C. Tangana: El Madrileño Vindicated

C. Tangana, in his own right, is a true one-of-a-kind artist. He is a visionary in delivering cinematic visuals, high art, joys, and lows into a delivery that stands far apart from today’s roster of Latinx artists. Spinning narratives through his own unique lens, he has given us glimpses of who he is and how he sees the world. Up until now, has the world experienced merely a preview for what’s to come. 

With his new album El Madrileño, he vindicates himself as one to not dismiss. Eloquent and elegant, the album is a modern masterpiece. It emotes, tells a story, and most importantly, it resonates long after the final track. 

His travels inspire El Madrileño in Latin America over the course of two years. The first step came about from one of his trips to Mexico. Outside of his home place, Spain, he was nicknamed “El Madrileño” due to Madrid’s accent and dialect. The title resonated with him as it formed a connection to those that are not familiar with him. While embarking on this journey, he realized he had already set a tone with “Un Veneno.” He identified with the name so much that it allowed him a clear vision to bring the project to life.

For quite some time, critics and even fans alike have tried to box him into the urban Latino genre and expected said type of talent. Initially, he thought he would be experiencing various Latin American countries through the same manner it had been represented by his contemporaries on their work, social media, etc. However, traveling to these locations, he had an epiphany: the inspiration was nowhere near what he anticipated. Instead, he found himself deeply connected through the local neighborhood culture, adding to the idea even further of affirming the concept he had in mind.

Everything he had done up until now prepared him for this moment. In specific with production, with his writing, with his performance. He feels this is his “it” moment and delivers as such. 

C. Tangana photographed by Javier Ruiz.

There is a high level of refinement. The album speaks to many compared to his previous work, where he felt delivered to a smaller audience. There are layers and layers of texture worth giving the project an entire listen from beginning to end. 

The result encompasses everything he has been working towards, and in some ways, it can even come across as personal redemption. Creating El Madrileño also taught him some life lessons. 

He admitted there were moments he thought of himself more than he actually was. Recognizing and accepting his past failures allowed him to correct those wrongs and bring forth something fresh and new, along with his growth both personally and musically. He taps into his inner self with honesty, and it transcends throughout the entirety.  

C. Tangana photographed by Javier Ruiz.

The accompanying visuals are equally as aligned and focused on the album’s energy and style like no other. Matching visions with LA and Madrid based film company Little Spain, the two worked together combined the film aesthetic with an international flair. The cinematography is made with intent and embellishes the audience with abstract and obscure. C. Tangana has always had a particular touch with his music videos and certainly did not disappoint here. 

El Madrileño sums up everything C. Tangana is in a personal and creative manner. Conceptually thought out through and through from beginning to end, this is his finest work to date. 

He hits all the marks on what it means to be a true artist when so many are focused on trends. Music in the Spanish language has often carried stereotypes, and here there are none. It’s incredibly fantastic and more of what music needs in today’s time. El Madrileño is a dreamscape with a daring, bold attitude and eagle eye execution. This one is for the culture.  

Latin Music Editor at Contrast Magazine.