When she released her breakout single, “Malamente,” in spring 2018, Rosalía didn’t have a record label. Today, her unique fusion of flamenco and urban music has led to deals with Columbia Records and Sony Music Latin, five Latin Grammy Awards, sets at Coachella and Lollapalooza, and hit collaborations with J Balvin and Ozuna -- plus, now a best new artist Grammy nomination. It’s the kind of trajectory that makes her this year’s Rising Star, but it’s also the culmination of years of work: The 27-year-old studied flamenco for a decade in her native Spain, and she remains hands-on with every aspect of her art, from the ornate production of her songs to the fierce looks and choreography of her videos. “After all the effort and sacrifice I have put into my performances and albums,” she says, “having people recognize and value my project is very, very meaningful.”
You have had such an explosive year. Do you still feel like a developing artist?
Even though the public may perceive me differently, I always feel like I’m learning something new, and I like seeing myself this way. It keeps me focused on doing things with the love and care that comes from knowing you can always improve. I always have that in my head. Even though you have to feel big when you’re onstage so the message reaches everyone out there and gets them excited, you also have to feel the humility that comes from being a student who never stops learning.