Rosalía‘s long-awaited Motomami has arrived. Preceded by a handful of genre-agnostic singles powered by a wide-ranging array of styles, such as dembow, jazz and bachata, the Spaniard’s entire set flaunts her experimental spirit while staying true to her flamenco-infused sound.
Motomami’s sound strikes a perfect balance between modern and traditional; while Rosalía experiments with digitally processed beats, her hardcore fans will appreciate a return to her stripped-down, acoustic-led anthems rooted in the Andalusia region. With lyrics that explore themes about love and lust, fashion and the emptiness that comes with fame, the 29-year-old artist thrives in artistry that is both aesthetically and lyrically stimulating.
Below, the Billboard Latin team recommends six essential tracks on Motomami:
Rosalía goes deep in this track that starts off with the singer’s voice filtered with Auto-Tune à la Kanye West, but the effect fades quickly, unleashing her stripped-down, ethereal vocals that still result in goosebumps. In “G3 N15,” it’s unclear who Rosalía is singing this melancholic song to — but it could very well be a love letter to her younger self. “I’m somewhere I wouldn’t take you,” she evocatively sings over a classic organ piano. “No one’s at peace here, between stars and needles, marble stars cut into the floors, papers all over the streets where models stroll.” The song ends with a poignant message about family: “Family’s always important. You bear a path that’s a bit… difficult. But, well, if you’re happy I’m happy as well.”
Is Rosalía blessing us with a dose of her mastery in flamenco? She is. The nearly three-minute song is a flamenco masterclass, portraying the beauty and unique emotional depth of its rhythms. Singing with such pathos but also optimism, she sings, “And though I may be cursed behind my back, from every little stab I pull out my rage.” Rosalía also takes the chance to give credit to her biggest musical influences. “May God bless Pastori and Mercé, Lil’ Kim, Tego (Calderon) and M.I.A.”
Marking the album’s first single, released in the fall of 2021, “La Fama” is a sultry bachata tune inspired by the melodies and lyricism of Aventura, Ruben Blades, and Patti Smith. The track also marks her second collaborative effort with The Weeknd, where he surprisingly sings completely in Spanish. A song about ambition, romance, and the ugly side of fame, “La Fama” earned both the Spanish sensation and Canadian star their first top 10 on Billboard’s Tropical Airplay chart (dated Jan. 29). Rosalía also clocked her fifth top 10 on Hot Latin Songs as the track hit No. 2 on the Nov. 27-dated tally.
“Delirio de Grandeza”
While Rosalía flourishes with her futuristic and high-technology pop sound, she also takes inspiration from legacy genres such as danzón. In “Delirio de Grandeza,” which samples Vistoso Bossess’ 2009 single “Delirious” (featuring Soulja Boy), Rosalía slows down and sings about heartbreak, and the anguish that comes with not knowing if your amor will ever come back. “I hope that with righteous time, you’ll come back looking for a dream of love. And you’ll come back to me, that’s what I hope. That’s what I hope, heartless woman.” It’s not the quintessential Rosalía track, but it’s a nice palate cleanser sandwiched between the fast-paced and more bouncy tracks “Diablo” and “CUUUUUuuuuuute.”
The perfect closer for Motomami, this song is powerful lyrically — as are Rosalia’s vocal cords. It starts with live audio of a concert where her fans chant “Rosalía, Rosalía.” After 22 seconds, it transforms into what could be the perfect poem. “You can’t be a star and shine forever. I’m gonna laugh when I’m 80 and look back. I’ve never been afraid of a crazy man’s laughter. I’m more scared of a liar or someone who doesn’t laugh much,” she sings, reflecting on the brittleness of fame — which she compares to a cherry blossom.