Rosalía has become one of today’s most listened to pop stars, but her music can’t quite be classified as pop. Genre-blending, the singer is known to incorporate elements of traditional Andalusian flamenco with 808 beats typical to hip hop and fun, playful sounds that can be best described as electro pop. With now 3 albums and 2 Grammys under her belt, a viral TikTok sound from Bizcochito, collaborations with J Balvin, Bad Bunny, Billie Eilish and The Weeknd, and one Chicken Shop Date with Amelia Dimoldenberg down, the Spanish singer-songwriter has become an international sensation. From her experimental flamenco sounds to her most personal project to date, “Motomami”, here are 5 songs that have defined Rosalía.
Coming off her second album “El Mal Querer”, Malamente, the first track of the album, is a great entry point into Rosalía’s musical world. While her debut album doesn’t feature any original songs, this one, especially Malamente, explores the Spanish singer’s roots through flamenco sounds modernised with 808 beats and an overall RnB vibe. The lyrics themselves echo the ethereal feel of the song, as Rosalía sings about a cleansing process by channelling the power of the sun, moon and stars.
While Malamente gave us insight into the singer’s inner dealings, Milionària is a fun, up-beat track with a youthful feel to it. Chanting the words “F*cking Money Man”, Rosalía incorporates a hint of English lyrics into her otherwise fully Catalan hit, the first of its kind. While the song may feel like just a dance hit, it’s lyrics actually hint at a critique of capitalism, as well as the music video, combined with Dio$ No$ Libre Del Dinero (translating to God Free Us From Money), in which the ending features people desperately trying to get their hands on money bills, an obscene obsession according to Rosalía.
TKN FT. TRAVIS SCOTT
By this point, Rosalía had become a well-known sensation in the Spanish-fluent world, and had been making waves in America as well. Though her collaboration with Travis Scott is what really turned Rosalía into an obsession everyone could indulge in. It was a mash-up of hip hop meets reggaeton with Scott’s indicative autotuned sounds. Thanks to this release, Rosalía’s Spotify monthly listeners more than doubled, going from 10 to over 21 million, granting her access to the top 100 most streamed artists on the platform.
If you hadn’t heard of Rosalía before, this song that became a viral TikTok sound will have definitely put her on your radar. Entering her “MOTOMAMI” era which is marked by the overarching motorcycle imagery and references, the Catalan singer’s chiptune song Bizcochito has a playful and extremely catchy feel to it. Though its lyrics are actually a deep dive into critics’ response to the singer’s music which has been referenced as “childish”, Rosalía retorts back with one of her most juvenile sounds to date.
LLYLM, which stands for Lie Like You Love Me, is Rosalía’s first release of this year. The song sees the singer return to her roots, with classic Andalusian flamenco clapping merged with electro-pop beats, but shows us a very vulnerable side to her, notably through her chorus that says “Who needs thе honesty? / Baby, lie like you love me, lie like you love me / Maybe at the end / It becomes real enough for me”. The song came out through the singer’s collaboration with Coca Cola, in which the “Move” drink featured a QR code for fans to receive behind the scenes details on the making of LLYLM.