Feature: 10 Spanish-speaking artists that you need to know right now

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:

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Feature: Me, Myself & Emo

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.

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Festival Feature: Why Dias De Campo is the ideal festival to attend for every music lover

festival location montanejos

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.

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Interview Feature: Rag’n’Bone Man

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.

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Feature: Your introduction to Spanish trap

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 –

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Feature: 10 UK hip-hop/grime artists that you need to check out

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.

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Feature: Joe Hart to Torino and 11 other Brits playing abroad this season

Few would’ve predicted at the start of the transfer window that David Luiz would end up back at Chelsea, Jack Wilshire would be on a season-long loan at Bournemouth, and that England’s number one, frozen out by new boss Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, would find himself in Italy at Serie A side Torino, but that’s football, it’s unpredicatble, unforgiving, and at times downright bizzare. Now the dust has settled and the domestic season is back underway this weekend, we can have a look at some of our other British players who will be joining Hart in tackling the difficult challenge of playing abroad. Many have tried it in the past, but very few have been successful. Ask Michael Owen, Ian Rush, Dale Jennings or Jonathan Woodgate at how tough and relentness it can be. Looking to break the mould here’s a list of 12 players to look out for over the coming season:

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Feature: An Englishman(s) Abroad (and the lack of)

When it comes to looking at English players who have played abroad in the past, tales of mix fortunes are ever present. On the one hand, you’ve got the success of players such as Gary Linekar at Barcelona, Kevin Keegan at Hamburg (winning two consecutive European player of the year awards during his time there) and Glenn Hoddle’s successful spell at French side Marseille, but on the other hand you’ve got many who have struggled to adjust to playing in a foreign league. Michael Owen had a very slow start to life at Real Madrid and only managed 18 goals from 41 games; Jonathan Woodgate had one of the worst starts in history, scoring an own goal and then being sent off for two bookable offences on his debut, in an equally torrid spell for the Spanish giants, both seeking refuge quickly back to English football at Newcastle and Middlesbrough respectively. Back in the early days, when perhaps we as nation weren’t so open minded about European football, calling Ajax, A Jax and so forth, Paul Gascoigne arrived in the capital of Italy, signing for Lazio and greeting the chairman with an Italian phrase ‘tua figlia, grande tette’, which translates to ‘your daughter, big tits’.

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