Flamenco, a form of both dance and music, originates from southern Spain. It’s an art form and includes not only dance, but guitar playing, singing and jaleo (finger snapping and handclapping). A well-known Spanish flamenco artist, Paco de Lucía (1947-2014), established a new flamenco style in Spain that crossed over with other music genres such as jazz. Flamenco has since crossed many genres and influences a variety of Spanish artists and bands.
The following are examples of Spanish artists whose music has various flamenco and other various cultural influences:
La Mala Rodriguez
Also known as La Mala Maria (The Bad Maria), the Latin Grammy singer’s music is a fusion between hip-hop and flamenco. Her music usually carries political messages that deal with poverty, racism, domestic violence and female empowerment. Rodriguez was born in Cadiz, Spain but grew up in Sevilla. She’s a popular artist who has taken the flamenco genre and flipped it into a completely new style.
Sanz is from Madrid, Spain and has done collaborations with singers such as Shakira and Alicia Keys. Since he’s known as a pop/rock singer, you might not expect Sanz to have come from a flamenco background. One of his first albums mixed techno with flamenco. Today he experiments more with salsa, hip-hop and in addition to rock. Sanz is a three-time Grammy winner and has won 17 Latin Grammy Awards.
El Arrebato (The Outburst/Fit), whose real name is Franciso Javier Labandón Pérez, sings a mix style of flamenco, rumba and pop. The Spanish singer hails from Sevilla, Spain. One of his most famous songs, which was widely promoted upon release, is “La Música De Tus Tacones” (The Music of Your Heels).
Celtas Cortos (Short Celts), as you might have guessed, is a Spanish celtic rock band. The celtic band started when its founding members decided to participate in an Valladolid music competition, where they took first place. Celtas Cortos had first gone by “Colectivo Eurofolk” (Collective Eurofolk) and changed their name soon after the contest. Their music has various influences from electronic, Caribbean, flamenco, folk and reggae music. Bands such as The Waterboys, Oskorri and The Pogues have also influenced them.
Their most recent album “Contratiempos” (Setback) was released in 2014. Some instruments included in their music are: the violin, electric bass, whistles, trombone, guitar and saxophone.
Most of these artists hail from the southern Andalusia region in Spain, where Flamenco originated and has a stronger influence. Keep in mind that this isn’t an extensive list, and that there are many other styles of Spanish music. A future article will discuss traditional flamenco and popular Spanish flamenco artists.