“The challenge is always present in our work because we come from where we come from”

Originally from the neighborhoods of Bon Pastor and Sant Adrià de Besòs, feline vallejo (1999) and Laura bonsai (1996) make up the circuit breaker rap duo Las Ninyas del CorroWhat will perform for the first time in Navarremore precisely in the Zentral room, Wednesday, December 28 from 9 p.m.. In a telephone conversation, Laura shares with this newspaper what this year of success meant in a union that began in 2015, when they met while rapping separately, even though it was only two years later that they met in this duo that in 2021 released his second album, Onna Bugeishaa tribute to all the souls of the popular district.

The Atrapa-2 festival is a show of urban culture, although I don’t know if you really like that cliche, that generic label.

–It’s true that over time it has become a kind of label and I guess it’s so that everyone understands the different sounds that some people think sound the same. And I admit that it also benefits us to get involved in certain programs and festivals, but the rap we do is a fairly strict and underground rap, although we are not at all closed to collaborating with other artists.

What is the driving force behind the words and music of Las Ninyas del Corro?

–Especially the fact that we are two girls who live in the outskirts of Barcelona, ​​in modest and popular neighborhoods. Also having always been supporters of family, friends, loyalty, the values ​​that have been instilled in you since childhood… All our imagination revolves around that and, of course, with the always present challenge to come from where we come from And, of course, in our lyrics there is also a lot of feminism, because rap has always been a male-driven genre and it has been very difficult for us to make a place for ourselves. So our lyrics are a mix between the social and the personal, between what’s going on around us and what’s happening to us, because we also talk a lot about our experiences and our thoughts on certain situations.

The external and the internal.

– Exactly, and that’s why I think our lyrics reach people, because we talk about the social aspect that concerns us all, but also about private issues that a lot of people can relate to. Having a girl talk about what happens to her and what she thinks and does from the rap can cause another girl or girls in the audience to see themselves portrayed and delve into their lives.

Feminism is very present in your work and it becomes present and obvious when two young people like you take the stage to do classic rap. Was it very difficult to get here?

-Yes. Ten years ago it was even more difficult because there weren’t many women who rapped and it was normal that a lot of girls didn’t listen to rap, but I guess those of us who listened to it ended up being those references that there were weren’t then. Or there were, one in Jerez, one in Granada, two in the Canaries… but they didn’t get the visibility they deserved. In rap magazines, novelties included a women’s rap label at the end and nothing else. It continues, they keep pigeonholing us a bit, but at the same time changes are happening as more and more artists want to have female rappers in their projects and booking offices as well.

Do you feel supported by your colleagues?

–There are a lot of men who still find it hard to say they like girl-made rap, but little by little you can feel that the support from the male audience is equal to that of the female audience. And we also see the support of festivals, which, of course, give a good image if they program female rappers. This image benefits them and us, of course.

Is the friendship that you maintain between you, this complicity of those who started in the street and who, after years of common experiences, share the stage, is the mark that distinguishes Las Ninyas del Corro?

-Surely. We have a special bond because ten years ago it was still just me and her as girls at a rap event. Having been through this together makes it more special. The emotion of seeing that there was another girl with the same tastes, the same way of dressing and the same critical sense of rap moved me a lot from the start and I think we got along a lot helped at the level of the discovery of things, to create something that did not exist.

How is the live performance of Las Ninyas del Corro? What will Pamplona audiences find?

–There is a lot of complicity between us because we have been friends for many years. I know at a glance when Felinna needs me to do a chorus or she knows when I’m drowning and need that backup. We’ve given a lot of concerts and we have more control over all that, but deep down I think that the mixture between the lyrics, the complicity between us and the illusion we feel for our project is transmitted and the public feels it. We can still infect any of the girls who come to us hoping they can do what we do. And it’s very pleasant.

This year you have delivered some very powerful concerts both in and out of state. For example, those of Athens (Arch Club) and Toulouse (Le Bikini), which were real successes, with “sold out” in both concerts. How did you experience these international releases?

They were very special. We never imagined this would happen to a rap group in Spanish. A few years ago, yes, because rap was more popular, but now… We were very surprised when they called us. The one in Greece was exciting, a thousand people took part. Some came blindly, others had just heard something, but I don’t know how many understood what we were saying. And it was very nice to see how it didn’t matter, because they were infected with the way you moved and the message you projected. We loved the experience. And that of Toulouse too. It wasn’t our audience, but it helped introduce us to Europe and I’d like to continue to make our way there, because it seems like it’s a sound that continues to interest people.

Your commitment is clear, it’s pure rap, more traditional, even if you’re not closed to collaborations.

– We are not closed to anything, we keep the root and we had to talk about it, because no one is making this sound at the moment, especially two girls. But we love music and every day we hear new things that we can understand and respect. Different genres can be mixed, of course; as long as the music is done well… We want to collaborate with different musicians and producers and learn. We never stop learning.

With whom would you like to collaborate in the medium term?

Last year we already proposed it – in the La Resistencia program – and we would like to see it happen, and we would like to collaborate with Estopa. It’s a very different band from ours, but they’re charnegos, they come from the working class, from the outskirts of Barcelona… There are parallels between us and we think it would be interesting to merge our genres . We spoke with them several times and it can happen (laughs).

Well, let the Muñoz brothers pull themselves together.

– (Laughs) Yes, please…

Earlier you spoke of protest as a hallmark of your project. Is it more necessary than ever in this world where we live anesthetized or scared to death?

–Before, I felt there was a more revolutionary side to rap that I don’t see so much now. At the end of the day, I think it’s very important to reach people in the audience in a very personal way, in a way that allows them to identify with you. Because if your speech is only a pamphlet and everything remains ideological, this person will not feel touched or revolutionized by what he hears. But perhaps it is felt through our small gestures or our personal reflections. So yes, of course, we will continue to put protest in our lyrics, because it is important that the critical spirit remains alive in people, especially in young people, who are going through a very difficult time.

The family and your people are always present in your work and on one occasion you said that you would like to give back everything they gave you.

-Sure. Also, we are both lucky that they supported us and still support us. They are very happy with everything we get. And we have always been in favor of studying, getting our university degrees and thus being able to have a future that neither our grandparents nor our parents could have. And we’re going to take the opportunity we have now in the art world to express who we are. And if at some point we can give them back some of what they gave us, we will.

“The rap we do is quite strict and underground, although we are not closed to collaborating with other artists”

LAÜRA BONSAI – Member of Las Ninyas del Corro

I think you, Laüra, have finished Journalism; Felinna is finishing psychology and you both got to quit your sales jobs to focus on music.

-Exactly. We were combining everything until this year when we did so many concerts abroad. You have to go through a lot of hoops, eat a lot of shit, as I say, travel a lot in a van, do two or three concerts in a row, not rest… But that’s what we all have to go through and hopefully next year, and to another and to another and to another, the band grows and is a long-term project.

Between the first album and the second, many things will have changed.

-Numerous. Now our opportunities have tripled, there are more people who know us and are ready to work with us, we are with a company that takes care of the booking… On the first record, it’s true that there had a special illusion of not knowing how far we could go, but we had so much to do besides our music that we bent over backwards. It was hard, but also beautiful. We are now on the second album, which they say is the most difficult, but we had the means and the time to do it and we will do our best to make it as good as the first.

What are the references that accompanied you during this period?

Lola Flores has always been very important to us. Also Gata Cattana, who sadly passed away and was a guide for those of us who came from behind. More on a personal level, I would mention Silvia Pérez Cruz or María Arnal, two Catalan artists who have a way of transmitting their songs from a way of being a woman who represents us a lot. And already going further, I would mention two divas like Amy Winehouse and Beyoncé, for example.


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