Spanish flamenco-fusion pioneer Antonio Carmona, singer with now-defunct flamenco-pop gypsy group Ketama, has signed a long-term publishing deal with Universal Music Publishing Spain.

Spanish flamenco-fusion pioneer Antonio Carmona, singer with now-defunct flamenco-pop gypsy group Ketama, has signed a long-term publishing deal with Universal Music Publishing Spain.

The deal marks Carmona's debut as a solo artist, and precedes the Oct. 16 Spain launch of his debut solo album, "Vengo Venenoso" (Surco/Universal Music). Pre-Christmas launches for the Latin pop album are planned in France and other European territories and across Latin America.

Carmona's flamenco-tinged vocals characterized Ketama's albums from 1982 to 2003, which to date have sold 1.4 million units (1.2 million in Spain). The most successful was the 1995 album, "De Aquí A Ketama," which sold 500,000 units, according to Universal.

"Vengo Venenoso" is produced by Surco president and 10-times Grammy winner Gustavo Santaolalla, who also has an Oscar for best song. It has guest appearances from Colombian international star Juanes (Universal), Spanish star Alejandro Sanz (Warner), and leading Spanish female rapper La Mala Rodríguez (universal).

Carmona returned the favor and appears on Sanz's first album in three years, scheduled for release this fall and so far untitled. Universal Music Publishing Spain managing director Daniela Bosé says "this is the most important signing I have made so far of a local artist."

Ketama joined former Universal Music Group label Polydor in the mid-1980s after its successful launch on Spanish indie label Nuevos Medios. Its other two members were Carmona's brother Juan and cousin Josemi.