flamenco influences she has in her music. I don’t get any sense of this, I think it is what it is, but regardless, I really like what she’s doing and she’s got a great voice, IMO.
I’ve seen some of her stuff on YouTube the past couple of years. Don’t really care for her pop stuff or her “little girl” voice thing she does sometimes but She had some old videos of her singing pure flamenco in a Pena where she let it rip ...but she took them down. Apparently she studied cante at a conservatory and she seems pretty talented. wish she would do some more flamenco.
Ricardo, you had your gateway with the Gipsy Kings. She might be a gateway for millennials.
I wish Morante was still around, too. But I still like what she does (a lot) and also really like the new Potito and Mercé releases, too, and I don’t think I’m lacking taste or the ability to discern talent. It doesn’t all have to be about guitars and old-school.
lads, at end of day music is taste, id rather listen to tomate, merce, moraito on a daily basis than Rosalia.
That said, Omega by Enrique Morente, was not my cup of tea first time i listened to it, but its growing on me.
plus, thing that gets me lately, is alot of the top flamenco guitarists get away with recycling material on solo albums, cante accomp etc. is there a stinginess on creativity or do they hold out the new material for their new albums?
RE: Rosalía “El Mal Querer” (in reply to henrym3483)
I’ve wondered the same. Why save your ammunition when flamenco is already dead! For the predominantly solo guitarist Vicente recycles - or doesn’t use good falsetas, Tomatito has been playing the same material since Paseo de los Castanos (one of the greatest albums of all time). But Paco didn’t always hold out. But the thing is, I don’t really see a good reason to save your new falsetas for a solo album - it’s not going to effect album sales in this day and age. Maybe they just don’t have new material or the ideas are not developed yet to their liking.
I bet if she showed up and sang at one of your local flamenco jams nobody would be saying she sucks. I think she’s a real-deal artist making her own way in her own style. She self-produced both her albums prior to being picked up by Sony.
At any rate, I didn’t post about her to be contentious. I had considered posting it in the off topic section but I think what she is doing is actually relevant to flamenco, even if it’s not purely flamenco itself.
I did a bit of digging and here is how she put it in an interview:
“The way you have described your relationship with your flamenco teacher, El Chiqui, I get the image in my head of the Karate Kid and Mr. Miyagi.
- Yes, exactly. The world I grew up in is so instantaneous, so [snaps fingers]. In flamenco, you don’t know anything. Start again. Again. It doesn’t come out. Again. Patience. Patience. Years. Four years and I still don’t know how to sing. Five years, ****, still not there. And I have to keep going. And it blows my mind, because in flamenco, age is good. The best singers are old. That’s what made me think, “OK. I have my whole life to get better at this, and I will always have something to learn.”
Los Ángeles was rooted in flamenco, but it wasn’t a traditional take on the genre. Were you criticized for it?
- Many people said, “This isn’t flamenco.” Maybe it even made them mad. In flamenco, because it’s so strictly codified, there are people that have a very narrow way of looking at it, and if you deviate from that, you’re ****ing around with something sacred. To me, you should do things with respect and with love, but there’s nothing that’s untouchable.”
Interview was by Philip Sherburne for Pitchfork magazine (found online).
i've seen on other forums where raul referee, nino de elche and Rosalia, have been branded a cancer on current flamenco...
at end of day its down to taste, the stuff with Nino de Elche and Referee, that makes me cringe beyond belief, and i cant understand whats the purpose behind it. i appreciate the avant garde stuff, but imho, they respect the tradition of flamenco, they just paint with different colors on the same canvas.
i've been accused of being a staunch purist, from some people, regarding my tastes.
I like alot of old stuff, its good, and there's a lot of old artists i havn't had the opportunity to listen to yet.
if i had the choice of listening any day, lately its been, manuel moneo, el torta, agujetas, capullo, el chocolate and mairena or caracol...
other times, i listen to argentina, arcangel, poveda etc.
She doesn't do anything for me. Neither her "pop" nor her "little girl" voice mentioned by Jason are particularly inspiring.
I have to say, though, that to accuse her of "cultural appropriation" because she might exhibit some flamenco influence in her music is just plain stupid. The whole idea of "cultural appropriation" is rampant at US universities these days. We in the US have become so balkanized with our different "tribes" (Black dorms, Hispanic dorms, etc.) and sensitive little snowflakes, that anything out of the received wisdom of your narrow ethnic lane is considered "cultural appropriation."
I suppose eating tacos and frijoles refritos is appropriating Mexican culture. And of course all the non-Spaniards on this Foro are guilty of attempting to appropriate Spanish (specifically Andalusian) culture. And the rest of the world wearing Levi jeans are guilty of appropriating American culture.
The ignorami who complain about "cultural appropriation" have no idea about the exchange of culture and ideas among various ethnic groups throughout history. If they had their way, history would be preserved in amber.
I have no idea how "flamenco" this woman is or can be, but she is not guilty of "appropriating" anyone's culture. If, as I suspect, those who accuse her of such are gitanos from Andalusia, I suggest that they reflect on the origins of what they consider their own "precious" flamenco culture, and how much of it was "appropriated" (to use their term) from the Moors and Sephardic Jews.
And the end of the fight is a tombstone white, With the name of the late deceased, And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here, Who tried to hustle the East."
I spent a lot of time today wondering if I shouldn’t have started this thread, it sure feels like a mistake. I agree with Henry that it all comes down to taste, so maybe I shouldn’t feel too bad - I still get to enjoy her work, lol.
I first heard her music yesterday. The day before that I didn’t know she existed, so I had no idea how controversial a figure she has become in Spain. But, to me, if she’s so controversial then maybe it’s because she’s doing something right, maybe the discourse is overdue and needed.
She gets hit from all sides! The video Andy linked to was done on a low budget with her and her sister picking out her outfits and doing the makeup. For that she gets slammed for being a rich white kid from Barcelona. She expresses pride in the influence of women in her work and says she wants to move towards equal parity between the sexes for involvement in her future productions. For that, she gets slammed by the feminists for not blowing the proper dog-whistles and not being angry enough. She uses Andalusian iconography in videos and gets slammed for that - nope, not allowed, not yours to use, you have to thank us first. And on and on.
Pepe Habichuela says he loves her voice and Vicente Amigo says he loves her music, but on here...she sucks...dismissed. I don’t know...really?
I think flamenco is going to evolve however it may, regardless. These disputes have been going on forever. There is a huge amount of respect for the art in Spain and worldwide. The young Spanish artists, at least the ones not tied into some of the dynasties with the implied commitment to furthering the family business, are going to do with it whatever they please, and the fallout will be what it will be. But it’s always been that way, IMO, it’s how music and art stays alive.
Apparently, she’s moved to LA and so probably will become a big American pop star for all the people who shouldn’t be there,lol. At which point Spain will unite and be pissed off at the damn Yanks for stealing more of their treasure, I mean wasn’t copying El Ministerio del Tiempo bad enough? Then all will settle down and everything will be OK (and maybe a little bit boring) again, lol.
getting back to what taste constitutes, for me, this track, by Gerardo Nunez, was not my favorite track, off the album Travesia, but its grown on me over time.
but one day in the car, i think i understood, where this track may be coming from. its got a reference to pretty much all the elements/influences in flamenco. ie from Arabic culture, Spanish culture, African culture, ida y vuelta cuba, Caribbean, south america etc.
for some this, piece, may not appeal to flamenco purist's but you can't say gerardo's toque is not flamenco nor the piece is not flamenco, once again, comes down to taste.
She had some old videos of her singing pure flamenco in a Pena where she let it rip ...but she took them down. Apparently she studied cante at a conservatory and she seems pretty talented. wish she would do some more flamenco.
Doesn't sound to me like she can either.
Quoting a well put comment: "Llamar a esto bulería es como llamar jamón de bellota al choped"