What comes to your mind when you think about Spanish music? Flamenco, perhaps? Wind-machine divas? If so, it’s time to expand your horizons, y’all! Spain has much more to offer and we feel it’s our responsibilitie at wiwibloggs to show you another side of Spanish music. So here’s our list of 10 acts who could represent Spain singing in Catalan!
Why Catalan? Well, it’s the second most spoken official language in Spain, and Catalan is having a bit of a revival in the three regions where it’s spoken (Catalonia, the Valencian Country and the Balearic Islands). So the moment is NOW. Apart from that, none of Spain’s 55 participations has included any co-official language of the country, so there’s a debt to be paid there, RTVE!
So take an imaginary trip to Barcelona or picture yourself at a club in Magaluf, and ponder Catalan-language acts who could represent Spain at Eurovision. Tira-li que va de bo!
Txarango is an obvious choice. They are one of the most popular Catalan groups right now, and their latest album “Som Riu” is already a huge success. Txarango are great fun on stage and their music is happy, fresh and uplifting — and you know how much we need all that to lighten the weight of the parade of ballads at Eurovision of late. Something like “Músic de carrer” would be perfect to get the crowd dancing and the people moving on their sofas at home.
Catalan was prohibited in Spain during the Franco dictatorship, and there has been a vindictive feeling attached to Catalan music ever since. That’s why Aspencat would be a great choice to represent that part of Spanish musical history. Their music honours those songs and artists that stood up against the law and kept the language alive. Luckily, Catalan survived Franco, and we can now listen to groups like Aspencat, who take the protest to the next level through their lyrics and their ska beats. “Quan Caminàvem” was the first single on their latest album, Essència, which came out two years ago. They’re no doubt working on new material, so why not embrace Eurovision as another project?
SÍLVIA PÉREZ CRUZ
Sílvia Pérez Cruz is pure class. Think copla mixed with contradanza and sing it in Catalan. Sílvia would bring passion and intensity to the contest. Songs like “Vestida de Nit” (scroll to 2:00 in the video) would add texture to Eurovision and have everyone concentrating on the beautiful mix of the guitar and Sílvia’s voice. That would prevent Spain from having another dancer running to exit the stage in the background. Think about it.
Manel were the first Catalan group to top the Spanish charts back in 2008. Their range of songs is so wide that you wouldn’t think they all come from the same group. They go from pop-rock to melodic ballads, supported by musical instruments you wouldn’t usually find on the radio. With Sílvia we talk about her voice, but here it’s the music that drives the song. With “Benvolgut”, Manel could bring a song never heard at Eurovision.
JOAN MIQUEL OLIVER
Experimental music definitely has its place in the Catalan music industry, and Joan Miquel Oliver is a great example of that. The Balearic singer has just kicked off his solo career with the single “Flors de cactus”, but he isn’t a newbie, as he was part of the group Antònia Font from 1997 to 2013. The group was one of the indie champions of Catalan music and it was a shock when they decided to split, but now Joan Miquel has decided to fill Antònia Font’s absence with his new material. Is there anything better than Eurovision to launch a solo career?
If you liked El Sueño de Morfeo, you’re going to love Blaumut. If you didn’t like ESDM, these guys are going to make you rethink that. They take light pop-rock to the next level with nice harmonies between guitars and instruments like violins and cellos. There’s a fine beat to their music, as here in “El primer arbre del bosc”. Blaumut might be the missing link between Softengine’s music and softness.
Els Catarres stormed onto the music scene four years ago when they released “Jennifer”, a song about a very Catalanist guy who falls in love with a chavvy girl. The group has made waves at nearly every music festival in Spain with their soft guitars and their summery songs. Is there anything more ‘Holidays in La Costa Brava’ than them?
Cesk Freixas is a singer-songwriter from Barcelona who is an expert at crafting singalong songs. This is how Catalan rumba — a staple of the region — sounds nowadays. Sending Cesk would be like Portugal sending a fado (if they hadn’t sent fados almost every year since they began participating). Part traditional, part modern, one of Cesk’s rumbas like “La petita rambla del Poble Sec” would surely get everyone in the arena clapping.
ORXATA SOUND SYSTEM
Orxata Sound System are different. In every sense. They are a supergroup who have been making music for more than ten years and their music always sounds weird at first, but they have something that leaves you wanting more. It’s somehow hypnotic. Orxata usually talk about sex (no wonder what “Orgasme” means, I suppose) in their songs, but not in a typical way. They know how to be explicit. They elevate the language and mix it with all kinds of literary, cinematographic and musical references and some subtle yet inviting music. Valencian eargasm — translators’ nightmare!
ELS AMICS DE LES ARTS
Els Amics de les Arts do credit to their name (The arts’ friends) and turn each of their songs into a unique piece of music which gets stuck in your head. They are daring, they are original and they know how to make art out of a performance. It’s like they mix all the other nine proposed artists together, and still sound like music, not a trainwreck. Put some art behind the music video, and you’ll get something like “Jean-Luc”: perfectly weird, yet perfectly suitable for Eurovision.
So there you go: Our small selection of the Catalan music scene for your consideration. Would you like to see Spain singing in Catalan? Does your country have any other official language which you’d like to hear at Eurovision? Tell us below!