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 biggest island in the Balearic Archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea, Majorca is something like the South Beach of Spain, a major tourist destination and nightlife mecca for the British 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 the Roma 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. And 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.
Since 2001, Buika has released seven solo albums. Her latest, Ultimo Trago, is a tribute to Chavela Vargas, a hard-drinking, gun-toting 90-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 between Buika, her baby daddy, and her girl on the side.
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In short, Buika is a wild woman. And when she hits Miami on May 12, we bet she lets loose with total abandon.
Buika, presented by Rhythm Foundation. Saturday, May 12. Fillmore Miami Beach, 1700 Washington Ave., Miami. The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets cost $25 to $75 plus fees via livenation.com. All ages. Call 305-673-7300 or visit fillmoremb.com.