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KCRW's Best of 2018 KCRW's Best of 2018

KCRW's annual Best Of recognizes the music and performances that caught our DJs' attention in 2018. These artists continually innovate and inspire, while pushing culture forward. Explore the best music from the past year.

Best New Artist: Rosalía

Rosalía - El Mal Querer (2018)

Best New Artist Rosalía

Rosalía is a young woman from the Catalan region of Spain, fusing the lush Flamenco tradition of the region with innovative contemporary production and a wide-screen pop appeal. She first came to my attention as the support act for Latin superstar Juanes at the Hollywood Bowl earlier this year, and it became clear that the foundation for her ascent was set.

The lead single "Malamente" is a slinky groover about a love gone bad, that simmered on our airwaves all summer long. Learning that enigmatic producer El Guincho was behind the track only sealed the deal for us (watch El Guincho live on MBE here). The videos for "Malamente" and the follow up "Pienso En Tu Mirá" are stunning; portraying a young woman unafraid to address all manner of social and political issues, cut to slick choreography and a sophisticated style.

Her new album El Mal Querer is innovative, authentic, mindful of tradition, assertive in message, and can rival anything in the pop world today.

Expect to hear more from this dynamic artist in the year ahead. As KCRW’s 2018 pick for Best New Artist, Rosalia joins Anderson .Paak, and Tom Misch who have enjoyed this KCRW endorsement in recent years.

– KCRW DJ Jason Bentley  @jason_bentley