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Rosalía / El Mal Querer

Rosalía / El Mal Querer

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El mal querer (transl. "The Bad Loving") is the second studio album by Spanish singer-songwriter Rosalía, released on 2 November 2018 through Columbia Records. The album was written by Rosalía and co-produced with El Guincho on an initial low budget as an independent artist. Presented as experimental and conceptual, revolving around a toxic relationship, the album was inspired by the anonymous 13th-century Occitan novel Flamenca. Therefore, every song on the album is conceived as a chapter of the book. It served as the singer's baccalaureate project, graduating from Catalonia College of Music with honors.

After Rosalía was introduced to American talent manager Rebeca León, she signed a recording contract with Columbia Records, which opened the doors to bigger promotional strategies. Thus, promotion prior to the album release encompassed the release of three singles: "Malamente", "Pienso en tu mirá"—both accompanied by music videos that went viral on social media[7]— and "Di Mi Nombre". Two other singles, "Bagdad" and "De Aquí No Sales", were released after the album. Other promotional initiatives included the display of a billboard in Times Square, as well as live performances at several Spanish festivals, a sold-out concert at Plaza de Colón, the 2018 MTV Europe Music Awards and the Latin Grammy Awards. To promote the album, Rosalía embarked on the El Mal Querer Tour, which commenced in March 2019 and visited both festivals and arenas.

The album received critical acclaim for its experimental production, the use of flamenco elements, which were mixed with pop and urbano music, Rosalía's vocals, and visuals. It became a commercial success, reaching the top of the Spanish Charts and the US Billboard Latin Pop Albums chart. It also scored her second consecutive Premio Ruido win. Since June 2021, El Mal Querer holds the record for the longest-charting album in Spanish history.

All aspects of El Mal Querer, including visuals, engineering, composition and vocals, were highly awarded by the Recording Academy. At the 2018 Latin Grammy Awards, "Malamente" was nominated for five awards including Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Short Form Music Video, Best Urban Fusion Performance and Best Alternative Song, winning the latter two, and at the next year's ceremony, the album won for Album of the Year, Best Contemporary Pop Vocal Album, Best Engineered Album and Best Recording Package, while the song "Pienso En Tu Mirá" was nominated for Best Pop Song. With six awards, it became the most awarded album by a female artist and the only female artist to win Album of the Year after Shakira. The album also won the Grammy Award for Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards. In the 2020 update of Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, El Mal Querer was named the greatest Spanish-language album of all time and the 315th best overall. The same magazine placed it in the 50 Best Concept Albums of All Time of 2022, also being the best in Spanish-language and the 10th best overall.

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