CONCHA BUIKA / “Mi Nina Lola”

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7 Responses to “CONCHA BUIKA / “Mi Nina Lola””

The Magnificent Goldberg Says:
September 23rd, 2007 at 7:00 am

Oh my! I listened to Concha Buika first thing this morning. While I was listening to it, I had to write this This is wonderful stuff, right up my street. I do believe, as you clearly do also, that the way forward, for music and for people and the world, is to join together. But when I listen to many of these "cross-cultural" things, I’m usually disappointed by how artificial they sound. To my mind, they’re what I call "Arts Council" music; kind of politically correct assemblages of people who may very well admire each other’s music but who can’t really get it together. It doesn’t seem to matter, to me, how good the music that comes out the other end is – and sometimes it’s very good – it sounds artificial, compared with the music that is produced for the specific "home audience", whether that’s Mali, Cuba, Senegal or wherever. Concha Buika’s music isn’t artificial in any sense that I can detect. Is this because she herself is a product of different cultures: Central Africa; Majorca (and its clubs); Spain? I don’t know. I just know this has moved me like I haven’t been moved since first hearing Ursula Rucker. I have three of Concha’s albums on order now; not the House effort – couldn’t find that on sale. Is that one of those things you can only get in the underground dance network? Thank you, thank you. MG


             Give Me More, Give Me More!         

Thanks for your note and for you blog. It’s a beautiful example of passing it on. A couple of quick things:

1. As for getting her house and dance tracks. There is no single album that collects those cuts. Indeed, it would probably take four or five cds if all the version were included. She has an amazing body of dance music produced between 2000 and 2005. Here is the best discography I have found so far:

2. I must correct myself. From what I can piece together, the jazz album was actually recorded prior to the house hits. I’ve just not been able to find a definitive biography. I’m still going through her dance music output and finding some beautiful moments in her work. Often the songs start off as straight house but then by mid-point other elements have been added or inserted. It’s clear to me that she is bringing a different vision to the music scene than what is now dominate. I don’t know of any other vocalist who is equally good doing house, jazz, flamenco, and contemporary pop.

Again, thanks for spreading the word about Concha Buika and about BoL.


fermenta Says:
September 23rd, 2007 at 1:45 pm

Hi! It’s nice to read about a Spanish singer out of Spain 🙂 I saw Concha in 2006 (Palau de la Música, Barcelona) and I was impressed by her energy, kindness and sense of humor on stage. I never payed her any attention until she released Mi Niña Lola (wich is a popular song of a popular spanish music genre called ‘copla’). I use to listen to flamenco, I like the essence of it, when it sounds raw. From some time on, flamenco fusion is growing popular in Spain, but, in my opinion, it’s weak, commercial, easy to listen to in a negative way. But when I heard Concha I thought that was really fusion, that was really new and fresh, taking the inner soul of flamenco (soul of flamenco… jajajaja), mixing it with sounds of Africa, with the drama of any copla song lyrics, singing as if Lady Day was born Heredia or Montoya. So I couldn’t resist. She won 🙂

One thing I disagree is the point about English phrases. I don’t think she is doing that for an English audiende. As a non-English speaking listener I can say that we don’t need non-English phrases to relate with the music we listen to (in fact, we don’t find that lines anywhere…). I think that when she sings in English is because she changes and mixes genres, she mixes the natural languages of that genres. So if she wants to use the colour ‘soul’ in the canvas of a song, she sings in English, and she paints in colour ‘flamenco’ using the Spanish brush. Well, that’s my opinion.

Anyway, nice post, and always nice blog!

un abrazo!

Qawi Says:
September 24th, 2007 at 12:45 pm

Okay…I like music and I can appreciate her singing, but I guess I’m not “In Love with her [music]” as some of you are. 🙁 I mean you guys posted 15 tracks from her. That’s gotta be a BOL record. That clearly beats Sara Tavares and possibly ties Nina Simone in BOL postings. 🙂

CONCHA BUIKA has a rich, sultry voice. Her phrasing is clearly latino and in some cases dramatic in style. With that, I was a little put off by the first songs of hers in the jukebox. The mechanization of the club mix makes her voice choppy and too synchopated. I don’t know if it would be called slightly overproduction, but it doesn’t sound natural for some reason. For the other songs, ‘My One And Only Love’ and ‘Nostalgias’ are great. ‘New Spanish Afro Generation’ is excellent. Mi Nina Lola is okay, sentimental in parts (and I probably speak less Spanish than Kalamu).

The Magnificent Goldberg Says:
September 26th, 2007 at 2:21 am

I think Fermenta made a good point there: that Concha is using the different languages of the genres she is mixing, not trying to make hooks for an English-speaking audience. I had another thought, late last night. This is a quote from the UNESCO General History of Africa vol III: “Africa from the Seventh to the Eleventh Century”, pp 143-145, edited by I Hrbek “Throughout the Moslem world of the Middle Ages, people not only enjoyed occasional indulgence in verse writing and philosophical discussion, but also enjoyed drinking, singing and dancing, especially at the courts. The djariyas [note the similarity of the word to the Mandinke word djeliya], trained in the singing and dancing schools of Medina and Baghdad, were much sought after and their price sometimes involved stupendous sums. Famous composers were similarly sought after. One of these was Ziryab (789-852), a lack mawla of the Abbasids. After spending some time in Kayrawan, he went to Cordoba at the invitation of al-Hakam I (796-822). Ziryab brought profound changes to the customs of the court and the ruling class in society and became the arbiter elegantiae for it. His music, aided by certain instrumental improvements of his own invention, soon replaced all the old melodies and has lived on through the centuries until today. The maluf, which is still in fashion in the Mahgrib today, and Spanish flamenco are remotely descended from the revolution brought about in music by Ziryab.” So maybe Concha isn’t sailing too far from African shores in joining Flamenco with other, more obviously African-influenced music. MG

          kalamu sez         

i’ve given some thought to the observations about concha’s use of english. let us not isolate concha’s use of english only to the flamenco phase. concha spent some time in las vegas and the jazz album seems to have been cut during that period. on that album there are nine tracks, four of them are in spanish but those four tracks are short. so most of the time she is singing in english. almost all of her house recordings are in english. she is an extraordinary musician who embraces a wide range of musics. i do not think we can fully understand her by only concentrating on one phase (which, in retrospect, is a mistake i made by giving so much space to her "flamenco" oriented material). obviously, a number of us are very impressed by concha, impressed with her ability to merge the traditional with the contemporary. i look forward to what she does next, and after that, and so forth and so on… to be continued.



spinning Says:
October 3rd, 2007 at 11:01 pm


Great post – and just what I was looking for (and couldn’t find) last spring, when I posted a couple of tracks by her on my MP3 blog. (Here’s the link: )
I honestly don’t understand why she’s getting zero promotion here in the US, what with the large potential Spanish-speaking audience…. and everyone else (like you and me). Agreed completely on her using various languages like colors on a painter’s palette; I don’t see it as an attempt at “crossover” marketing at all.

She really is unique, and – like Goldberg – she knocked my socks off. (BTW Goldberg, fancy meeting you here! ;))

Michael R Says:
October 28th, 2007 at 9:21 am

Two nights ago I was dragged to a concert in my hometown, Brooklyn, by a friend who is a journalist and had free tickets. What happened in that theater was truly magical. Buika is a phenomenon. She was generous, grateful and loving and thrilling. The musicians that backed her were also amazing (particulary her pianist and the guitarist). The following day I downloaded the two albums I could find (Buika and Mi Nina Lola) and listened to them over and over. I’m no expert on any form of music, but I want to say that as much as I enjoy the recorded music, her presence live was totally electric. The immediacy and generosity of that performance was something I won’t forget. Buika sings and wails from her toes up. She lives a song in performance. Personally, I think the concert hall is where she belongs – but this may be my own bias for the raw emotion of an artist not being filtered through a producer and rhythm tracks etc. She is a true musician with impeccable technique married to a style that I found truly original. I only mention this to say that if you have a chance to see her live, do NOT miss it. If you enjoy her recordings, you’ll be wrecked by her in concert.

Al Says:
October 22nd, 2010 at 3:58 pm

I just had the pleasure of hearing your music for the first time.
I must admit I had to google you to see a pic and you are as beautiful as you sound 🙂 WoW

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