Sultry, sexy, raw — Buika is a wild woman.
Bernardo Doral

Buika at Fillmore Miami Beach May 12

Buika is a sultry, sexy, raw, and impassioned vocalist who grew up on the Spanish island of Majorca with political refugee parents from Equatorial Guinea.

As the largest island of the Balearic archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea, Majorca is something like the South Beach of Spain, a major tourist destination and nightlife mecca for Brits and other Europeans. But Buika grew up in a poor neighborhood of the capital city, La Palma, where no other dark-skinned people lived. So she hung out with Gypsies, learning flamenco and copla music.

She came of age cutting vocals for party tracks during the day while partying in Majorca's clubs at night. Later she flew to Vegas for work as a Tina Turner impersonator. That's why her music sounds like modern urban flamenco mixed with American soul, Mexican ballads, and her own Guinean traditions.



Presented by Rhythm Foundation. 8 p.m. Saturday, May 12, at the Fillmore Miami Beach, 1700 Washington Ave., Miami; 305-673-7300; Tickets cost $25 to $75 plus fees via All ages.

Since 2001, Buika has released seven solo albums. Her latest, Ultimo Trago, is a tribute to Chavela Vargas, a hard-drinking, gun-toting 93-year-old Mexican lesbian from Costa Rica who changed the face of music. Meanwhile, her song "Jodida Pero Contenta," off second album Mi Niña Lola, was inspired by a three-way breakup among Buika, her baby daddy, and her girl on the side.

In short, this woman is wild. And when she hits Miami this Saturday, we bet she'll let loose with total abandon.


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