We are no doubt witnessing the most closely studied and intense marketing campaign that a singer has ever been a part of. Around the end of October, machinery went into action that has not stopped leaking out news over the last 90 days. Information that almost always coincides with the optimal time of day in Miami, the city where 28-year-old Catalan pop sensation Rosalía decided to set up her professional headquarters.
Yesterday, she revealed the front cover of what will be her third record after the global success of El Mal Querer (2018), a release titled Motomami. And it’s a striking image: a naked woman appears wearing nothing but a black motorcycle helmet on her head. She is covering her breasts and her genitals with hands that sport very long nails. The most logical thing is that the person in question is Rosalía, but in the game of sleight of hand that her career has become no one could be sure.
“Omg here you have the cover of MOTOMAMI and guess what new song is coming this Fridayyyy.” That’s how she announced it on Instagram, as if sending a message to a friend. Within three days, a new song will arrive from a record that still has no official release date, but is likely to drop in the spring. This will be the second release from the album after La fama, which she recorded with the Canadian singer The Weeknd and which was made public in mid-November. The song has racked up 100 million plays on Spotify in just three months.
More is known about the record, given that the artists’ social media accounts are pumping out information on a weekly basis. We’ve heard a few seconds of Candy, which incorporates autotune, and a slice of Hentai, the most-commented 25 seconds of a song (well, almost) in the history of pop with lyrics in a mix of English and Spanish that some say are naff and others claim are the acme of modern poetry: “Te quiero ride, como mi bike / Hazme un tape, modo spike / Yo la batí / hasta que se montó / Segundo es chingarte / lo primero Dios.” The backlash from the public (all of this on social media, of course) required a response from the artist: “Everyone who is bothered by the lyrics of Hentai, are you ok?” All of these are well-thought-out steps in this wild promotional campaign. And perhaps the most interesting thing was the seconds-long clip of a song called Bulerías, which sees Rosalía return to flamenco, the genre with which she started her career in 2017 with the record Los Ángeles.
In the only interview that Rosalía has offered until now speaking about her third record, with the Spanish edition of Rolling Stone, she said: “Motomami is the most personal story that I have told up until now, as a matter of fact. And ultimately, for me, Motomami makes sense in my head as a concept, as a feminine figure creating herself. So, it’s about that, almost like a self-portrait, when an artist creates a self-portrait in the context of the modern world.” Everyone is waiting with bated breath to hear the whole thing.