maybe Rosalia’s secret of his artistic power and the ability to face increasingly risky challenges, we should go look for him in his childhood, when I was riding a trial Beta Junior through the woods around Montserrat. Or when her parents took her to the regional concentrations of Harley Davidson fans. There are graphic testimonies that corroborate it and she herself admits that trial or enduro, more demanding, are part of his sentimental education and the way he has of understanding life and music. The things that are worthwhile, according to Rosalía, are those that scare you a little at first, those that take you to the edge of the abyss, like those motorized excursions as a child.
Maybe now it is better understood the ‘Motomami’ phenomenon and everything that has come after, in a year of madness in which we have learned that reggaeton was already part of the Rosalía that we knew from the beginning, the one that presented ‘Los Ángeles’ as a flamenco album about death and ‘El ill want’ as the contemporary reconstruction of a medieval Occitan novel, an ESMUC end-of-year project.
Speaking of ‘Los Angeles’, I remember the time he performed close to home, in a small chamber hall for 336 people. On those same dates, in 2017, Sopa de Cabra brought together 3,600 people in a pavilion. The propaganda for the concert said that “tradition and experimentation, the flamenco of Manolo Caracol and American minimalism, pure noisy folklore without electricity” were mixed. The chronicles of the moment insisted on the purification of the form: “Lorquiana and minimalist”, they said, “she is emerging as a contemporary flamenco voice; she has a contained viscerality & rdquor ;. Or more: “It sounds fresh, innovative and modern, yes, but without losing sight of the tradition, the essence or the history of popular singing& rdquor ;.
Viscerality containment exploded along the way, in these five short years of international ‘boom’. Before, we were able to see extremely subtle interpretations like that ‘Catalina’ sung a cappella or like the exciting and slow ‘Me quedo contigo’ by Los Chunguitos, which shook us at the 2019 Goya gala, accompanied by the choirs of the Orfeó Català. Or like her participation in the Cadaqués International Music Festival or the performance in the tribute to Salvador Espriu at the Palau de la Música.
But the reggaeton was also there. I was already there. Perhaps she had not emerged yet and was restricted to the memory of adolescent outings in the Baix Llobregat discos, but she was there. What she herself calls “classic reggaeton”, like that of Daddy Yankee, Don Omar or that ‘Daddy cool, I bring you the Mmm’ by Lorna. Rosalia Vila Tobella grew older while dancing this rhythm and later placed it on a par with flamenco or jazz, for example, “because everything is music, and I don’t make distinctions”. That drive for the motorcycle and the fear of going too fast, and the need to overcome it and run, viscerally, without restraint.
Let’s change a record time. Before the coffin of Pier Paolo Pasolini, Alberto Moravia said that a poet had died and that, poets, there are not that many: “only three or four are born every century& rdquor ;. Before a performance by Rosalía, the Colombian singer Juanes declared: “She’s like Edith Piaf or Carlos Gardel: someone like that only comes out every 50”. The girl from Sant Esteve Sesrovires who has had enough of winning Grammys (She has them at her mother’s house, “12 or 13”, she says; she hasn’t counted them), now she shares an album with her partner, the Puerto Rican musician Raüw Alejandro. They have been living together for three years (or, to be more precise, they share a passion in the planetary distance: “we always find a way to coincide & rdquor;) and right now they have decided to sing three songs (‘Beso’, ‘Vampiros’ and ‘Promesa’) that are “the phases of love& rdquor; and among which there seems to be a bolero, which is the exact place where the truths are told.
This morning we will have been able to listen to them and they will surely be an international hit. Meanwhile, Rosalía declares her love for Alejandro and recovers her “faith in masculinity & rdquor ;, because this boy turns out to be” not afraid of loving or being loved & rdquor ;. The others were “emotionally unavailable & rdquor ;, that is, emotionally unsatisfactory. Today’s Rosalía, who believes in marriage and wants to have many children, tells the Beta Junior girl that she has no limits, that “everything will be fine: she lets everything flow, without fear & rdquor ;.