Rosalía's 'El Mal Querer': 5 Surprises From This Month's Most Anticipated Album

Courtesy of Sobh Music Spain
Rosalía

Rosalía has been hurtling toward pop stardom since the release of her single “Malamente” last spring. The 25-year-old Catalan artist first embraced by Spanish millennials as a flamenco singer for their generation now finds herself on billboards in Times Square and in the studio with Pharrell. Today (Nov. 2), coinciding with the release of her anticipated album El Mal Querer, she’ll be talking to Zane Lowe on Beats 1.

Earlier this week, the singer released a video for the song Di mi Nombre directed by Henry Scholfield (Dua Lipa), with choreography by Charm La´Donna. The clip marked a departure from the compelling mash-up of distinctly Spanish visuals that distinguished previous videos by Barcelona’s Canadá for “Malamente” and the second single, “Piensa en tu Mirá.” Moving Rosalía more toward the mainstream, the Di mi Nombre clip will surely please those who have dubbed her “the Spanish Beyoncé.”

Wherever the growing hype may propel Rosalía, the originality of her new album more than meets the expectations she created with “Malamente” and “Piensa en Tu Mirá," weaving a magic carpet with inspirations both ancient and of the moment.

Here are five surprise appearances and references on El Mal Querer:

1. Justin Timberlake

Justin Timberlake and Timbaland are included on the credits for mystical track “Bagdad,” a transcultural re-interpretation of Timberlake’s “Cry Me a River” that Rosalía describes as a liturgy. The song features a Barcelona children’s choir.

2. Rossy de Palma

Actress de Palma is best known for her work with Spanish director Pedro Almodovar, in whose upcoming movie Rosalía appears. De Palma voices the spoken word interlude “Preso” accompanied by guitar.

3. Arthur Russell

“Answers Me,” by the late experimental cellist Arthur Russell is sampled on the unsettling flamenco ballad "Maldición."

4. Jesús Bolá

Bolá, who directed the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on flamenco great (and Rosalía idol) Camerón de la Isla’s final album, Soy Gitano, shares credits on "Reniedo," performed by the Bratislava Symphony Orchestra. 

5. C. Tangana

Rapper C. Tangana (credited here as Antón Álvarez Alfaro) wrote lyrics on eight of the album’s 11 songs.


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