Concha Buika (born 1972 in Palma de Mallorca) is a Spanish singer. Her album Nina de Fuego was nominated for the 2008 Latin Grammy Award for Album of the Year.
Buika's family is originally from Equatorial Guinea. She grew up in Mallorca among Spanish Romani people (Gitanos) - who imbued in her the traditional "cante" flamenco - as the only person of African descent in her neighborhood. Her music mixes flamenco and coplas with soul and jazz.
During the 1990s she took part in different productions, such as Ombra by La Fura dels Baus and the soundtrack for the Spanish movie km.O. At the same time she composed several songs such as "Ritmo para voce", "Up to the Sky" and "Loving You".
From November 2000 to March 2001, she sang at The Luxor, Harrah's, and Gold Coast casinos in Las Vegas as a Tina Turner impersonator. She also performed as a guest singer in the Blue Note festival with Rachelle Ferrell.
Buika is a singer who handles and fuses many musical styles (flamenco, copla, jazz, rumba, soul), having also appeared as vocalist in house music tracks authored by Spanish producers David Penn and DJ Chus. She is noted as one of the most lively and spontaneous artists in the current Spanish musical scene.
Her second album, Mi Nina Lola, included traditional Spanish Copla songs (Mi Nina Lola, Ojos Verdes, Te Camelo) and flamenco rhythms of "tanguillos" and "bulerias". The album ended with a flamenco-jazz fusion song titled "Love" and an original song titled "Jodida pero contenta". Her singing is accompanied by guitarist Nino Josele.
In contrast, her third album, Nina de Fuego, contains mostly songs (Coplas, Bulerias, Rumbas) written by Javier Limon, her artistic producer, and Buika herself, along with remakes of classic Spanish Coplas (including the song that gives name to the album's title) and a Mexican Ballad song.
Asked to define herself, she said, "I am bisexual, three-phase and three-dimensional." She is the mother of a young son.
Buika is a critically acclaimed jazz-influenced flamenco fusion singer from Spain who broke through to mainstream success in 2006 with her second solo album, Mi Niсa Lola. Born Concha Buika in 1972 in Palma, a city on the Balearic Island of Majorca, Spain, she is the daughter of a political exile from the former Spanish colony Equatorial Guinea, a small country in Africa. Influenced by her mother's love of jazz, she began her singing career in the clubs of Majorca and the neighboring Balearic Island of Ibiza. She also performed in Las Vegas for a while.
Buika's commercial recording career began in 2000 with Mestizьo, a little-heard album of vocal jazz standards co-billed to Majorcan pianist Jacob Sureda. Meanwhile, she began appearing as a featured vocalist on various electronic dance music tracks, most notably Smurf & Perry's "Lovin' You" (2001), a club favorite compiled on numerous house music CDs. Ultimately offered a major-label solo recording contract with Dro Atlantic, Buika made her eponymous album debut in 2005. She collaborated with Latin Grammy Award-winning flamenco producer Javier Limуn on her follow-up effort, Mi Niсa Lola (2006), a breakout album whose stylistic fusion was both critically acclaimed and commercially successful. The album reached number 11 on the Spanish albums chart and sold well in neighboring France, too.
Buika collaborated with Limуn once again on her next album, Niсa de Fuego (2008), a similarly successful album that was nominated for Album of the Year at the Latin Grammy Awards. She broke into the Top Ten of the Spanish albums chart with her next full-length effort, El Ъltimo Trago (2009), a collaboration with Cuban pianist Chucho Valdйs. Recorded in Cuba with Valdйs and a live band, the album is an homage to Mexican singer Chavela Vargas. It won a Latin Grammy in 2010 for Best Traditional Tropical Album.
Buika relocated to Miami, Florida in the United States in 2011, the same year her double-disc retrospective En Mi Piel: The Best of Buika was released in the U.S. Following international touring and time off, she re-entered the studio in 2012. She recorded in Madrid, Miami, and New York with her longtime trio (pianist Ivan "Melon" Lewis and percussionist Ramon Porrina) and a large cast of collaborators, including guitarist Pat Metheny. These varied sessions resulted in her most diverse recording, La Noche Mбs Larga (The Longest Night), which was released in June of 2013.
- Jason Birchmeier