Dressed in knee-high boots and an edgy two-piece ensemble, Rosalía arrived at the 2023 Billboard Women in Music Awards held at the YouTube Theater in Los Angeles on Wednesday (March 1), where she was honored with the first ever Women in Music Producer of the Year award presented by Bose.
After receiving the award from Canadian recording producer WondaGurl — who expressed her admiration for the artist — the Spanish singer-songwriter delivered a heartfelt speech in which she thanked God, her family and team (in that precise order).
“This is the first time I get a chain as an award,” she said of the diamond necklace presented to the honorees. “When I started in music, I had no idea what producing was. It was with time that I learned, and now I cannot imagine another way to make my music that’s not producing. A producer’s job is a job in the shadow, it’s not very fun … it’s 15 hours a day working on a sound. It comes from love and obsession and that’s why you stay in that small room with no windows while everyone else is living life and doing regular human s–t.”
She continued, “To me, it feels special tonight because this is not usual. I make my own music, I produce my own songs, and I write my own songs. I want to dedicate this award to all the women who are going to be producers.”
Rosalía ended her speech with an impromptu shout-out: “Lana Del Rey, te amo!”
Inspired by female artist-producers such as Björk and Missy Elliott, the 30-year-old artist tries “to not have a specific idea of how a song must sound,” she previously said to Billboard. “Instead, I go in with concepts, or ilusiones, of how I would like it to sound. But never a rigid idea. That’s not organic, nor is it productive. Producing also requires humility because you’re constantly testing out ideas. I remember Pharrell [Williams] once told me that we’re just testing ideas from the universe because no one really owns an idea. I love that concept.”
On her latest set MOTOMAMI, which won best Latin rock or alternative album at the 2023 Grammys and album of the year at the 2022 Latin Grammys, Rosalía genre-hopped from dembow to bachata to reggaeton to bolero. She produced tracks including “Saoko,” boldly fusing jazz and reggaetón, and in “Delirio de Grandeza,” she sampled Soulja Boy in an otherwise traditional bolero.
“My homework as a producer is to follow my intuition. It’s to make decisions and take risks,” she noted.
The 16-track LP peaked at No. 3 on Billboard‘s Top Latin Albums chart and follows her 2018 breakthrough set El Mal Querer (which also won a Grammy for best Latin rock or alternative album) and her debut album, Los Ángeles. In 2019, she was honored with the Rising Star Award at the Billboard Women in Music Awards, becoming the first Spanish artist to receive that honor.