Marta Robels of Grammy-nominated Spanish band Las Migas: 'For us, Indian music sounds a lot like Flamenco'

Marta Robels, member of the Grammy-nominated Spanish band, Las Migas, that performed in the Flamenco Fiesta organised by the Consulate General of Spain in Mumbai chats with FPJ

Neha SinghUpdated: Friday, September 30, 2022, 06:37 PM IST
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Pic: Swapnil Sakhare

The Grammy-nominated Spanish band, Las Migas, recently performed in Delhi and Mumbai. This was the first time the band performed in India. The band, which is known for it’s graceful flamenco dance, kept the audience hooked with their music.

For the unversed, flamenco is a type of Spanish music that is mostly played on the guitar and is accompanied by singing and dance. UNESCO recently recognised this music as part of the World’s Intangible Cultural Heritage.
This all-women quartet comprised of dancer and vocalist Carolina ‘La Chispa’, guitarists Marta Robles and Alicia Grillo, and violinist Roser Loscos. They were joined on stage by bassist Oriol Riart Laborda. They performed renditions of their evergreen hits such as La Cantaora and María La Portuguesa with a pop and urban music twist.

The Flamenco Feista was organised by Embassy of Spain in New Delhi, Spanish Cooperation, Consulate General of Spain in Mumbai, Royal Opera House, Mumbai, Akshara Centre, Avid Learning, Furtados, Insider, Shehzeen Cassum Flamenco Academy & Dance Company and The Namaste Flamenco Initiative.

The cherry on the cake was the kathak performance by Aditi Bhagwat along with them. The Free Press Journal caught up with Marta Robles to understand more about flamenco and Latin music.

Pic: Swapnil Sakhare

Talking about what inspired her to take up flamenco, Marta Robles said, “My biggest inspiration were musicians, not just the flamenco ones. In flamenco, I like Vicente Amigo and Tomatito. What we enjoy about our music is the love we get from people all around the world and travelling to new places. It’s our passion, an art, a job, and there’s always something new… You never get bored. We love that.”

For the last few years, Latin music has been making waves on the international music scene. Sharing her delight at the same, “Latin music is getting better around the world. There were many famous artistes before, but they were more like North Americans. Now, there are people from Latin America, South America, who are also known. In Spain, we have singer Natalia, who is popular everywhere. This too makes people more interested in flamenco music.”

Marta revealed an interesting anecdote from their performance at a festival, where the crowd joined in and sang with them. “Last Saturday, we were in Sigüenza at Mujer and Patrimonio Festival. We were singing one of our famous songs, Tangos de la Repompa. When we finished singing, the audience started singing it again. That was such a happy moment for me. They had come all the way from Madrid and far away places to see our performance,” she exclaimed.

She seemed quite happy with the current trend in the music industry. “Earlier, in the music industry, they didn’t look at the number of followers you have on Instagram or Tiktok. Because music has nothing to do with numbers. You can be good but have no followers... Maybe you are not a good community manager or you don’t care about that. However, today, in the industry, they first look at your numbers... the number of followers you have. That’s something I think is wrong. Because I don’t believe that number of followers can define your quality.”

This being her first trip to India, she was quite excited and intrigued by India, its culture, music, and people... “We love India. There are things that are similar between Spain and India. We love Indian music because we understand it. Somehow, for us, it sounds a lot like Flamenco. We have shared the concert stage with the great kathak and lavani exponent Aditi Bhagwat and we are happy about it. We hope to visit again and stay longer with her and other artists and learn more about this culture. I want to thank the Spanish Embassy in India because they have fought to have us here,” she signed off.

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