Your next album.
Emma's Notes #50
I am obsessed with Rosalía. I love her.
My devotion to her started last April when I started listening to Spanish music to be exposed to the language more frequently. If you don’t know her, Rosalía is a Catalán singer. Trained as a flamenco artist she can sing like an angel. Literally. But in her last two albums, she has moved from very traditional Andalucia-inspired Flamenco to music infused with jazz, reggeaton, and pop. And she has gotten a lot of hate for that, but I love it.
Today I walked into the office super tired. There’s a heatwave in Barcelona and looking around in my coworking space - I’m not the only one who’s having trouble sleeping. So - I decided to do one of those things that doesn’t require much thinking, but still give me a dopamine rush because it’s finally off that to-do list - cleaning up my computer! And I mean deeeeep cleaning.
As I was Marie condoning my way through my digital world - I started thinking of this interview between Rosalia and Jaime Altozano (Spanish music producer and very successful Youtuber).
In the interview, Rosalía and Jaime meticulously. dissect her newest album Motomami. It’s amazing. The part that stuck with me the most, however, is between 3:30 and 12:00. Rosalía explains that while creating the album, she was very particular about its sound palette. She is sticking to aggressive drums, no vocal harmonies, and her voice as the main instrument. When you listen to the album, especially after seeing the interview 😉 , it’s super clear. Rosalía explains that this sound palette was so important to her because minimalism ties the songs to each other. It is the difference between a random list of songs and an album - an intentional body of work.
As I was going through all my files I came across many patterns. I could see how some projects fit together like different songs on the same album. And others below to a completely different creative phase.
In another interview (yes I’m really into her), she gets asked when she knew she was making material for a new album (6:25). She answers that she can’t recall the moment. She would just go to the studio and write, with a vague idea of where she was going. But only in hindsight, after a laborious creative process - do the puzzle pieces fall together.
This fascinates me. Because I think it’s not only true for artists. It also works for knowledge workers. You go into office (or at least behind your computer wherever 😉 ) every day and work. Somedays you have a vague idea of what you’re doing. On others, the vision is quite strong. And then there are the days, on which you are sure someone is going to find out you have no clue what the hell you are doing.
But in the end - the puzzle pieces will always fall together. You will see which songs belong on an album and which don’t. Or you’ll know which projects are like sisters, and when it’s time to start something completely new. All you can do on a day-to-day basis is make music, or do whatever is your work. And then know when to reflect and go from a random list of projects - to a portfolio, the album of a knowledge worker.
Thus, TLDR: I love Rosalía’s music. And I love that the knowledge needs not knowing.
As a bonus - if this cover of Me quedo contigo doesn’t bring you to tears I don’t know what will.
Wishin you a beautiful, restful weekend,
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