"Así soy yo"
Cathy Claret has made some of the most innovative and infectious Romani music of the last thirty years. This album marks a high point in her quest to record an album totally within the Roma community; recorded, played, mixed and produced by a predominantly young cast of Roma musicians from the La Mina district of Barcelona, where Cathy has lived in recent years.
Rooted in living, breathing Roma traditions, Cathy was also able to fully explore her own ideas and apply her own character to the music, furthering the ‘pop flamenco’ style she has become known for.
The album was recorded between 2019 and 2022, mostly in the home studio, Barrio de la Mina, of producer, Che, who has been helping to develop new styles such as Romani trap, rap, and flamenco reggaeton. The young musicians included Eugenio Santiago, a highly rated flamenco guitarist from Barcelona, who produced the acoustic songs on this album.
Speaking about this album, Cathy says, ‘my voice is almost French, like Françoise Hardy and Jane Birkin. But my life is more Roma. It's a fusion of two worlds that are musically far apart. During the production of this album, the romanticism in me was vibrant. This work realised the fusion of pop and Romani music, mainly flamenco, which I had been dreaming about for a long time. It reflects who I am more than ever before. On previous albums I've been working with musicians who weren't Roma, so I haven't been able to achieve the Roma quality that I'm looking for. I was able to fully express the half of my life, the bond I have with Roma, who have encouraged and accepted me since my teenage years.’
Born in Nimes in southern France, Cathy spent her formative years living in several cities in three continents. Orphaned as a teenager, she was adopted as the tenth daughter in a large Roma family. Her life was immersed in music, and she soon learned to play several instruments, including flute, electric bass and guitar.
She sent a demo tape to Virgin France, and promptly got signed up, who released her first album in 1987. Several more albums followed, and from the late 1980s and into the 1990s, her music and trademark vocals, were picked up by artists from around the world. She became known as a composer of flamenco/ gypsy fusion songs, writing songs for some of the biggest gypsy artists of the day. Flamenco star Raimundo Amador and B. B. King covered Cathy’s original song ‘Bolleré’, which became a massive hit.
Meanwhile in Japan, musicians from the ‘Shibuya-kei’ scene, such as Kahimi Karie and others, also fell in love with her music. This love aﬀair with Japan continues to this day with this album and her previous from 2018, Primavera, released by Tokyo record label, Respect Record.
One of the originators of ‘pop flamenco’ who for thirty years has inspired musicians in Tokyo as much as Barcelona, straddling the worlds of romani music, flamenco and French pop, has returned with perhaps her greatest achievement.
Preview songsClick to open a new window