Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I haven't met... Concha Buika

I think I’m going to start a new category on this blog: Bisexuals I haven’t met yet. Not celebrities – I mean, I have no expectation of, or interest in, meeting Angelina Jolie. Nor Bisexuals I have Met (ie famous bis I once bumped into somehow, now dead) or Never Met (famous, dead, and therefore not going to meet me this side of paradise).
However, there are some well-known bis – Alice Walker and her estranged daughter Rebecca; Saffron Burrows; Skin; David Walliams; Alan Cummings – that I could conceivably interview or something… And to start this off, someone you have probably not heard of unless you are from a Spanish-speaking country: Concha Buika.

Who is...
Concha Buika is a Spanish singer, originally from Equatorial Guinea. Aged 35, she sings a mix of latin-influenced jazz and soul and seems to be pretty well-known in Spanish-speaking countries.
I heard about her quite by accident through a music review in the Guardian about six weeks ago (mysteriously not available on the website) as an exponent of New Flamenco music.
There was also a snippet about her private life… apparently, she is married to a man and then met a woman who both she and her husband subsequently married in a three-way wedding. They all split, and she is bloodied but unbowed. According to Pop Matters
“I do what I do, and I’m not doing anything that other human beings haven’t done. All human beings are more or less the same. A lot of people don’t dare do things, but they think about them. People hide something bad. I haven’t done anything bad, so I don’t have any reason to hide it. What rule is there that two people can’t love a third person?”

Good for her. Perhaps her tremendous spirit is due to the fact that, with parents political exiles from Equatorial Guinea, she was part of the only black family on Majorca, and had to fight the racism that resulted. Then she went to Las Vegas as a Tina Turner impersonator. Well, whatever, her voice is beautiful and I’m glad I found her.

Her MySpace page describes her music as Latin / Lounge / Funk, which in my limited knowledge describes her work a bit more accurately than New Flamenco.

Anyway, here are a couple of YouTube videos of her.

This – the New AfroSpanish Collective - is a bit salsa-y and boppy:

Whereas this one - Mi Nina Lola - is slow and poignant:


Patrice said...

As you bring up music ... there is an up and coming French singer, born in Algeria, Ysa Ferrer with a hit named: "To Bi Or Not To Bi". All in French, but if you watch the video, you don't need to know French to get it :-)
Her web site is at:
and you can watch the song on stage at:
(that link used to be on her page, but it seem to have been replaced with one of her tour in Japan)

Sue George said...


Anonymous said...

Lovely voice. Especially like 'Mi Nina Lola'. Makes me want to be there, in that lounge, hearing her in person.

LAZZ said...

I am glad you found Buika. She is wonderful. But I would never choose label her stuff as Latin/Lounge/Funk. It seems like a complete misnomer, to me. Whereas 'New Flamenco', if one is going to say anything at all, says everything we need to know about her forms of expression. Maybe some alleged marketing genius adopted the Latin/Lounge/Funk mistake. Totally wrong-headed.

I am not from a Spanish-speaking country. Yet I know Buika. Most of my friends know about her, too. I think that might be because we are all from music-loving households where music operates as the universal language. And I do know a number of Spanish speakers who had been completely unaware of her. So it's not really a matter of what tongue we speak but more, I think, a matter of whether we are listening and paying attention

Miguel Tavares said...

I've just had the pleasure to listen to her, yesterday, alive, in Oporto. There are no words to describe her, indeed you need to listen and just let all the emotions flow into you. She's just amazing, and has she said, she's not a person of words, but of music. And she couldn't be more true. Listen to her participation in Anoushka Shankar album "Traveller".

Anonymous said...

I have been a big fan since I heard her on a now defunct program in LA with Tom Schnabel and his would music. I saw her last year in person and was rivitted by her performance. I saw her last night at the Nokia in LA and got to meet her backstage. She is as lovely as her talent. I hope the rest of the world becomes aware of her and all her talents.

Anonymous said...

What an artist. When I listen to her, I have to wonder what her life experience might have been to produce the beauty in her singing and voice.
Just a small point, Ms Buika (to the best of my understanding) is not originally from Equatorial Guinea.

She was born in Spain and raised in Spain. Her first language is Spanish.