As in a Disney fantasy, the networks have been infected with the romantic delirium of Rosalía and Rauw Alejandro. They just released their first joint EP –RR (Columbia, 2023)–, but the headline clickbait focuses on the toproposal for the hand of the Puerto Rican to the Catalan. Where is the ring from, when and how the wedding will be -if they have not already officiated it in secret-, bets on the dress, the location and the guest list. For now all enigmas, which will soon be solved. Between so many hypotheses and salseo we are missing an artistic and generational analysis of what this artistic couple means, beyond the personal. A stylistic union of the Spanish and Latin American dynasties, which corroborates the musical power that our country and the ‘neighboring’ continent are gaining in the international market. Another step was to break the ‘Latino’ category to incorporate it into a broader reality: that we should now compete in the general category.
But let’s go in parts, before attacking prejudices and this conceptual mastodon. Rosalía Vila Tobella and Raúl Alejandro Ocasio Ruiz met under mysterious conditions for the rest of humanity. There is wikileaks dating the first videos of the couple at the 2019 Latin Grammys gala. Which was a very timely forecast. They had all the assets to be a matches musical. Both are meticulous songwriters, singers with a flair for melodies, and experts in production. Not to mention that the two began their careers in the realm of dance. Flamenco and Sevillanas in the case of Rosalía, and urban styles in the case of Rauw, who was also going to be a soccer player. What about what “dance as I know a god would move when dancing” It is not just any metaphorical expression.
Regardless of the date their love affair began, Rauw has recounted on several occasions that Rosalía was helping him write and produce his debut album. Aphrodisiac (2020). The signature is on the slopes Tell him and strawberry kiwi, which just begins by sampling his laughter. Among other confessions, such as that the song That Nap ZzZz It is also dedicated to her. In the same way that the Puerto Rican signs, with and without a pseudonym, some of the credits of motomami (2022). We can trace many links and collaborations prior to this first officially joint EP. It is not the first and, possibly, it will not be the only time that they will take advantage of their time together in the studio.
According to the only authorized sources -that is, themselves-, they have now been in a relationship for three years that are synthesized in the three songs of an EP that was to be released on March 3, 2023 to continue with the numerology game. The date was delayed for reasons of mastering. Something to be thankful for, because in addition to the fact that three is the number of the Holy Trinity, if you triple it in 333 it becomes the symbol of Choronzon, the demon of dispersion, according to the occultist Aleister Crowley. Magic jokes aside, there are more meanings to the name of this EP. The two intertwined RRs, which Rosalía has tattooed on the sole of her foot, are her initials and the logo of her creative alliance.
In an interview with the streamer Ibai PlainsThey told him that the three songs are arranged according to whether they belong to the past, present and future of their relationship. All three will have a video clip, but so far only the one for Kiss what is a*__reels __*of intimate candies and culminates with Rosalía crying with happiness, holding the ring and its corresponding box. It only took these last ten seconds for the network to burst into flames announcing that they are engaged. Interviews have also been recovered where they talked about the pressure from their families and they are considering having children together. A very ‘heteronormal’ love story, which they celebrated this Thursday through a direct on their social networks drinking pina coladas.
On a stylistic level, in RR the weight in the production that Rosalía has had is noticeable, always with the right elements and the use of sounds that distort the generic limits. Kiss is he bangers romantic to dedicate on Valentine’s Day, with references to their strong connection despite the long periods they spend apart on tour. vampires is a dark and metallic reggaeton that talks about ‘getting addicted’ at night and their eagerness, as artists, to last in the industry forever. Promise reconstructs the idea of the bolero and has that poetic genius of the rosy generating images. “I want to dress badly and undress a lot” either “I want to make you a chair with my hands” They refer to the universal desire to live carefree and intensely and, at the same time, take care of each other with care.
Beyond what this brings power couple on a stylistic level, which is already a lot, together they symbolize the conquest of international terrain. Or, at least, from what is considered the ‘neutral’ territory of the industry: Europe and the United States, with increasing weight in the Asian market. Where there are still systemic differentiations between ‘music’ and ‘Latin music’ with separate galas at awards like the Grammys. A bias that theorists like Petra R. Rivera-Rideau –in Remixing Reggaeton: The Cultural Politics of Race in Puerto Rico (2015)– consider racist. Also the outsized category of ‘non-English speaking’. With more complex nuances, because for example Rosalía may be a Spanish-speaking artist, but she is not Latina but Spanish. In their respective editions of this 2023, Rosalía and Harry Styles won the nomination for best album of the year. The difference sounds ironic, that both musicians cannot compete in the same meeting and at the same time Latin and Spanish come together due to linguistic proximity.
At the same time that Rosalía and Rauw Alejandro consolidate their love and their careers with the joint musical project, these have been years of strong vindication since the latinidad. He pope of bachata, Romeo Santos, singing with the star system (Justin Timberlake) in the beautiful closing of his trilogy Formula, Vol.3 (2022). Karol G crowning number 1 on Billboard with tomorrow will be nice (2023); first Latina woman to win the podium since Selena in 1995. Shakira and Bizarap breaking Guinness records with the Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 53 and Bad Bunny topping the magazine’s song chart Rolling Stones with titi asked me. The music industry needs to participate in these meetings. Festivals like Lollapalooza already have their editions in Chile, Argentina and Brazil. Replicating the model is Primavera Sound, which has opened branches in three of the Latin capitals, as well as Porto and Madrid. Seeing the outposts of each side there is nothing innocuous in this system, but in the meantime, let’s not miss the celebrations and long live love.