5 Things We Learned From Rosalia’s Grammy Museum Conversation
Rosalía took center stage at the Los Angeles Grammy Museum on Wednesday (Oct. 5) for an intimate conversation where she talked about her Motomami tour, her mother as a muse for inspiration and a changing landscape for female producers, among other things.
The singer-songwriter/producer — who’s up for eight Latin Grammys at this year’s ceremony (including album of the year for Motomami) — is currently in L.A. where she’s set to perform at the YouTube Theater Oct. 7-8 as part of her Motomami World Tour. “It’s going pretty good. Pretty amazing,” she responded when asked how the trek was going. “I have so many stuffed toys that I get tossed onstage that I don’t know what to do with them. I have a suitcase full that I usually just put them on my bed in hotels.”
Most recently, Rosalía’s “Despechá” scored the Spanish artist her first No. 1 as a soloist, unaccompanied by any other act, on Billboard’s Latin Airplay chart. The song advanced from No. 3 to lead the Oct. 8-dated survey.
Below, check out Billboard‘s five most interesting takeaways from the conversation, presented in the artist’s own words, as moderated by the Los Angeles Times‘ music reporter Suzy Exposito.
Creating the concept for her Motomami Tour:
It all started when I was thinking of this project and thinking about what I wanted to talk about and feel. How can I translate this onstage? Because it has certain energy and colors. It was important for people to feel that I’m close to them. I’m used to performing in bars, restaurants — you know, small places — and I thought, “How can I still get the intimacy but in places like arenas?”
I figured there had to be a huge camera so they feel closer to the humans onstage. People expect fireworks, and I understand that — but the craziest thing for me is dancing and expressing myself. That energy is priceless. It has the most value. I’m at a point where I want to put all my effort into having the best vocals, put all my effort into my choreographies. That’s what’s important to me… not having to worry about changing outfits in the middle of a show. What for?
Her mom inspiring the overall concept of Motomami:
To this day, my mom is still riding her Harley. She inspired me so much. I used to hug my mom when we we were riding her bike. I remember her blonde hair hitting my face because of the wind but I didn’t mind. And then, when I was a teenager, I used to ride bikes all the time as well. Riding bikes requires a lot of focus. You have to be able to be present, you can’t look back, you can’t look forward, you have to keep balance. It’s all about focus and there’s something magical about that.
Taking three years to release a new album
I had spent years away from home because of the pandemic. I was in the U.S. working on this new project and I was excited to work with collaborators that I admire so much. I was like, “OK, I can’t go home, because they told me that if I went in the middle of the project to see my family, I probably wouldn’t be able to come back.” Estaba bien jodida.
So I did the sacrifice and I stayed until I finished it. I don’t know how, but I finished it and it took me three years to do this project, to figure it out. It took me a long time and I wasn’t sure that when I would be ready to say something, that there’d be someone on the other side ready to listen. In an industry that everything is so fast, I was concerned — but I thought, “This is the only way.” I was like, I had to finish it properly, so I could sit back and say I did the best I could.
Fusing flamenco with other genres:
I have love for all the music in the world. Everything is at the same level for me. At the end of the day, music either makes you feel or it doesn’t. But it’s not better or worst. There are so many flamenco artists that have pushed [the genre] forward and have done amazing things with it. That’s inspiring. It’s impossible for me to talk about my music without mentioning flamenco. But because I love everything else, I go into the studio trying to put myself in service of the song. I always stay open to be able to think clear and know what that song needs in order to produce properly. The more open your channel is, the more you get and the more you can give.
The changing landscape for female producers:
Björk is such an amazing mind, and Arca, and they both produce and they do it in such a great way. Literally, there’s so much great female minds out there nowadays that I just celebrate that. When I was growing up it was harder to find references of women [producing]. Like I had to dig to find them and I think that it’s amazing now to see more women who are doing their own beats and I love that. There’s something that’s changing now