Rosalia

Rosalía is the Quintessential MOTOMAMI

Celebrating the two distinct sides of the Spanish pop star's fluid personality.

by Ben Boddez

There is no other pop star who represents the genre-free and international melting pot better than Spanish experimentalist Rosalía. Celebrated for her daring combination of the traditional flamenco, reggaeton and Latin folk music that she grew up listening to with elements of modern pop, R&B and hip-hop, Rosalía has crossed paths with everyone from Bad Bunny and Arca to The Weeknd and Billie Eilish. She also recently became the first Spanish-language act to pick up a Best New Artist nomination at the Grammys.

Rosalía’s upcoming album, MOTOMAMI, is all about celebrating these disparate sides of herself. The album artwork, featuring the singer wearing nothing but a motorcycle helmet, speaks for itself – with regards to her music, her fashion, and her public persona, Rosalía can be sensual and vulnerable, but she balances it out with a tough, no-nonsense exterior. Revealing that the album’s biggest influences come from the world of reggaeton, a genre traditionally dominated by men and some questionable lyrical content, Rosalía has mentioned that she hopes combining her harder MOTO and softer MAMI side will “provide a feminist counterbalance to misogyny in music.”

Here are some of the top moments emphasizing the duality of Rosalía. 

— MOTO —

Fashion Forward

In addition to her musical journey, Rosalía has become one of the most sought-after names in the world of fashion as well. While she has been known to wear just about anything, some of her most eye-catching looks often line up with the hard-hitting beats of some of her most rap and reggaeton-oriented tracks, adorned with spikes and decked out in chains. Here’s Rosalía  performing her Travis Scott collaboration “TKN” in an all-black outfit at Rihanna’s 2020 Savage x Fenty fashion show.

Grand Theft Rosalía

 

After donning the motorcycle helmet on the album cover, what could be a better promotional tie-in to her latest album than Grand Theft Auto? As the popularity of the notoriously violent open-world game’s fifth edition continues to endure, users can now listen to curated radio stations while they’re robbing banks and mowing down pedestrians – Rosalía’s MOTOMAMI Los Santos is the latest addition, featuring artists like Aventura, Arca, Popcaan and Caroline Polachek.

Coachella Nights

While she also made a cameo during reggaeton superstar J Balvin’s set on the main stage to perform their duet “Con Altura,” Rosalía made her solo debut on the Coachella stage at the iconic music festival’s last edition in 2019. Performing mainly songs from her project El Mal Querer – which Rolling Stone recently named the greatest Spanish-language album of all time – Rosalía opened her set with some sharp choreography set to gunshots. 

Rosalía’s Biker Gang

Don’t be fooled by the opening shot of Rosalía holding an adorable kitten. In the video for “SAOKO,” the opening track to her upcoming album – belonging of course to the MOTO side – she morphs into the leader of an all-female biker gang capable of pulling off some impressive stunts as they glide over a bridge, helicopters in hot pursuit. The track’s grinding, industrial synths underscoring the reggaeton beat is an added bonus. 

Rising Star

In an impressive acceptance speech at Billboard’s Women in Music Gala, Rosalía toasted to the strong women in her life who made her and advocated for equality when it comes to behind-the-scenes roles in the studio while accepting the Rising Star Award. Rosalía shouts out her “matriarchal family” at her Barcelona home, her manager’s goals to create an all-female team behind her, and early inspirations like Janis Joplin, Patti Smith and flamenco legend Lola Flores.

— MAMI —

Famous Friends

While Rosalía is in tight with the entire Kardashian entourage and is close enough with Frank Ocean that she stayed at his house briefly while finalizing her album, her friendship with fellow groundbreaker Billie Eilish has been a pleasure to watch unfold – simply because of how much love and compliments they continue to throw at each other whenever the other is brought up in an interview. The two combined musically on the track “Lo Vas A Olvidar,” which became part of the soundtrack to Euphoria’s first season. 

Valentine’s Day

Rosalía and fellow Latin superstar Rauw Alejandro have been Instagram official since last September, Alejandro even calling her his “muse.” They continue to show their love for each other in extravagant ways – and a whole lot of TikToks. You can check out either one of their accounts for more videos where the giggly couple can’t seem to keep their hands off of each other, whether they’re doing the latest dance trends or topping off a perfect Valentine’s day with an entire room full of balloons

ASMRosalía

While it’s still an art form that’s not for everyone, hearing Rosalía tone down the volume and apply the angelic tone of voice she’s lauded for in her music to the intimacy of ASMR is another extreme on her wide-reaching spectrum. Explaining some inspirations behind her music, Rosalía can’t restrain herself from making everything rhythmic as she taps some reggaeton beats on the microphones and runs her fingers through her jewelry.  

Puppy Love

While there should be a petition for them to show up even more, Rosalía is a dog lover and her canine friends often make cameos on her social media accounts. One such video on her TikTok features her chihuahua, Mochi, though others have been known to attempt to grab some of her spotlight from time to time – an unknown black dog wandered into frame recently while Rosalia was trying to film a preview of her latest single “CHICKEN TERIYAKI.” 

La Noche De Anoche

Linking up with the other Latin-pop superstar known to push boundaries just as much as herself, Rosalía and Bad Bunny made a memorable appearance together on the iconic Saturday Night Live stage to perform their steamy duet, “La Noche De Anoche” in front of the staircase from the music video. The pair’s obvious chemistry sparked scores of dating rumours, but that never came to fruition – as far as we know! Rosalía took the SNL stage solo to promote her latest work as well, performing “LA FAMA” and “CHICKEN TERIYAKI.”

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