The name Ramsés Gallego won’t probably say a lot to you, but if we say El Coleta, things change. An exponent of raw rap, he doesn’t leave anyone indifferent. From Moratalaz, his lyrics mix popular culture, street-savvy lyric and references to films about small-time delinquents. He samples Las Grecas, Obús, Burning and Camarón, among others, DIY and lots of Movida Madrileña. We interviewed El Coleta during her visit to Barcelona at the Festival Cara B, celebrated in Fabra i Coats fron 19 to 20 February…
When did you start making music?
In the early 2000s I started writing things with my broder Dr. Tube (DEP).
In your lyrics there are references to prison rumba, Spanish cinema about small-time delinquents and pop culture from the 80s. Where do your lyrics come from?
They come from within, from living, Reading, watching films, talking with people.
You use electronic synthesizes and samples of Las Grecas, Burning, Camarón, Obús… What is your composition process like?
It depends on when I get an idea, on the song… Sometimes the base is first and then come the lyrics. Sometimes I look for a sample that fits the lyrics that I already have, and other times I find a sample I like when I’m listening to music and then I look for a related theme for the song.
How did you collab with La Mala come up?
La Mala presented Bruja in Madrid and invited me to sing her song ‘Quien Manda’ with her. We met and got on very well, and that’s how ‘Asingarap’ came up.
Would you like to collaborate with someone else in the future?
Of course, but I’ll tell them before I tell anybody else [laughs].
You are a DIY supporter. You launched a kinkifounding to fund your album, you produce your music at home and make your own music videos. How do you managa? Do you devote yourself entirely to music?
Controlling everything is becoming harder and harder, but it’s also very gratifying. This is how I started and I don’t know any other way of doing it. We don’t choose where we’re born. I’m devoted to this and to looking after my son, which isn’t no small feat.
A debate now is open about hip hop in Spain, which has been sort of stalled since the 1990s. Some say there’s a fracture in the narrative, that there’s generational gap and there’s a influence from music coming from the US like trap, Latin electro… What do you think about Spain’s hip hop scene? Would you recommend some music?
Well, of course trap has a relationship with rap, but Latin electro? Not that I know… Hahaha. Importing styles from the US is only natural. Rap was imported from there, but what’s interesting is to be able to do it with a style of your own, without just copying them. I think the scene is stronger and that there are more ramifications, more styles and that it is reaching a wider audience.
The ’80 and the Movida madrileña are present in your music. However, you were very little when it happened. Why do you feel close to it?
And why not? The 70s and the 90s also influence my music, I like that stuff.
What are you currently listening to?
It may sound clichéd, but I listen to almost anything. I don’t limit myself to a particular music style, though I guess what I most listen to is pure and fusion flamenco.
Any goal you’d like to achieve?
I’d like to make a film.
Photos © Cecilia Díaz Betz