Long-Nailed Rosalía

(From A to Z)

06/27/2019 · By Fruela Zubizarreta
Rosalia has become the global phenomenon of the music scene. © Sony Music España - Península Photography

How do you become an international star? Besides talent and special gifts, how much luck is necessary? This glossary will try to answer these questions—some as complex as the great unknowns of existence. Almodóvar, Beyoncé, Kanye West, Palomo Spain, Dua Lipa, and the Kardashians are usually right. And they all love Rosalía.

There is no doubt 25-year-old Rosalía is one of the greatest musical sensations to have appeared in Spain in the 21st century. Along with her collaborators, she has created a new way of doing things. Unconventional and mesmerising, and expert in picking from here and there, a prodigy when it comes to combining passionate feelings and calculated cerebral decisions, she has an unwavering knack to do what no one else has done before her. This is Rosalía —a unique and complex artist—.

A – ALMODÓVAR. When Pedro Almodóvar falls in love with something or somebody, he supports and protects them with his huge international wings. Pedro likes to give visibility to emerging talent. Among his latest crushes are Palomo Spain (some see a certain physical likeness), actor César Vicente —the surprise star in Pain and Glory and Rosalía, who made a brief cameo in the same film.

B – BIGAS LUNA. Rosalía’s imagery draws from Bigas Luna’s films, from the inhospitable service areas, truck drivers, motorbikes, and illegal races in Jamón, jamón, Yo soy la Juani or Golden Balls. Other visual influences include gypsy folklore, reinterpreted Catholic symbols and fragments from the most traditional Spain. Special mention to Héctor Herce and his team for making Rosalía's highly-successful music videos for 'Malamente' y 'Pienso en tu mirá'.

C – C. TANGANA. It is hard to tell which is taking the name of Spain further. Rumour has it they were involved in a relationship while recording some songs and that things didn’t end up well. Publicly, however, they always speak very highly of each other.

D – DEDICATION. Rosalía works hard and she infects everyone around her with the same drive. She is the indisputable queen of music festivals this summer, and requests to play abroad don’t seem to be ceasing.

E – EGO. What would great artists be without a little ego? Ego is this case is not necessary but compulsory.

F – FAN. Like everyone else, Rosalia grew up admiring many artists. One day, she took the trouble to jot down the name of her favourite singers and performers. The list is long. Here is a compressed version: Beyoncé (the admiration is mutual—via Instagram), Björk, Caetano Veloso, Camarón (were he still alive, he would probably bless her since she is proving to be as ground-breaking), Carmen Amaya, Chavela Vargas, Diego el Cigala, El Lebrijano, Enrique Morente, Kanye West (her most devoted fan-colleague), Kendrick Lamar, Leonard Cohen, Lola Flores, Lole and Manuel, Pepe Marchena and Pharrell Williams.

G – LATIN GRAMMY. Her first album, Los Ángeles, released in February 2017 and produced by the multifaceted Barcelonan Raül Refree, won Rosalía a nomination for Best New Artist. Her second album, El mal querer, produced by El Guincho, Rosalía’s alter ego, won two Latin Grammys in 2018 for Best Urban Fusion and Best Alternative Song for 'Malamente (Chapter 1)'.

H – HISTORY. Little more can be said. Even if her career disappeared now, she wouldn’t have to worry because she has already gone down in history for creating her own style.

I – INTELLIGENT. She is indeed very intelligent. ‘I’ could also stand for Intrepid, Incombustible and Indomitable.

J – J. BALVIN. There is nothing like recording with Spotify's most listened-to trap/reggaeton artist for thousands of people from all over the world to star following you. 'Con altura', their latest collaboration, has already reached a whopping 407 million hits on YouTube. And counting!

K – KARDASHIAN. The fact that the powerful American klan that has transformed real life into a reality show says they love you is priceless. For everything else, marketing is vital, although it seems that Rosalia doesn’t need much. Beyond office decisions, her success is deeply organic. The list of celebrities who admire her goes beyond the letter K—Dua Lipa, Emily Ratajkowski, Halle Berry and bachata king Romeo Santos have openly shown her love for Rosalía.

L – LIPS. Although she never mentions it, Rosalía feels especially proud of her lips and is very good at pouting. Scarlett is your her favourite lipstick shade.

M MORE FASHION. She loves fashion and knows that it is the other great cornerstone of his burgeoning empire. Great as María Escoté or Palomo Spain designed for her; emerging as Maria Simun, too. They all do it with dedication and love for the singer who, by the way, has already signed two own collections for a popular low-cost young fashion brand.

N – NO. Although some of her videos feature bullfighting imagery, she doesn’t like bullfighting nor does she tolerate animal abuse. She doesn’t talk about her religious views either, however much she uses catholic symbolism. No means no.

She is the indisputable queen of music festivals this summer, and requests to play abroad don’t seem to be ceasing

Ñ – ESPAÑA. Spain sees a first-rate media ambassador in her. And Catalonia is never overshadowed.

O - OUTSKIRTS. One has to grow up in the periphery (in San Esteban de Sasroviras, Barcelona, ​​in her the case) to learn at a very early age that everything in life comes with a price. Rosalía draws a lot on her background’s aesthetics—tracksuits, leatherette heels, pigtails. However, she manages to create new trends by combining them with mainstream luxury clothes.

P – PILLAR. There are two pillars in Rosalía’s life—her mother Pilar Tobella, who has always encouraged and supported her musical training, and Pili —diminutive of Pilar— her sister and the person responsible for helping Rosalía create a unique international image. Everything they do is brilliant and apparently simple.

Q – QUEEN. She is the absolute queen of the moment.

R ROSALÍA. Cantaora, composer and producer, she masterfully combines flamenco with modern urban rhythms, including trap, contemporary R&B and dance pop. She gets all the support in this from Pablo Díaz-Reixa, El Guincho, a Barcelona-based musician from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria with whom she shares the same vision.

S – SONY ESPAÑA. The record company that first believed in Rosalia announced its latest album from the most expensive lights in Times Square. From New York to the world.

T TRA, TRÁ. Millions of people use this expression taken from her hit song “Malamente” formed by two identical syllables that have no meaning. Rosalía knows how to connect with people. Tra, trá!

U – ÜBERNAILS. Nails are one of Rosalía’s obsessions. Juan Alvear, designer of rather unconventional artificial nails, is now Rosalia's favourite. Before knowing him, she was already into übernails, as can be seen in her Instagram profile, now counting 3.4 million followers.

V VICTORIA. Her shows are always full, a fact that increases more and more the price of Rosalía Inc.’s shares.

W WEB. She masters and controls social networks like few others do.

X XXL. For the length of his nails.

Y – YOU. Although you do not believe it, you are key to the success of Rosalia. Whether you like it or not, you have formed an opinion about it and it is very important. What counts is that you speak one, for better or for worse.

Z ZARAGOZA. Everyone in Zaragoza are wondering when they will see Rosalia perform there again.

Tra trá!