In recent years, the local and the global have become closer than ever, as pop music becomes truly multi-lingual. Sónar 2022 finds both superstars and underground heroes from Catalonia and Spain scattered throughout the line-up: artists who were born or who developed here, but whose vision looks further afield, and whose sound and style is unrestricted by borders.
Of course, it’s hard to look past huge shows like that of Madrileno C. Tangana at SonarClub, represents the first time that a Spanish artist headlines Sónar by Night. Nor Nathy Peluso, who a few minutes later will appear at SonarPub by Thunder Bitch to prove why she’s still the queen of Latin pop.
But there’s much more. Morad’s drill and trap will have a triumphant homecoming at SonarPark by DICE. The same stage will host Andalusia’s Juicy Bae and her fusion of flamenco and trap, as well as El Bobe, a rising drill star with flowing metaphors and light, airy afrobeats production.
Barcelona’s young revolutionary Rojuu also performs. The youthful anti-icon of emo-trap mixes jungle, hardcore and techno in his tracks. A similar amalgam of sounds might be heard in DJ sets by Chico Blanco, GAZZI or the Galician twins Yugen Kala, local underground heroes capable of mixing any number of genres for the dancefloor.
Canary Island rappers Locoplaya come armed with their voices, as will be the case for a never-before seen show by Maria Arnal i Marcel Bagés. The duo will present their 2021 album Hiperutopia together with the 36 members of Cor de Noies de l'Orfeó Català. Rising Catalan vocal duo Tarta Relena have toured the European festival circuit, at Sónar they’ll perform a hometown show with a 16-person choir.
Flamenco revolutionary and regular Sónar performer Niño de Elche joins forces with producer Ylia and 80 musicians from the Banda "La Valenciana" to create chaos on both stage and dance floor: a unique reinterpretation of the music of popular festivals, drawing on flamenco as well as the sound of 80s and 90s Valencia: hardcore mákina and proto-techno bakala. Restless indie-electronic duo b1n0 will perform a new live a/v at SonarHall, where queer idol Samantha Hudson will also stir up an impromptu rave, with an exclusive reimagining of her latest album Liquidación Total. Madrid duo mori, rusowsky also appear at the festival, a recognition of the success and acclaim their delicate, lo-fi bedroom pop has seen since they emerged at the beginning of 2020.
Back to Latin pop, and Barcelona-based Argentinian singer Simona mixes ‘soft’ trap with ‘sweet’ reggaeton: she’s a future star in the making. And a final word needs to be reserved for her compatriot Ms Nina, who’s at the vanguard of the feminist neo-perreo revolution.