Onstage with six dancers in matching white bike shorts, four backup singers, a multi-instrumentalist, and wearing black chaps, Rosalia deconstructed traditional Spanish music and served up explosive, electronic-outfitted, and suddenly everywhere radio hits. Performing on the Honda stage, she proved that this side of the park has a stacked bill rich with of-the-moment music—led by Rosalia, and later Sunday Lizzo and Cardi B.
“Did you watch the VMAs?” she asked before Ozuna collab “Yo x Ti, Tu x Mi”—a song she performed on MTV this year.
Born Rosalía Vila Tobella, the Spanish singer, producer, and songwriter is a genre-melting critical darling who gained mainstream notoriety on last year’s “El Mal Querer,” which proved to be Latin Grammy catnip but also crossed over onto hipster playlists alongside indie bands. But forget about “Barefoot in the Park,” one with boring swagger-jacker producer James Blake (which she checked off the set list early)—Rosalia represents.
She started out as a classically trained flamenco artist, was a teen star in her country, and contributes to the expansive LatinX wave of pop hits that fold regional movements like reggaeton into global dance floor smashes.
“Flamenco is my passion,” she told the Honda Stage crowd before an a capella versión of “Catalina.”
Castanet samples and live hand claps punctuated her uptempo stuff. For all the tourism in her music, Rosalia knows who she is—and her forward-looking work received unanimous support at ACL. Set-closers “Aute Cuture” and“Malamente” sealed it.