Are you ready for Buika? On Saturday, November 20th, 2010 Buika–one of Spain’s most sensational and sensual voices–will perform at the Knight Concert Hall. When I first heard Buika’s “Mi Niña Lola“, I immediately thought of Volver, the acclaimed film from Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar. I jumped out of my seat, ran to the TV room and… pulled out my “Viva Pedro” film collection. I was certain that I had heard Buika’s dramatic, guttural voice before in one of his films because her vocals echo the pathos that run through much of Almodóvar’s work. As it turns out, I was wrong!
I couldn’t find Buika anywhere in Almodóvar’s films. I almost bit my tongue however I did some research and discovered that Almodóvar is a fan of Buika’s work and has cast her for his upcoming film, La Piel Que Habita, starring Antonio Banderas and Marisa Paredes. So, I was almost right.
Born in Mallorca, Spain to a family of political refugees from Equatorial Guinea, Buika grew up among the local gitano population, who instilled in her their passion for cante flamenco. However, Buika’s own work fuses together several traditions, including jazz, flamenco, copla and neo-soul. As a result, her voice and performances are multi-layered, textured, and spontaneous.
According to the New York Daily News, Buika’s singing “traces the line of soul music from Africa, through the shores of the European continent, and then home to America.”
Buika was just nominated for two Latin Grammy Awards, a MOBO Award for Best African Act, and a Premios Lunas del Auditorio Nacional de México in the Ibero Americana category. Her latest project, “El Ultimo Trago,” pays homage to one of my favorite celebrated Mexican singers, Chavela Vargas. She has released four widely acclaimed albums and collaborated with a wide range of artists from Nelly Furtado to DJ Chus.
Whether or not you share my love for Almodóvar’s films, Buika will awe your with her spellbinding talent and emotionally complex performance. She’s pure magic.