Touching new grounds
We had been in contact with Raül Refree many times, but never hit the right point where we could collaborate. Raül’s new project together with the emerging star Rosalía was something that caught our attention. We had only heard the demo of their upcoming release, Catalina, and yet already thrilled by the impact of the song. His companion Rosalía was still unfamiliar to us, though she had gained a younger audience through collaborations and features in the emerging trap scene. We quickly came to realise the importance and uniqueness of this flamenco duo. Our vision was to create a visual concept for their upcoming single and album. From music video, album artwork and promotional material, the brief was unlike anything we have done before. We couldn’t wait to get started.
Breaking the rules of the traditional flamenco
Raül and Rosalía are touching new grounds by breaking the rules of the traditional flamenco. Raül’s background as a both a musician and producer, with many big names in his repertoire – such as Lee Ranaldo, Rocío Márquez, Christina Rosenvinge, Kiko Veneno, Silvia Pérez Cruz or Josele Santiago, among others – results in a well produced album. His guitar is this time accompanying Rosalía’s vocals, in modern tones, leaving the traditional flamenco aside. Her schooled voice and earlier experimentations with the trap scene gives another layer of originality to the songs. Our challenge was to create a strong visual impact and add another layer of interpretation, respecting both the traditional and the contemporary in their music.
“Rosalía, the young Catalan singer that revolutionised flamenco”
“The exquisite viral union between trap and flamenco”
“Rosalía, the triumphing singer of Primavera and Instagram”
After her collaboration with C.Tangana (+10.800.000 views) and the launch of “Catalina” (+159.000 views), Rosalía became a huge success this year. She gathered a significant amount of following on both Instagram (+34.000) and Facebook (+10.000), and was interviewed by over 25 media, including A-list fashion magazines like i-D Spain (+73.000 followers) and METAL (+135.000 followers), as well as Spain’s leading newspapers, of which El País (+1.217.000 reads daily), El Mundo (+761.000), and La Vanguardia (+586.000) are just a couple examples. Rosalía will be performing all over Spain this summer, including some of Spain’s most beloved festivals: Primavera Sound and Vida festival.
Abstraction and modernity
We sent the song to the fashion photographer Txema Yeste, he was as thrilled as us, and we started an eagerly awaited collaboration with him capturing both the music video and imagery. Txema’s fashion and artistic background collaborating with world-renowned magazines, such as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Numéro, was the key to reach the abstraction and modernity we wanted for the shoot. Together with the set designer and art director Cristina Ramos we had the perfect opportunity to create the right ambience and sensibility for the video.
Rosalía’s stage presence and strong empathy with the lyrics became the central point of the video and encircles the essence of the deeply passionate song “Catalina”. By capturing her facial expressions, we could reach an intimate relationship with the song and its meaning.
A change of order
We changed the order of production. By bringing a fashion photographer, instead of a music video team, we could together with Txema take more presence in the production. We wanted to have the feeling of being all on the same page, all outside our regular walls of production and comfort, in order to create a dynamic session hand in hand. Since the shoot was done in one day, the video and photography set was placed in the same space with different lighting and equipment, all to create the same atmosphere. Consciously we started with the photoshoot, the experience of acting in front of a still camera would make it more comfortable to then switch to the moving image. The music video was then recorded with the direction of Txema.
Unity in contrast
We wanted to avoid the obvious connections to flamenco and decided to use an industrial and more contemporary typeface for the website, video titles and album cover. New Rail Alphabet designed by Henrik Kubel of A2/SW/HK in close collaboration with Margaret Calvert gave us the modernity we were looking for. New Rail is a revival of the British rail alphabet designed in the early 60’s by Kinneir Calvert Associates for the British road signage. The variety of the typeface gave us the possibility to use it in both bigger titles and smaller descriptive texts and information. This gave us a great unity in contrast to the very powerful use of photography. By adding a vivid cerise as a complementary colour, accompanying the darkness of the photography very well and gives a contemporary feel to the artwork.
Director: Txema Yeste / DOP: Ricard Canyelles / Camera assistant: Nonna Serra / Art Direction: Cristina Ramos Atelier / Gaffer: Sergi Hernandez / Electrician: Oriol Cañis / Digital: Carles Arnán / Editor: Martí Blanchet / Colour: Yulia Bulashenko / Special Thanks: Nur Casadevall / Make up: Victor Alvarez / Styling: Veronica Febrero