At different times in life music will come along and make an impact on you that words will never do justice. A particular band or a musician may encapture all those feelings, or it might just be a genre or a scene. During my teenage years it was mainly hip hop and grime, mixed with a flavour of pop punk and nu metal, that fueled my inner angst and confusion with the world. Artists such as Kid Cudi and Blink 182 would be interchangeably blasted from my room. It was a weird mixture of styles, summing up my varying music tastes but also the confusing, conflicting and changing times that growing up through your teenage years can be like.
Since I lived in Valencia for a year, I’ve become increasingly interested in Spanish music, not only as a means to learn the language, but learning about the different scenes and innovation that is taking place, stumbling upon some fantastic artists and bands along the way. This led me onto discovering the absolute hidden gem that is Quentin Gas & Los Zingaros, after reading an article on Spanish Psych Rock that a friend sent me, which you can read here. As the name of the article suggests, Quentin Gas & Los Zingaros are a Psychedelic Rock band, but with a twist.
Over the past year I’ve become hooked on listening to podcasts. Whether it’s on my commute to work or whilst I’m doing chores around the house, a podcast is usually what accompanies me. They’re easily downloadable, FREE and a great way to absorb information on the fly, or simply just for entertainment. Podcasts have become an increasingly popular form of media, with some shows drawing in millions and millions of listeners. The way that we consume media is constantly changing and podcasts have found their own niche and audience, where more mainstream media and radio has failed.
In my quest to learn the Spanish language I have often turned to music to help me. This has mostly been a futile attempt, but has led me to discovering many great bands and artists. Beyond the well-known stars such as Shakira, Daddy Yankee, Enrique Iglesias, Ricky Martin and Alejandro Sanz, there’s a vibrant and well-supported scene with some absoloute gems to be found. Whether it’s to aid your learning, or simply for your own enjoyment, the Spanish-speaking music scene has a variety of styles and genres to tickle your fancy. From indie-rock to Spanish trap, here’s a list of 10 artists that you need to know right now:
Sometimes it’s hard to describe feelings, or a moment(s) that happen in our life. Feelings of wanting more, or a moment of deep depression that you can’t figure out. Like many, I turn to music to help me through times like these. Sometimes all it does is extenuate the problem and increase the feelings that were being felt, but often this can be the release of emotion that you were after. After dragging yourself to get some much-needed sleep, the next day is always there, and often that can be a reassuring state.
Set in the beautiful surroundings of Montanejos, a small town just outside of Valencia, Spain, Dias De Campo is an electronic music festival organised by prominent Spanish music promoter’s theBasement, in partnership with live music and entertainment company Milkman. Featuring internationally renowned Dutch duo Dekmantel Soundsystem, and DJ’s such as Tiago, Chrissy, MLiR and Abu Sou, the 3-day festival is a must for all lovers of electronic music and nature. You might think that’s a weird combination, but the festival’s ethos is to embrace both, listen to live DJ’s whilst chilling out in the hot springs, and rave until the early hours of the morning in the wooded area situated by the camping. It’s a celebration of the two, and with world class DJ’s and an outstanding location it’s going to be a good one.
A little over two years ago I had the pleasure of interviewing Rag’n’Bone Man at The Joiners in Southampton. He was touring his latest EP, ‘Disfigured’, and was preparing for another sold out show.
As I walked to the venue I remember being very nervous, it was my first ever face-to-face interview and I was unsure what to expect. The interview time was arranged a few hours before the opening of the doors, so my first task was to figure out how to get in… After a few trial and errors I found a fire escape round the back and to the side, this was my opening. Rory and his team were in a meeting, discussing various subjects about the night ahead. After an awkward hello and a brief explanation of what the hell I was doing there, it was established that an interview had been scheduled… Rory abruptly came over with a beaming smile and introduced himself. All the nerves and built up tension that I had been feeling slowly eased away, as we entered into deep conversations about his roots in the hip-hop scene in Brighton with Rum Committee, attending open mics at Slipjam B and forming friendships with local MCs and DJs. Speaking fondly of his time in Brighton, he explained how he quickly became embedded in the hip-hop community.
If you’ve never heard of Spanish trap then don’t worry, I’ve got you. Whilst out here in Spain I’ve discovered many beautiful things, the weather, the food, the unlimited sangria, and of course, the delightful and often humorous sounds of Pimp Flaco, amongst many others in the Spanish trap scene. The origins of this music entering my domain lay through a friend called David, David explains:
“I was watching funny videos on YouTube one pleasant Monday evening when I came across this guy called Pimp Flaco, automatically I checked it out, I couldn’t believe what I was listening to, it was like trap music, but it was Spanish, my mind was blown and I’ve been hooked since…”
His, and my, introduction to Spanish trap was Pimp Flaco’s track PORFI, an instant banger –
So, if you’re a fan of hip-hop you’ve probably heard Drake’s new album/playlist ‘More Life’. If you haven’t, then I recommend checking it out. The blend of different musical styles and influences really work, and shows the love Drake has for all kinds of music. It’s a fun project, and should be treated as such. But alas, this is not a review of ‘More Life’.
If you’ve listened to ‘More Life’ then you would’ve noticed that it features UK artists such as Giggs, Jorja Smith, Skepta and Sampha, and has a distinct British feel to it. It’s no secret that Drake has been a huge fan of the UK hip-hop/grime scene for a while now, consistently showing his support for new releases and tours. The likes of aforementioned Skepta and Giggs, and up-and-coming artists such as Dave and AJ Tracey have all benefited from his love and support, allowing thier music to be opened up to a broader audience that Drake has.