How are your Spanish lessons going?
The title of this entry involves other several implicit questions. The first: in Spain are people following international pop artists such as Ed Sheeran or Beyoncé? The second one: what kind of music do we listen apart from the cliché of flamenco? And the third: what kind of music do we listen apart from the reggeaton that you can listen at any party? We will try to answer all these questions and we will do it taking advantage of the data that generated the PROMUSICAE lists of the most sold music in 2017.
Do we listen to international pop music?
Obviously in Spain we know and listen to all main great artists that anyone knows. However, there are two major competitors in contemporary music: the pop artists of our country and the South American reggeaton. While the last work of Ed Sheeran and the BSO of La La Land are the two most sold albums from streaming platforms, there are only 5 other international artists in the top 20 (together with Drake, Imagine Dragons and Bruno Mars).
Does everybody listen to flamenco music?
Not at all. It is a great tourist attraction but it often generates false clichés, such as that Spanish people have an exaggerated attachment to folklore, but actually it doesn’t correspond to reality. It is true that it’s possible to detect some influences of flamenco in many songs by modern singers, but none of them can be considered as flamenco. Some new artists have emerged this year calling the attention of the faithful and not so faithful of this music, such as Rosalía, but she hasn’t reached massive sales at the moment.
Do we listen to reggeaton a lot?
Everyday more and more. It is a style that arrived to Spain at the beginning of the 2000 from South America and it has been gaining acceptance thanks to the idiomatic and cultural nexuses. Over time it has overcome stigmas such as being considered vulgar and low quality music, until being recognized today as a mass genre. Classically pop artists like Shakira and Enrique Iglesias have already been influenced by this genre and other new Spanish reggeaton artists have already emerged. As a result, this year 19 of the 20 most downloaded songs belong to reggeaton style. Of course the number 1 is the song ‘Despacito‘, which achieved something that no other song of this genre could achieve ever: be a success outside the Spanish-speaking countries.
Bonus: What is there beyond the mainstream?
In this case we can mention national artists who, without being part of the majority musical tendencies of our country, found their place among the Spanish public. We are talking about some bands coming from the independent music environment (Vetusta Morla, Love of Lesbian), from more alternative spheres of the urban (C. Tangana), from the rap (Kase-O) or other peculiar styles such as the Catalan rumba (Txarango).
In Spaneasy we would like to know how much you know about the music of our country; tell us, what are the artists you have been able to know since you moved to Spain?