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Buika is one of the most peculiar Spanish artists around. This singer, born on the island of Mallorca to African immigrant parents from Equatorial Guinea, has become a true revelation to those who thought flamenco had little left to contribute to Spanish music, and to jazz. Her evident African roots and her cosmopolitanism, developed in clubs in Spain and Americanized during a strange detour to Las Vegas as a Tina Turner impersonator, explain Buika's rare self-possession. But nothing can quite explain her ability to connect as one of those rare and wonderful "one-listen" artists.
Growing up on in one of the poor neighborhoods on the island of Mallorca, Buika found a second home among the local community of gypsy families, finding in flamenco's individualistic spirit a path to self-acceptance. Flamenco was a open door, she remembers: "It's not just about music, it's a way of life. It's about not running away from yourself." After a few false starts in European R&B, Buika released her US debut Mi Niña Lola (My Little Girl Lola) in 2007, which had already won Best Album and Best Production honors at the Spanish Music Awards. Her next recording, 2008's Niña de Fuego (Child of Fire), helped to catapult her into the international ranks of the most exciting voices in modern Latin music. With just a handful of concerts in Miami, LA, and New York, the album scored two Latin Grammy nominations in 2008.
Buika's 2009 release El Ultimo Trago (The Last Drink) was a homage to the Mexican singing legend Chavela Vargas, with whom she has developed a close personal friendship. The album received Latin Grammy nominations for Recording of the Year (for "Se Me Hizo Facil") and for Best Traditional Tropical Album. Supporting the singer on the album is Cubian piano star Chucho Valdés, who met Buika in 2008 at Spain’s Vitoria Jazz Festival. Since the release of this album, Buika has continued to build her sterling international reputation. She recorded a duet with Seal for his 2010 Album Seal 6: Commitment, appeared in Pedro Almodóvar's 2011 film La Piel Que Habito (The Skin I'm In), and completed her first US tour at the end of 2010. Her latest album, En Mi Piel, came out last year.