It’s 2020, the year where all predictions from the live actions of Jetsons with flying cars, suspended houses, rolling pathways all over the city and robot as housemaids, should be real.
The year has turned, but still nothing has changed or come to pass. Instead we are ever so fixated and chained to the past and the day to day routines. Although with some advancements in technology. We now enter the new 20’s, where the crazy ideals of the last one shall not be present but more focused to the “urban”.
The urban music or as the Portuguese singer Ana Malhoa would say “the people’s music, the street music”, started to have more and more fans. So, it’s easy to say if the hip hop(from USA), the funk(from Brazil) and/or the reggae-ton(from Latin America) will still be around or will just be dethroned by new styles of music connected to roots of countries that are never recognized as influencers.
From the neighbor country of Spain, Rosalía (the rising star) is driving and bringing the latin fever to the new youth. With her, the Flamenco is back on the spotlight, she is able to mix it up with pop culture! In the past, singers like David Bisbal were able to make amazing fusion music with these two styles and make countries dance like Latin America… She is even able to make the entire world dance to it. A bit more elitist, a “Music of the world”, more contemporary folk. Respecting the past but still making the youth enjoy it.
In Portugal we witnessed the birth of great Conan Osíris, who is able to win the hearts and minds of the youth with sonorities connected to this “Music of the World”. His lead singing “Telemóveis”, which he presented at the Eurovision in Israel, was considered futuristic, not only by it’s sonority but also by all the visuals and performance in stage. Like Rosalía, he creates and presents a product where the image and looks are as much of an importance as the music and lyrics.
And if Fado and Flamenco, where already considered Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Morna also wins the same consideration in 2019. Dino D’Santiago is able to present and show Cape Verde to the world through a new style he created mixing the Morna and other African music styles like funaná, batuku and kizomba, to Afro House, Pop and electronic. So it was here in Portugal, that the musical guide from Madonna was re-connected with his roots and was able to embrace the culture of his parents and become the highlight of the Portuguese and Cape Verde music industry.
Madonna, who has moved to Portugal a few years ago, drinks from these new styles and rhythms. She meets the city of Fado, the “Crioula Lisbon”, the Brazilian Funk, the Reggaeton and comes up with her new album “Madame X”. And like the discoveries, its main focus point is Lisbon and the world as a reference.
The themes presented in the album have the sonorities from all the countries, we the Portuguese have been, the tradition of our Fado, the voyages, and cultural embrace that is so characteristic from us… she transforms all of these and makes pure Pop music.
Over the decades, Madonna has re-invented herself, finding and exploring new sounds, cultures and genres, bringing all to the spotlight (the New York underground and the Dance Music from the 80’s, the Vouguing culture with her Blonde Ambition Tour, the American Folk in Music, the EuroPop in Confessions…). She is able to make the world watch and explore these new artist that embrace the culture of their country and mix them with more urban and contemporary sounds.
This week, Madonna brings her tour to the city that watched it be born and all her subjects start this pilgrimage to our beautiful Lisbon and, I hope, also to our multicultural reality.
Wile the traditional pop decays, with all the Britneys, Beyonces and Aguileras close to the middle ages plus the demand to find a new Gaga, makes the pop music stagnant; some say to see hope throughout these new urban rhythms like Hip Hop and Reggeaton (Ariana Grande, Demi Lovato…) yet Madonna is able to show us all that Pop music can and should explore all these styles and mix them together. She invites us to sail away in this new cultural journey like we did 500 years ago from Portugal and started the Discovery Age of the World.
Cover image by AIPT