A SINGER from Gibraltar says she is doing her own little bit to preserve the Llanito language as she launches her new EP, Madre Mia.
Karima Azzopardi describes herself as ‘a proud Llanita’ who wants to spread the messages of her personal experience through her music in both English and Spanish.
Minister for Culture John Cortes says Azzopardi, whose stage name is Rima, produces ‘a unique sound’ that ‘will make her a very successful Gibraltarian artist’.
Azzopardi opened up to the The Olive Press after the release of her new afro-beat flamenco styled EP.
Her interest in music started at just three, when she took part in a local TV show.
“Since then music has always been part of my daily life,” Azzopardi tells The Olive Press.
“After studying music at university I decided to start dedicating more of my time to it and eventually pursue a career in the industry.”
She writes her lyrics based on her experience and those of people around her, hoping to reach the local audience but also those in Spain and Morocco.
“I sing because it is my passion,” Azzopardi reveals.
“It’s not about the publicity or how well a song does, but how it makes me feel when I produce it.”
Inspired by such varied artists such as Niña Pastori, Pablo Alboran, Mocci, Antonio Orozco, and Omar Montes, she wants to put across her own ethnic fusion to the world.
“Being Gibraltarian is a huge benefit because I can proudly say I belong to a place where diversity in culture is so welcome and supported,” she told The Olive Press.
“I am proud of my heritage and my family background, and I wish to share this in my style in music.”
Azzopardi says that she wants to promote the unique Llanito fusion in her songs, especially as she also has Moroccan roots.
“I will continue to promote this in my songs because I feel the “llanito” language is being lost in our younger generation and Spanish is being used less and less,” she says.
“People find it very easy to sing along to my songs so perhaps this could be a great way to keep our llanito trait going.”
Her career took off when she finally got the support she needed last year, giving her the momentum to follow her dream.
Now she is booked up throughout all of July and hopes to have a successful summer of promoting her music.
And far from being shy of live shows, she says she is the first to say ‘yes’ when she gets asked to perform on stage.
“It brings me a lot of joy to engage with the public and have them sing along to my sets,” she adds.
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