Buika / Spain
It takes a lot of guts to expose your true self to others, and acclaimed singer, songwriter, poet, composer and music producer, Buika (pronounced BWEE-ka), does that every night she goes on stage. As plain as the tattoos on her skin, Buika bears her soul to her fans across the world, whom she affectionately calls her “tribe.”
This summer, Buika continues her journey of storytelling across Europe and South America in support of her latest album, fittingly named Vivir Sin Miedo (To Live Without Fear). Her eighth album and one with the most English lyrics, Vivir Sin Miedo, co-produced by Grammy Award-winning Swedish producer, Martin Terefe (Mary J. Blige, Mutya Buena, Coldplay) features Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Jason Mraz, German neo-soul artist Meshell Ndegeocello, and Spanish underground flamenco legend Potito.
Born María Concepción Balboa Buika in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, Buika grew up immersed in Spanish culture with her African-born parents. Surrounded by multiple cultures throughout her life, Buika had a variety of musical influences, from jazz and flamenco to pop, soul and African polyrhythm. This eclectic upbringing shaped Buika’s ability to make music without limitations. During her 15-year recording career, her albums flow seamlessly between pop, jazz, soul, reggae, afro beat, R&B and flamenco. Equally diverse are her collaborators, which include Pat Metheny, Anoushka Shankar, Chick Corea, Niño Josele, Bebo and Chucho Valdéz, Seal and Nelly Furtado. Filmmaker and longtime fan, Pedro Almodóvar, remarked about Buika, “Seeing her draw from such different genres...mix them all together with such grace and spontaneity, one cannot help but think that there is a brighter future as long as one can witness the boundless evolution of this infinite performer.”
A brighter future did arrive for Buika with each new album. Her 2006 album, Mi Niña Lola (My Little Girl Lola), won Buika high praise from the US media, including The New York Times, The New Yorker, Miami Herald and NPR. She received two Latin Grammys, one each for her 2009 album, El Ultimo Trago (The Last Drink) and for her 2013 album, La Noche Más Larga (The Longest Night), which also won a Grammy nomination for Best Latin Jazz album. Other Latin Grammy nominations included Best Album and Best Production for Niña de Fuego (Girl of Fire, special 2-CD Edition, which included her first collection of poems – 2008), and Record of the Year for her albums, Se Me Hizo Facil (2010) and La Nave del Olvido (2013).
In addition, Buika knows no bounds when it comes to language or geography. She has collaborated with musicians and singers in Spanish, Catalan, English, French, Portuguese, Iranian and Armenian. Her touring has spanned the globe, covering Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean Islands, Asia, Africa and the US.
For Buika, her music is more than a career. She says, “Sometimes in the music business, people do what they think other people will like. But that’s a limitation. I just want to be true...I just do what my heart is demanding.”
pic. Credits by BLLC, Javi Rojo
The concert took place in 2016.