Rosalía’s international rise in 2019 has been nothing less than spectacular. The video for her collaboration with J Balvin, “Con Altura,” was the world’s second most-watched video on YouTube, and garnered 151.6 million streams in the U.S. alone, according to Nielsen Music. And the artist herself has been seen everywhere, from Coachella, to the podium at the Latin Grammys, where she won album of the year for her stunning sophomore album, El Mal Querer; to the stage of the MTV Awards, to the cover of Billboard. She was photographed costumed as a Carmenesque Juliet for the 2020 Pirelli calendar. A triumphant tour to cities in Europe, the U.S. and South America ended Tuesday (Dec. 10) with a concert in Madrid for an audience of more than 15,000.
The 26-year-old Catalan singer sudden global fame belies her early beginnings. When still a tween, she became fascinated by flamenco, and determined to master the Spanish art. By 2015, she was performing with established flamenco artists. Years before, at age 15, she tried her luck on a Spanish music reality competition, where judges where impressed with her voice, but ultimately passed. “I think I have something special,” she said at the time. “I am confident that I am going to be an artist.”
Here are 10 songs that track Rosalía’s rise, from her 2016 duet with hip hop artist C. Tangana to the star-making hits from El Mal Querer and her latest single, A Palé.
“Antes de Morirme”
The lure of Rosalia is immediate in this video, which features her singing on then-boyfriend and continual musical collaborator C. Tangana’s track “Antes de Morirme.”
Before El Mal Querer, Rosalía recorded Los Angeles, an acoustic flamenco folk-pop album, which gained her followers among indie audiences and critics.
The song that took Rosalía to mainstream radio and music awards, “Malamente’s” unique mix of flamenco and electronic beats proved impossible to ignore.
“Piensa En Tu Mirá”
A follow-up single to “Malamente,” “Piensa En Tu Mira” confirmed that Rosalía was an artist to watch.
“Di Mi Nombre”
“Di Mi Nombre,” released in Oct. 2018, was Rosalía’s first number one song in Spain. This acoustic version showcases her skills as a flamenco singer.
“Barefoot in the Park”
With the success of “El Mal Querer,” Rosalía fans might have missed her gorgeous duet with James Blake, released on his album Assume Form.
No pun intended (perhaps), but Rosalía’s fame reached new heights with this collaboration with Colombia’s J Balvin and her habitual studio and stage mate El Guincho.
In July of 2019 Rosalía released her first single in her native Catalan. “Milionaria” is one part of “F*cking Money Man,” which also includes “Dio$ No$ Libre del Dinero.”
“Yo x Ti, Tú x Mí”
Rosalía teamed up with Ozuna, pumping up her exposure to Latinx audiences, and at the same time fanning a controversy about whether the Spanish national she could be called a “Latin” artist.
Sporting the grills she wore at the Latin Grammys and a Frida Kahlo-reminiscent unibrow, Rosalía turns rapping superhero, leaping to an agitated mix of beats in the video for her latest song, “A Palé.”