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Maria José Llergo

Maria José Llergo is a Spanish singer. Her formal training in classical violin, jazz, gospel, salsa, raga, flamenco, helped her forge an adventurous hybrid sound embodying the totality of her musical background, and houses it in boundaryless, sophisticated, adventurous music that is inseparable from her homeland. In 2019 she contributed to Moonchies, an urban compilation of regional artists. She won a deal with Sony, and in 2020, released the Sanación EP produced by Lost Twin. In 2022, she won the Goya award for Best Song for "The Sea Awaits You," the title theme from, the film Mediterráneo. In October 2023, she issued her second long player, Ultrabellaza. Llergo was born in Pozoblanco, in Cordoba province in rural Andalusia. She was aware from a very young age that flamenco music was born in her region of Spain and in her mind, was buried just under the surface. Her first experience of music was hearing her grandfather sing flamencos and boleros while working on his farm. From seven to 17 she studied classical violin at school. At 18, she won a scholarship to study jazz and contemporary classical singing at El Liceo, a school attached to Gran Teatre del Liceu de Barcelona, the city's opera theater. She later attended the city's flamenco school, Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya and studied under José Miguel Vizcay. (Countrywoman Rosalia also attended the school studying with the same instructor.) After graduating, Llergo began singing wherever she could, from cafes and clubs to television commercials. In 2018, she contributed a song to Moochies, a compilation of regional artists. Sony was impressed enough by her entry to sign her to a multi-album deal. They enlisted Lost Twin to produce Sanación, her seven-track debut EP. The recording won critical and popular notice at home, in the North American music press, and the clubs of Europe, showcasing an intersection of flamenco, electronic music, jazz, and pop. In 2022, she sang "The Sea Awaits You," the title theme in Marcel Barrena's film Mediterraneo: The Law of the Sea. She won an industry Goya Award in 2021 for "best song of the year." She also collaborated with Fuel Fandango on the charting single "Mi Huella," and released her own singles "Que Tu Me Quieras," and Te Espera El Mar." 2022’s "Mi Nombre," was a Top 20 hit hat wove together flamenco palmas (syncopated handclaps) dance beats, lush ambient pop atmospherics and nylon string guitars. In March 2023, she issued the anthemic dance club single "Ten Contrao," produced by George Moore and Jason Brown. The Lost Twin-produced "Rueda, Rueda," followed in June; its fluid lyric themes explore freedom, spiritual transcendence, and radical self-acceptance. That August, the track was remixed by DJ Uwu and Daniel 2000. On October 5, she issued "Superpoder," co-written by the artist with producers, Marti Perarnau Vives, and Maria Zahara Gordillo Campos. It placed inside Spain's top 40. On October 27, she issued the wildly diverse Ultrabellaza. Also co-written with producers Vives and Gordillo Campos, the set's 13 tracks wove traces of nuevo flamenco through cumbia, reggae, Spanish pop, EDM, and hip hop.
© Thom Jurek /TiVo
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