India MartínezView in iTunes
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An accomplished flamenco singer from a young age, India Martinez has become one of the genre's most intriguing contemporary performers thanks to her fusion of Hindu and Arab music with the sound of her Andalusian roots. Born in Cordoba in 1985, she began studying flamenco at age five, and after moving to Almeria with her family, regularly sung in the town's cafes under the name of "La Niña del Puerto." In 1998, she reached the final of children's TV talent contest Veo, Veo, which led to spots at various festivals, Peñas Flamencas, and competitions, one of which earned her a scholarship to the Cristina Heeren Foundation in Seville. In 2003, she released her debut album, Azulejos de Lunares, but spent most of the decade concentrating on recitals at both Spanish and international forums. Spending most of her time on concerts and recitals, she didn't follow it up until 2009's world music-inspired Despertar. It was her first gold-certified album; Martinez received a Latin Grammy nomination for Best New Artist. 2011's Trece Verdades went gold and hit number eight on the Spanish charts. She followed with Otras Verdad a year later, covering songs in stripped-down flamenco style by artists as diverse as Gloria Estefan, Amaral, Alejandro Sanz, and Luis Fonsi. It went to number two. 2013's Camino de la Buena Suerte was a return to original material. Melding flamenco and pop, the record worked its way to number three on Spain's album charts and included the singles "Hoy" (a Shakira cover) and "Si Me Ves," a duet with Manuel Carrasco. Martinez delivered a twist on both the duets and covers concepts with 2014's Dual. She compiled her own playlist of duets by popular artists, contacted their main performers and re-recorded them with her own flamenco imprint. The singles, including "Olvidé Respirar" with David Bisbal, "Déjame Soñar" with Ricardo Montaner, and "Loco" with Enrique Iglesias, returned her to number two on the Spanish album charts and scored her a fourth consecutive gold record. Later in the year, she contributed the song "Niño Sin Miedo" to Roque Baños' soundtrack for director Daniel Monzón's film El Niño. The picture won 16 Goya Awards including Best Song, Soundtrack, and Director. After touring for much of the following year, Martinez re-entered the studio with longtime producers and songwriting collaborators David Santisteban and Riki Rivera. It's pre-release single, "Todo No Es Casualidad," went to number nine, while its second, "Angel," got to number 31. The album, Te Cuento un Secreto, issued in October 2016, contained both tracks, as well as "Gris," a collaboration with Prince Royce. It entered Spain's album charts at number one. ~ Jon O'Brien