Born: 1972 Primary Instrument: Vocal
Buika has been a sensation in Spain since her album, “Mi Nina Lola,” came out in 2005. She is part of a new generation of flamenco influenced performers who are hooking young audiences by mixing in other genres. The fusion of flamenco with jazz, soul and dance rhythms in Buika's music mirrors the story of her own life.
Buika was born in Palma de Mallorca in 1972 where her family, originally from Guinea Ecuatorial, live. She learnt from her mother to listen to the great voices of jazz, and from the Spanish radio, the flamenco copla that would influence her vocals.
She started singing at bars & pubs in Mallorca, recording several songs (house style) and collaborated with La Fura del Baus in “Ombra”. In 2000, she relocated to Las Vegas where she worked in Casinos as the double of Tina Turner and The Supremes. This was a short lived venture and she soon returned to Spain.
When she moved to Madrid and recorded her first album, she showed the never-ending possibility of her skills as a singer. At the recording studio she kept her style besides the insistence of four producers that wanted to change her direction. The record did get some local airplay and attention, but the best was yet to come.
With her second album “Mi Niña Lola” produced by Javier Limón, she got the credibility, the recognition and the awards, including Best Musical Production and Best Album of Spanish Song, in the Spanish Music Awards.
Buika becomes an international star with her third album, “Niña de Fuego” with Javier Limón taking control of production again. In this album, Buika goes back to the Spanish copla, touches for the first time ranchera (Mexican popular song) and songs composed by herself and Javier Limón. The album is full of love and overall lack of affection songs. Buika sings her personal experience in the lyrics that Javier Limón writes especially for her.
For her fourth album, Chucho Valdés and Buika met in Abdala studio in Cuba and, and thanks again to Javier Limón, they recorded “El Ultimo Trago.” The album pays homage to Chavela Vargas on her 90th anniversary, covering the repertoire that she has built during her entire career. Along with the title track, there are also: “Las ciudades,” “Las simples cosas,” “Sombras,” and “Luz de Luna.” These are songs that made Chavela famous, but in this recording, Buika with the unique piano stylings of Chucho Valdés transforms the songs into her own. Again proving that she is one of the most original artists performing today.
Source: James Nadal