In the last four years, rapper Kase.O has taken Spanish hip-hop to the top. The proof: over 20,000 copies sold of the album ‘El círculo’, a triumphal tour of Spain and Latin America, and several awards and nominations.
Summer of ‘19
The Sound Of New Spanish Emerging Talent
Streaming platforms have sped up the way we relate to bands, to their sound and to the songs they publish. But, well, since we have less and less time for anything, and everything is changing, evolving and transforming at (almost) the speed of light, we will make things easy and focus on some of the most interesting bands in the Spanish scene that are becoming increasingly popular.
- Hinds. Their emergence in the Spanish scene was controversial. Despite being a gust of fresh air in the underground pop-rock scene of Madrid’s Malasaña neighbourhood, they were accused for too long of not playing their instruments well. A criticism never made to male counterparts with an even lower level (and less style, by the way). With a huge amount of shows behind them and a second album recorded with the peculiar Paco Loco, Hinds are now the standard of steadiness, feminism and cool.
- Cupido. The lo-fi sound with trap overtones made by Pimp Flaco and Solo Astra has boldness and gallantry as a creed. The song No sabes mentir accumulates over three million hits, as does 5 senti 2. Both are featured on Préstame un sentimiento, the album compiling the savoir faire of Flaco and Co. You will like them if you fancy Connan Mockasin, Neon Indian and Mac de Marco.
- Belako. The band formed by Cristina Lizarraga, Lander Zalakain and brothers Josu and Lore Billelabeitia have revitalised Basque rock with thunderous melodies and conceptual constructions that avoid the classic verse-verse-chorus structure. Their latest album Render Me Numb, Trivial Violence was praised by both the public and the specialized press to the point of being nominated for Best Spanish Album of the Year at Premio Ruido, the awards given by the PAM (Associated Music Journalists).
- Blanco Palamera. The music produced by this Galician duo (Manu Blanco and Xoán Domínguez) could be tagged as hot chill wave. The sexy component, intrinsic to all their songs, is seasoned with voluptuous vocal lines. They mix sensuality and elegance (excluding tackiness from the equation), just like Al Green, Super Furry Animals, and Jungle. Special attention goes to the songs Alone with my voice and Air.
- Dora. At only 14, she has proven to be one of the most comprehensive artists of her generation. She is a good pianist, a composer, a lyricist, an arranger, and a performer. Her R&B tunes show her mostly American influences. Dora’s first release is Saving Star, a song with a catchy chorus and a delicious melody, followed up by Call Me Back and Home. These songs will be featured in her debut album, produced by Pional and to be released after the summer.
- The Parrots. Diego and Alex are to music what Beavis and Butthead are to cartoons: a couple of funny and rowdy friends who know how to have a blast. Despite their youth, they have been in music for 10 years (they were a trio, now a duo) and decided to celebrate it alongside Hinds (friends and companions in back-stages around the world), Cariño and Antifan with a concert in Madrid. They released Cigarette Burns this year as a preview of the new music they are working on.
- Rober Sua. He is one of the most authentic rappers in the Spanish scene, aware of his time and of where he’s at on the map. Rather than talking about guns, shootings and drug peddling on the streets, he does a sort of emotional potholing to talk about feelings, the economy, social classes, and personal growth. The track Bizarro is the first single off his new album, produced by Martín García (Aurora & The Betrayers, Speak Low) and to be published in the Autumn.
- Los Estanques. From time to time, a virtuous musician appears showing that love for the trade is an end in itself, a work of goldsmithing. This is the case of Iñigo Bregel, the lead singer of this Cantabrian band. Bregel writes lyrics, plays guitar, bass, piano and drums. Their self-titled debut album was released in February this year, with a sound reminiscent of that of Los Ángeles and Los Negativos. However, their music isn’t a mere exercise in style nor falls into trite nostalgia. They are currently touring around and recording their third album.
- Alice Wonder. Her deep voice and the way she plays guitar make her an complete artist. She has been touring with Vetusta Morla as support act, growing as an artist and learning how hard it is to make people raise their hands and clap. Too Mad is one of the best songs on her debut album, produced by Infarto Producciones. And if you've watched ¿Qué te juegas?, Inés de León’s debut film, you will have heard Alice and Guille Galván (Vetusta Morla) sing La apuesta, the film’s soundtrack.
- Kidd Keo. He is one of main figures of gangsta trap, the millennial version of gansta trap (the genre narrating the violent lifestyle of young people from the underclass). Greatly influenced by 90s American rap, he has become overwhelmingly popular by telling stories with a hypnotic tone about success, female domination, and marginality. Kidd Keo has more than two million monthly listeners on Spotify and some of his songs boast over 28 million hits. A real phenomenon.