Photo credit: Somerset House
The excited chatter of mostly Spanish voices, and occasional cries of ‘¡Olé!’ filled Somerset House’s historic courtyard in the lead up to the arrival of 26 year-old flamenco-inspired artist Rosalía. The Catalan songstress entered the stage wearing a signature frilly fuchsia top and shorts, to set the energetic and vibrant vibe of the rest of the evening.
Rosalía opened her set with ‘PIENSO EN TU MIRÁ’, from her 2018 album ‘El Mal Querer’. The vast majority of the crowd, whether Spanish or not, could be heard singing along to the lyrics and captivating vocals. The night itself had high energy throughout, with even the slower songs, such as ‘A NINGÚN HOMBRE’, being met with impassioned responses from the swaying and clapping crowd. This particular song was also met with thousands of voices coming together to sing its powerful lyrics: ‘A ningún hombre consiento/ Que dicte mi sentencia’ (I don’t consent to any man/ Who could dictate my sentence.) Some of Rosalía’s most popular solo material from ‘El Mal Querer’, including hits such as ‘QUE NO SALGA LA LUNA’ and ‘DI MI NOMBRE’, sparked word-perfect renditions from the lively crowd.
Of course, though, the energetic set had slower moments, like ‘Barefoot In The Park’ which Rosalía and James Blake collaborated on for his latest album. Rosalía also included other collaborations, such as her recent single ‘Con Altura’, with J Balvin and El Guincho. Unlike the simplistic staging of ‘Barefoot In The Park’, this number demonstrated intense energy as Rosalía and her dancers performed in front of a backdrop matching the upbeat, bedazzled music video of the more reggaeton-influenced track. The singer’s unmatched vocal ability was especially clear to see, as neither a note or beat was missed as she powered through complex, perfectly-timed routines with her dancers, highlighting the expertise of the whole set. The more traditional-sounding ‘Catalina’, from her 2017 album ‘Los Ángeles’, stood out as Rosalía’s unbelievable range and emotive voice brought the whole courtyard into near silence, aside from the occasional impassioned ‘¡Olé!’, for the only time during the ninety-minute set.
The night as a whole felt exciting, fresh and full of happiness. Aside from her immeasurable vocal talent, Rosalía’s love and passion for her work constantly shone through. She spoke of coming to London aged 16, and dreaming of performing in the city. The connection between her and her fans was obvious; at one point, she even climbed down to give someone in the front row a pink fan because she had spotted them singing every song. The buzz and elation of Somerset House that evening echoed that of Rosalía’s meteoric career, proving her ability to enthral fans worldwide.
Edited by Alexia McDonald, Digital Editor