Barcelona-based singer/songwriter, guitarist Suzanna Abellán earned a degree in Modern Music from ESMUC. Upon graduation, Abellán spent the early part of her musical career in a number of acclaimed local acts including Radio Malanga, Rootsmama, Tokyo 22, Funk All Stars, Future is Female and several others.
In 2011, Abellán relocated to Morocco — and by 2014, she won a Meditel Morocco Music Award (MMMA) in Rock Fusion for “Ana Bikhir,” a collaboration with Amine Ayoubi. After a four year stint in Rabat, Morocco, Abellán returned to Barcelona. When she returned, she participated in in the televised talent competition La Voz, eventually becoming a semifinalist. La Voz led to increased visibility and a national profile.
Last year, Abellán, performing with the mononym Suzanna released her 12 song Genis Trani-produced full-length debut, SOULFYAH, which featured collaborations with Rapsusklei, Mr. Wilson, Mei Seme and others. Thematically centered around autobiographical stories, the album quickly established Abellán’s sound as a solo artist — a slick synthesis of reggae, trap and soul. Now, as you may recall, earlier this year, I wrote about the Missy Elliott-like “Paipaí,” a lush, sultry and futuristic song featuring skittering trap beats, strummed guitar, twinkling synths, and a sinuous bass line.
Abellán’s latest single, the Gerald Salvia-co-produced “Rara” is centered around skittering beats, a sinuous bass line, shimmering synths Abellán’s swaggering and self-assured delivery and reggae-tinged riddims. And while featuring guest spots from an eclectic set of collaborators — Calima, Spain-based vocalist Lil’ Mama, the Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain-born, Los Angeles-based keyboardist Diana Feria, D Tilo, contributing some turntablism and Argentinie bassist Fede Salgdo and Ms. Malko — the song sonically. is a slick and infectious synthesis of hip-hop, reggae and pop. Interestingly, while being an infectious, radio friendly banger, the song was inspired by the idea to create beats that would make a crowd move — but without having outdated sexist lyrics or tropes: in fact, the song is a swaggering feminist anthem promoting sisterhood and unity. (Sadly, that’s even more needed than ever.)
The recently released video for “Rara” features two teams of women playing soccer — but instead of competing against each other, they flip the competition on its head, recognizing that they can compete while also teaming up to achieve a larger goal through unity.