Ralphie Choo's sound is a free-wheeling mix of Madrid, then and now
Editor's Note: You may have caught a shorter version of our session with Ralphie Choo in July. This is the full interview, which includes more live performances.
Growing up, Ralphie Choo didn't listen to much mainstream music.
"My mom used to play a lot of classical music and lots of Paco de Lucía," he told World Cafe in front a live audience in Madrid. "For sure, we had no pop music."
It may come as a surprise, then, that the Madrid-based songwriter and producer is making some of the most forward-thinking pop music we've heard on World Cafe. Imagine traditional Spanish styles, like flamenco, and Latin American sounds, like cumbia, fused together by a melange of electronic and hip-hop influences. (It should come as no surprise, then, that one of Choo's earliest songs is a re-working of Rosalía and Ozuna's "Yo x Ti, Tu x Mi.")
Today, for the show's Sense of Place: Madrid series, Choo performs live from Metropol Studios in Madrid; he's sharing songs from his brand-new debut album, Supernova (out Sept. 15).
In between his set, Choo tells us more about his musical journey so far and what moves him to create such a complex mix of sounds.
"It's just fun," he says. "I feel like everything's been done already, but there are tiny gaps here and there where you can connect disparate pieces and come up with something beautiful and enjoyable."
Special thanks to the on-site production team in Madrid: video producer Jorge Antequera; camera operators Sebastián Cáceres, Mey Montero and Jorge Antequera; sound engineer Francisco Meneses; assistant engineer Jorge Rodriguez; and Metropol production team members Alex Cappa, Susana Saavedra and Sergio Jiménez.
World Cafe producer Miguel Perez contributed to this post.
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