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From Rosalía to traditional flamenco?

Claiming that those thousands of young Rosalía fans represent the future of flamenco is a superb stupidity. Here’s my advise for young people: listen to whatever you want, but enjoy flamenco to the max.

I don’t know if I’ve ever said the opposite, because I’ve written so many things that I’ve lost track of what I have and haven’t said yet, but at this very moment and listening to Tomás Pavón singing soleares de La Serneta in my den, I don’t think I believe that successful artists such as Rosalía and Miguel Poveda will create tons of new flamenco aficionados for the future.

I have to admit that before I discovered Juan Talega, Chacón or Mairena, I used to listen to those popular cantaores who were often featured on the radio: Turronero, Camarón, Pansequito or Morente. Sure enough, those artists where first-rate, which is not the case with Poveda or Rosalía. I have to point out, because I know there will be controversy about this, that I think Poveda is a master of cante, next to the popular singer from Barcelona, whom I consider a total fake.

In order to read Shakespeare is not necessary to read beforehand Danielle Steele or Stephen King, right? Well, by the same logic, to get to Chacón or Juan Mojama no there is no need to listen to Rosalía and her decaffeinated and bland flamenquito. If at least she were able to pull some flamenco moves it wouldn’t be so bad, but she dances like a shire horse inside a trailer.

Everything is so artificial that I don’t get why flamenco critics give her so much credit nowadays. I guess they hope to get invited to a concert one day and then going for a ride in her private jet, although I don’t know if she has one yet. I know one aficionado who would be willing to buy one for here, the tireless Villarejo. Not the inspector, but that of the Ronda cheeses.

It should not be a goal having young people discover Chacón o Manuel Torres, because they’ll first discover the artist of their own generation, and then they’ll either seek those essential artists or they’ll remain in their own time. There are also young artists with solid flamenco essence, such as Antonio Reyes, María TerremotoRancapino Chico or Manuel de la Tomasa. Thus, claiming that those thousands of young Rosalía fans represent the future of flamenco is a superb stupidity, with all respect.

Here’s my advise for young people: listen to whatever you want, but enjoy flamenco to the max because it’s the only musical genre in the whole world where one single note of dance move can change your life.

Photo: Rosalia’s video ‘Con altura’

Translated by P. Young

 

 

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Crítico de flamenco, periodista y escritor. 40 años de investigación flamenca en El Correo de Andalucía. Autor de biografías de la Niña de los Peines, Carbonerillo, Manuel Escacena, Tomás Pavón, Fernando el de Triana, Manuel Gerena, Canario de Álora...

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