Like a layman about to attempt a task he does not master, this is how I feel writing about Rosalia’s new song. The young woman, that absolute planetary phenomenon from Sant Esteve Sesrovires who cannot fit any more adjectives of praise in her curriculum after revolutionising the world of music with her catchy song Malamente, and who has entered that uncharted territory that only the most daring and bravest venture. Not a minor feat to climb to the top having won 2 Latin Grammy in Las Vegas at just 25, and having released 2 singles, one of them in Catalan: a Catalan rumba also reflection of the present multicultural Catalonia, a country of integration, creativity and itself a crossbreed melting pot in many aspects, also in the many languages spoken here. She has even been capable -as the famous Catalan singer Raimon once said- to make the claim that “those who lose their origins lose their identity”. And that is what language is: identity. In the midst of the current 'Catalan language purity preservation' debate, may Rosalia's use of Castilian Spanish cumpleanys be welcome, a linguistic deviation which will be best accepted if Catalan is to be exported, through her and her music, to unthinkable geographical boundaries.
What Rosalia has done is immensely important for the Catalan language. To chose her mother tongue with normality for her new song after the ‘Grammies’ will not suddenly improve the challenges Catalan is facing, but her example will help those areas where Catalan is less spoken, for various reasons, in Catalonia. It is indeed a curiosity that some individual phenomena like Rosalia’s can manage to occasionally arise in Catalonia with an unstoppable strength.Take Ferran Adrià in the world of gastronomy, for instance, some years ago. He got to number one with very little discussion. Or Pep Guardiola in football, considered one of the greatest, if not the greatest, coach. Rosalia has entered this competition in music and in very little time she has achieved wholly unexpected ranking positions, only available to real stars, as she proved with the over one hundred thousand YouTube visualisations of her song Milionària (millionaire) in half an hour.
The artist, from metropolitan Barcelona's Baix Llobregat area, and her Milionària song -cumpleanys and all- are destined to be the song of the summer. For those who have not yet listened to it, a critique of money -one day you want to be a millionaire and the next day burn everything- an explanation for having started in a Seville airport and ending up in Barcelona. By the way: did anyone in the Catalan government know about the launch? Because we, at 6 pm, and in all newsrooms, were impatient to hear of her two new singles. And our brainy politicians, albeit very active in Twitter and other social networks, had not even heard about it, hours later. Oh well.