Not only is Spanish music diverse and unique, but listening to it is one of the better ways to brush up on your skills and learn a language before traveling there. Our Travel Specialist Taryn Harrison compiled a list of artists we think you would enjoy. ¡Viva España!
1. Enrique Iglesias
Born in Madrid in 1975, Enrique is a Spanish singer, songwriter, and actor. He is a multi-platinum pop icon and has been recognized for his musical versatility in both Spanish and English. He has three children with Russian tennis player, Anna Kournikova. Some of his most well-known songs include “El Perdón,” “Bailando,” “I Like It,”-featuring Pitbull, and “Hero.”
2. Los Planetas
This Spanish group came on to the scene in Granada in the 1990’s and early 2000’s. They have a strong interest in psychedelic pop, indie-rock, and hypnotic sounds and have been compared to English-speaking bands like Joy Division and Mercury Rev. A few of my favorite songs are “Qué Puedo Hacer,” “Segundo Premio,” and “Un Buen Dia.”
3. Plácido Domingo
Plácido was born in Madrid in 1941. He is a world-renowned and multifaceted artist. He is recognized as one of the most influential singing actors in the history of opera and is also a superb conductor. He has recorded over a hundred complete operas and performs in Spanish, Italian, French, German, English, and Russian. While opera might not be everyone’s cup of tea, I guarantee you will be impressed with his magical voice.
4. Julio Iglesias
Born in Madrid in 1943, Julio is a true international superstar. He’s been blessed with good looks, a powerful voice, and a gift for performing to an audience. While Julio started his career as a goalie for Real Madrid, he was in a terrible car accident that made him give up on his dreams of being a soccer star. As he recovered, he taught himself how to play guitar, wrote songs, and discovered his true passion was music. His son, Enrique, was also blessed with his musical ability. Not only have many people seen him on Dancing with the Stars, but we have also been falling in love with many of his songs. Some of my favorites are two duets-“To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before,” with Willie Nelson and “All of You,” with Diana Ross.
Aitana was born in 1999 in Barcelona. She gained notoriety in 2017 as a Spanish singer and songwriter when she took part in a series of nine reality talent competitions. She was the runner up on Operación Triunfo. She released a single, “Lo malo” with fellow competitor, Ana Guerra, and the song went to become a number-one hit.
6. Ana Torroja
Ana was the lead singer in the pop group, Mecano. Born in Madrid in 1959, she began her solo career in 1998. She has been known to incorporate her roots into a modern pop sound. She has released 5 albums and “Corazones,” “Duele El Amor,” and “Ya No Te Quiero” are all worth a listen.
7. Paco de Lucía
This legend of a virtuoso flamenco guitarist, composer, and record producer was born in 1947 in southern Spain. de Lucia trained with his father and brother from the age of five and mastered the art of flamenco guitar by his 11th birthday. He was regarded as a child prodigy and toured with a flamenco troupe at 16 for three years. He is known for his fluent picados (Fingerstyle runs) and is considered one of the world’s greatest guitarists. He produced numerous albums, before suddenly passing away in 2014. If you would like to hear a sample of his work, I would recommend “Entre Dos Aguas.”
8. Pablo Alborán
The world discovered this hitmaker in 2011. Born in 1989 in Málaga, Spain, Pablo started playing guitar at an early age and writing his own songs at the age of 12. His first chart-topping single was “Solamente Tú,” which is truly ear candy. “Miedo” also charted and went platinum in Spain six times over. He’s a talented artist and I’m sure the world will see more of him in the future.
9. La Oreja de Van Gogh
Hailing from San Sebastián, this Spanish pop band began performing in 1996. The focus on lyrical themes of love, friendship, and relationships and have sold more than eight million albums worldwide. “Rosas” is a catchy tune that will leave you wanting more.
10. Manolo Escobar
Born in 1931, this Spanish singer was most notably known for his Andalusian copla. If you travel to this part of Spain, you will be sure to hear street musicians performing one of his most well-known songs, “Porompompero,” which is a nonsense word. My other favorite song would be “Mi Carro Me Lo Robaron,” which talks about a car getting stolen. You can’t go wrong with Manolo, but younger generations will probably roll their eyes at you when you mention him
Well, that’s it. ¡Ya está! Who are some of your favorite musicians from Spain?