ROSALÍA may be a flamenco singer, but her favorite musicians are those who have carved out new niches for themselves—artists like James Blake, Billie Eilish, and Frank Ocean. That’s no accident. Like them, she flouts genre conventions while exploring silence and space as much as sound—and she’s remade flamenco and pop in the process. Rosalia Vila Tobella was born in 1993 into a non-musical family in Sant Esteve Sesrovires, Spain (about 35 kilometers outside of Barcelona). She began singing and dancing at age 9. “I always felt that this is my path, that I had to do music, that I couldn’t do anything else in life,” she told Apple Music in 2018. Fortunately, her family supported her ambitions: She began training as a flamenco singer at 13, and in 2017, at age 23, she released her first album, Los Ángeles, an extraordinary, spare set of traditional flamenco featuring just her voice and guitarist Raül Refree. But ROSALÍA had devoured hip-hop and R&B as voraciously as flamenco while growing up, and her 2018 breakthrough concept album, EL MAL QUERER, saw her demolish the barriers between those genres. Working with friend and producer El Guincho, she found a way to interweave flamenco with electronic music with authenticity and integrity. Her extraordinary voice has led a growing procession of artists, including Travis Scott and J Balvin, to line up for collaborations.
HOMETOWNSant Esteve Sesrovires, Spain
BORNSeptember 25, 1993