Q&A | Paloma Mami & C.Tangana
Paloma Mami & C.Tangana are here to put on for the Latin community, representing their roots down to the core. With Paloma’s cult-like following, boasting over 3.3 million followers on Instagram alone, and C.Tangana’s ability to spit bars in Spanish trailing closely behind with 806K followers on IG, the two come together like two peas in a pod.
Paloma Mami’s authenticity and bubbly personality is everyone reason why fans can’t get enough. Beyond that, she most recently became the first Chilean artist to sign to Sony Latin, an accolade she does not take for granted. C.Tangana on the other hand has made incredible strides in the music industry, even working with Miguel on a Spanish version to “Criminal” and linking with Becky G on “BOOTY,” which was certified double-Platinum in the States.
Most recently, the two artists linked up for their new single titled “No Te Debi Besar,” whose official music video hails over 12 million views and counting — just a few weeks after its release. The record details a romantic relationship gone bad, reeling in a stimulating cinematic visual to capture the plot twist.
Flaunt Mag caught up with Paloma and C.Tangana in the few days they were here in Los Angeles, discussing everything from their upbringing to their favorite artists of all-time.
For those who don’t know, who is Paloma Mami & C. Tangana?
Paloma: I’m a Chilean, young blood singer. A Chilean little girl, I’m 19 years old. I’m just out here representing my country. The first one to do it, we out here!
C.Tangana: I’m the coolest motherfucker from Spain right now. I’m from Madrid, I go by the name of C.Tangana.
Why should people fuck with you?
C.Tangana: We are the new wave in this Latin shit.
Paloma: Facts. We’re doing different things than everyone else is doing, the same basic line of urban music. We’re bringing R&B to Latin worlds and showing everybody new music.
Paloma you’re from New York, how does that play into your life and career?
Paloma: Born and raised in New York, it definitely helps a lot. Being from New York helps me a lot with my lingo, my flow, my style. If I wasn’t born and raised in New York, who knows how I’d be dressing? ‘Cause you know… New York fashion. [hair flips]
LA has fashion too though!
Paloma: Well, no. No I’m playing. [chuckles] For sure, but definitely New York more. New York wins.
Tangana, talk about being from Madrid and bringing your sound into the States.
C.Tangana: It’s strange because we speak Spanish but we’re not in America. We’re far away from South America, so it’s been tough to get here. But right now, we’re making it.
Who are some American rappers you fuck with?
Paloma: Kanye West. Jay Z. I’m saying for myself.
C.Tangana: [chuckes] Jay Z for sure, Jay Z is number one. Big L!
Tangana, talk about working with Miguel on “Criminal” from his Spanish EP.
C.Tangana: It’s been good, I fuck with his music. He’s also always trying to do something different, I fuck with that. He’s a great artist.
What did you learn from working with him?
C.Tangana: I just tried my best. I’m not a singer, I started just rapping. Now I’m trying, but I’m not a singer. I try my best because this mothafucker’s hyped, his voice.
How did you two first link?
Paloma: When I first took out my first song, he was the first one to hit me up about it saying “oh this is fire, I’d like to do a remix of it.” That never happened. Then almost a year later (maybe less), we finally got into the studio and met for the first time. That’s how we began to work. “Not Steady” was my first single before I was signed to Sony Music. Still indie, that was a year ago.
C.Tangana: That song is fucking dope.
Paloma, you’re the first Chilean artist signed to Sony Music. How’s that feel?
Paloma: Representing! It feels really dope being able to be the first one. Especially since it was my first song and having it be so big, it was crazy for me. For my country too, it was dope to put them on the map. Chile was never recognized. We’re next to Argentina, in order for people to know where Chile was. Now slowly but surely, people are gonna know my country’s lit! Put some respect on it.
Tangana, how’s your English?
C.Tangana: It’s not good, could be better. I’m learning, because I want to move here.
Speaking of, how important is it to come to LA as an up and coming artist?
C.Tangana: For me, it’s for the vibes. If I’m thinking about working, my place is Miami because the whole Latin industry is there but the vibe of LA is something special. Also I have a lot of friends from Spain, Mexico, Guatemala, they all come here. It’s a little community for me here with creatives, so it’s nice here.
Paloma, how often do you come here?
Paloma: This is my third time. I’m not really an LA girl, I’m from the East Coast.
What’s your favorite part of the West Coast?
Paloma: I don’t have a favorite part. Nah, I’m playing. I like the weather here, it’s cool. It’s nice. A lot of New York people, we’re so used to noise and city and everything is so fast. Here it’s peaceful, grass, traffic, always have to be in a car. Nah I like walking. I like taking the subway.
Still even as an artist?
Paloma: Oh no, I don’t take the subway anymore unless I’m in another country. If I’m in New York, I’ll take the subway if I have to.
How’s your fanbase out here compared to New York?
Paloma: It’s really small for sure. More people recognize me more here when I’ve been here in LA shopping, more than in New York. Well I haven’t been shopping in New York in a while actually.
C.Tangana: We will see tomorrow, we’re flying to New York.
What was the inspiration behind your name?
Paloma: My name gives me a different type of personality, it makes me come out of my shell. Before I never sang for anybody. My first time singing was a year ago in front of people, in front of a public audience. First time, ‘cause I was always really scared. My name turns me a different person, an alter ego type thing. It’s an empowered woman, not afraid of anything. She’s that girl! [snaps] That bitch.
You guys just unleashed “No Te Debí Besar”, what or who inspired the record?
Paloma: I heard the song, so I want to know what inspired the record too.
C.Tangana: I wrote the first verse one year ago, so I don’t remember it. Usually I get drunk as fuck and the next day, I have some stories to tell. This one is about this girl I met two years ago… I think it’s because of Marta.
Paloma: Marta?! The Marta I know?
C.Tangana: No, of course not. It’s another Marta.
Best memory from the video shoot?
Paloma: I got to play with dogs. That was pretty fire.
C.Tangana: The Ferrari for me. Not for the video, but I drove the car.
How does it feel to be featured in Billboard 21 under 21?
Paloma: It’s dope! I’m the only female Latin girl up in there, so it’s an honor! It’s really, really cool. 19 everybody.
What are some goals yourself as an artist at this point of your career?
Paloma: Just have big shows, that’s my favorite thing. Singing to my fans, that’s the best part for me, apart from the studio. I definitely want to have really big big shows in the future.
Lollapalooza is big! How was that experience?
Paloma: That shit was crazy, it was insane. That was the biggest show I’ve done. We performed on the same stage.
C.Tangana: The people were crazy with you. If you see videos, it’s massive shit.
Paloma: It was a legendary thing. It was amazing. It was an amazing feeling having that many people literally back to back, all my songs. Did not miss a beat, did not miss a lyric, did not miss a little noise I make in my songs. It was crazy.
Were you nervous?
Paloma: Hell yeah! I was so nervous. I don’t even like watching the video back because I see myself like “oh my god,” you hear the nerves.
C.Tangana: Did you forget any lyrics?
Paloma: Oh yes, that’s how nervous I was. I forgot my lyrics and I cursed... it was on the news! ‘Cause I said a really bad curse word in Spanish, so that happened. Concha tu madre…
Romi (publicist): It’s like “go fuck your mom.”
How was Lolla for you Tangana?
C.Tangana: Good! My best Lolla was the one in Argentina, that one was crazy. It was insane. It was my first time playing in Argentina. I was happy because the stage was big as fuck.
Paloma: How many people were there? It was fucking insane.
Romi (publicist): 60,000 people, it’s crazy.
C.Tangana: I was so nervous because I thought nobody knew me. I thought I’d be singing for one hour and everybody’s gonna be like “who’s this guy?” But no, it was great. Drunk as fuck also.
Do you perform drunk?
C.Tangana: Yes always. Not now, I’m changing that shit now. Because this year, I work too much. I have to pump the brakes.
Paloma: He’s got to relax. We can’t have him be a Spanish wreck.
What was it like penning Rosalia’s Malamente?
C.Tangana: Good! Rosalia is one of the greatest artists I’ve met in my life, probably one of the best in the past 30 years. It was great. I’ve known Rosalia for a long time, so I saw her career way before she blew up. She started in the Flamenco scene, but she also had these urban influences. I always had the idea of what she was going to become, so it was easy for me. Also it’s communication. When two artists complement each other, it’s easy in the studio. You don’t have to think, it just flows.
What are some goals for you?
C.Tangana: Change the Latin side. The thing we’re making right now, change this shit for real. Make real culture for the Latin people.
How important is social media for your career?
Paloma: Mmm, we always talk about this. Social media is extremely important because you can get so many places just with social media and Instagram. All around the world, so many people can find you because of your Instagram. It’s really dope that we get to use that platform to show our fire ass music.
C.Tangana: I started there, by uploading my music to social media.
Who’s your favorite person to follow?
Paloma: I follow myself, that’s my favorite person to follow. I just follow my friends.
C.Tangana: ROGELIO, the one who directed video. He’s a gracious creator from a little village in Spain. He’s super crazy. He’s always traveling, doing videos, and escaping. He seems like a nomad, always escaping and doing something big.
Three things you need in the studio?
Paloma: Water. My sister, but I’ve been doing alone recently. Fuck that bitch! Just playing. [chuckles] A comfortable outfit.
C.Tangana: I only need artists. I need more people, not only me. I need Paloma or producers, writers, singers, people... and ideas.
What would you be doing if you weren’t doing music?
C.Tangana: Wall Street trading or advertising.
Paloma: You’d be good at that. Damn… no idea.
Paloma: Hell fucking no. [chuckles] Maybe health or something with art. I’d probably have to be selling my own drawings I’d try to do that like everybody else on Instagram: check out the sneakers I painted! That’s me.
What’s the best encounter you had with a fan?
Paloma: It’s really rare for a fan to be there like “I don’t want a picture, I just want to tell you how much I love your music. How much you’ve inspired me.” That’s happened before with me, I’ve had a lot of fans that have done that. That’s my favorite encounter because they don’t pull out their phones and they actually look at you. I’m like “wow, thank you for looking at me in my eyes.”
C.Tangana: For me, knowing young people who are making music or art and they’re inspired by my stuff.
Most played artist on your phone?
C.Tangana: Chavela Vargas and Hector Lavoe.
Paloma: Lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of Kanye West. The older stuff, not the new stuff. I was listening to Life of Pablo and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.
Romi (publicist): Mine was 808s & Heartbreak.
Paloma: I was too young for that. Just playing.
Anything else you want to let us know?
Paloma: Listen to our song! More music coming.