Malamente

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"Malamente"
MalamenteRosalia.jpg
Single by Rosalía
from the album El mal querer
LanguageSpanish
English title"Badly"
Released30 May 2018 (2018-05-30)
Recorded2017
StudioCasa Arte (El Hierro, Canary Islands, Spain)
GenreFlamenco pop[1]
Length2:29
LabelSony
Songwriter(s)
  • Rosalía Vila
  • Pablo Díaz Reixa
  • Antón Álvarez Alfaro
Producer(s)El Guincho
Rosalía singles chronology
"Aunque es de noche"
(2017)
"Malamente"
(2018)
"Pienso en tu mirá"
(2018)

"Malamente" (stylised in all caps as "MALAMENTE", officially "Malamente – Cap 1: Augurio") is a song recorded by Spanish singer and songwriter Rosalía from her second studio album El mal querer (2018). The track was almost completely written by the singer herself, and was produced by Pablo Díaz-Reixa, better known as El Guincho. It was released on 30 May 2018 through Sony Music as the album's first single. In November 2019, American magazine Billboard named the track one of the songs that defined the 2010s decade[2] as well as the 32nd best Latin song of all time.[3]

Background and release[edit]

At the end of April 2018, Rosalía published a short documentary video to her social media accounts where she talked about her new album. She said: "Everything I have I am leaving it here; I'm in the red, I'm risking a lot. This project is what I've always wanted to do, I've been thinking for a long time about making an album like the one I'm going to release. The flamenco inspiration is still there but, at the same time, it is something else." Three days after the international release of the song "Brillo", composed by herself and in collaboration with Colombian reggaeton singer J Balvin, the Barcelona-native singer announced in her social networks that she was going to release a new single in the coming days. Finally, on 29 May 2018 she unveiled the release date of this new single, as well as its title.

Composition and lyrics[edit]

The song was born in the small island of El Hierro and talks about a toxic relationship and how the woman knew that something wrong was going to happen in her life.[4] The song forms the introductory part of its parent album's narrative arc, which is inspired by the 13th-century Occitan novel "Flamenca". The novel revolves around themes of gender violence and tragic romance; how a man falls in love with a woman and, because of jealousy, he locks her up in a tower. In the song, Rosalía narrates that even though everyone is warning her that their relationship is doomed, she will continue with it to the point of getting married.

Critical reception[edit]

The American magazine Pitchfork called the singer's voice "a soft liquid velvet" and wrote about the song that "Malamente consumes the listener with drums and soft synthesizers that drag you to their world completely".[1] The Guardian commented on the following about the Catalan singer: "Rosalia is the most exciting thing that is going to happen to music this 2018". The single was nominated in five categories at the 2018 Latin Grammys. "Malamente" won two of these awards for Best Alternative Song and Best Urban Fusion/Performance.[5]

In September 2020, Billboard named "Malamente" the 32nd best Latin song of all time and stated that "Rosalía's contemporary, hip hop/electronic take on traditional flamenco was different from anything heard before. Released in tandem with a stunning, provocative video full of imagery and Spanish symbolism, “Malamente” broke ranks, visually and musically, amalgamating Rosalía’s flamenco vocals with loops, beats, and raps, turning every preconception about her country’s iconic musical tradition on its head".[6] Also, Pitchfork named "Malamente" the 23rd best song of the 2010s.

Commercial performance[edit]

The music video, produced by the audiovisual company Canada, was played more than a million times two days after its release and accumulated two million views for 3 June on YouTube, as well as a million streams on Spotify. The song debuted in the fourth position on the PROMUSICAE musical chart. "Malamente" was certified a Gold Record in Spain in the first week of July, as well as a platinum record in August 2018. Finally, in October of that same year it was certified double platinum. In November, the song reached the second position in the Spanish Song Charts thanks to the album release.

The track was included in many soundtracks of TV shows and movies and has been featured in their respective soundtracks. These include the first season of Élite, the second season of The OA, Euphoria and Good Girls as well as in the soundtrack of the 2019 movie Hellboy.[7][8][9]

Controversy[edit]

Most of the controversy faced by Rosalía and "Malamente" revolves around the alleged appropriation of Gitano culture present in her music and visuals, whether symbolism, topics or even her singing accent. Also, some media have been reprimanded for calling Rosalía "the renovator of flamenco", thus ignoring Gitano contemporary flamenco artists and currents. The accusations have met both support and opposition.

Live performances[edit]

"Malamente" was performed for the first time at the Sónar 2018 Festival held at the Fira de Montjuïc, Barcelona on 15 June of that year. A couple weeks later, Rosalía once again presented the single at the Festival Cultura Inquieta held in the city of Getafe, near Madrid. At the end of July, "Malamente" was presented live at the Plaza de Quintana in Santiago de Compostela. Rosalía was part of the poster of the Starlite Festival in Marbella, where she performed on 24 August. On 5 September, the singer played the song at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, where she was the opening act of the Colombian singer Juanes. A week later, Rosalía presented "Malamente" for the first time in Miami to celebrate her five Latin Grammy nominations. At the end of September, Rosalía performed at the Flamenco Biennial in Seville, where she played the theme. On 16 October, the Barcelonian went on the BBC program Later... with Jools Holland, where she sang "Malamente" and "Pienso en tu mirá". A day later, Rosalía offered a concert at the Village Underground in London, where she returned to perform the song for the second time. On 31 October 2018 she performed "Malamente" in front of 11,000 people at a free concert brought by Red Bull at the Plaza de Colón, in Madrid. Two days later she performed the song again at Los 40 Music Awards. On 4 November, Rosalía performed the song at the MTV Europe Music Awards 2018 gala, held in the city of Bilbao.[10] On 11 November, she performed "Malamente" at Casa Patas, Madrid, an iconic place for flamenco artists and lovers. On 15 November, she performed the song at the 2018 Latin Grammys ceremony in Las Vegas.

Music video[edit]

The music video for the song was released simultaneously with the single on digital platforms. It was directed and produced by the company Canada, marking the third time that they worked with the Spanish singer after videos for "De plata" and "Aunque es de noche", and filmed simultaneously with the "Pienso en tu mirá" video.

Marked by its poetic symbolism, the video is considered a "visual poem" interpreted as omens for the failure of a love relationship. The imagery includes a man in a typical Holy week capirote riding a skateboard with nails, which spawned a certain controversy for its religious implications, or Rosalía riding a motorbike that is bullfought by a man in a white studio set. Other alternated scenes show Rosalía dancing inside the back of a truck or being hit by a car. The music video was filmed in Badalona and shows Rosalia in the industrial zone of the city, recreating the constant truck traffic and industries that there are in her hometown Sant Esteve Sesrovires.

"Malamente" was nominated for three UK Video Music Awards of which it won in two: 'Best Pop Video' and 'Best Direction'. The video also received nominations for Best Music Video at the Latin Grammy Awards and Video of the Year at the Premio Lo Nuestro 2019.[11][12]

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Mexico (AMPROFON)[19] Gold 30,000*
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[20] 5× Platinum 200,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[21] Platinum (Latin) 60,000double-dagger

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Country Date Format Label
Various 30 May 2018 Sony
Spain 17 June 2018 Contemporary hit radio

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Blum, Dani. ""Malamente" by Rosalía, Track Review". Pitchfork. Retrieved 28 December 2018. "Malamente" (which translates to "Badly") [...] fuses flamenco with pop, reggaeton and R&B.
  2. ^ "The 100 Songs That Defined the 2010s". Billboard. Retrieved 4 December 2019.
  3. ^ "Hispanic Heritage Month: The 50 Best Latin Songs of All Time". Billboard. 15 September 2020. Retrieved 15 September 2020.
  4. ^ Canaria, Canarias7 / Las Palmas de Gran (27 November 2018). "Rosalía aclara que 'Malamente' se gestó en El Hierro". www.canarias7.es (in Spanish). Retrieved 5 June 2020.
  5. ^ Full winners list
  6. ^ "Hispanic Heritage Month: The 50 Best Latin Songs of All Time". Billboard. 15 September 2020. Retrieved 15 September 2020.
  7. ^ "Rosalía: Su éxito en 10+2 películas y series | CINEMAGAVIA |". CINEMAGAVIA (in Spanish). 2 November 2019. Retrieved 19 June 2020.
  8. ^ Taibo, Por Marieta (16 July 2019). "Rosalía aparece en una escena de 'Euphoria'". Cosmopolitan (in Spanish). Retrieved 19 June 2020.
  9. ^ "Rosalía vuelve a la gran pantalla junto a 'Hellboy'". HOLA USA (in Spanish). 20 May 2019. Retrieved 19 June 2020.
  10. ^ "Nicki Minaj, Halsey and Rosalía Will Perform at the 2018 EMA". mtvema. 19 October 2018. Archived from the original on 19 October 2018. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  11. ^ Fernandez, Suzette (20 September 2018). "Latin Grammys 2018: Watch All the Best Short-Form Video Nominees". Billboard. Billboard-Hollywood Reporter Media Group. Retrieved 29 September 2018.
  12. ^ Roiz, Jessica (8 January 2019). "Premio Lo Nuestro 2019 Nominations: Natti Natasha, J Balvin, Bad Bunny Lead Nods". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  13. ^ "Ultratop.be – Rosalía – Malamente" (in Dutch). Ultratip. Retrieved 1 December 2018.
  14. ^ "Ultratop.be – Rosalía – Malamente" (in French). Ultratip. Retrieved 1 December 2018.
  15. ^ "Top 100 Ecuador – Semana 48 del 2018 – Del 23/11/2018 al 29/11/2018" (in Spanish). National-Report. Archived from the original on 6 December 2018. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  16. ^ "Top 100 Canciones: Semana 45". Productores de Música de España. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  17. ^ "Top 100 Venezuela – Semana 8 del 2019 – Del 15/02/2019 al 22/02/2019" (in Spanish). National-Report. Archived from the original on 22 February 2019. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  18. ^ "Top AFP - Audiogest - Top 3000 Singles + EPs Digitais" (PDF) (in Portuguese). Associação Fonográfica Portuguesa. Retrieved 11 August 2020.
  19. ^ "Certificaciones" (in Spanish). Asociación Mexicana de Productores de Fonogramas y Videogramas. Retrieved 29 October 2019. Type Rosalía in the box under the ARTISTA column heading and Malamente in the box under TÍTULO
  20. ^ "Spanish single certifications". El portal de Música. Productores de Música de España.
  21. ^ "American single certifications – Rosalia – Malamente". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 6 March 2019. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click Type, then select Latin, then click SEARCH.