El Mal Querer by Rosalía (Spain) – 2018
With her mix of flamenco, pop, rap and urban sounds Rosalia won the 2019 Latin Grammy for best pop vocal album.
Born in Barcelona, this album is actually Rosalia’s graduate thesis for Cataluya’s College of Music, where she studied flamenco (they only accept one student per year) and music production.
The first single, “Malamente”, was a worldwide smash that mixes flamenco palmas (handclaps), pitos (finger-snapping) with a mysterious synth and her grainy alto voice that moves against the beat in a melodic hook that engages R&B in an irresistible combination.
The rest of the album is a display of her abilities as a singer, composer and producer making it full of tension, passion and creative ingenuity.
Give it a listen. Highly recommended.
Spotify Link below.