Behind the song

Knowing that «palé» means hidden in caló and pallet in Castilian Spanish (referring to the objects used to transport transformed products out of a factory to the market), the song and music video make much more sense. The music video starts with Rosalía at an industrial park surrounded by containers while singing «since I was born, I knew I had a star in me, which I owe to nobody and that only protects me». This is a clear reference to the natural musical talent the Catalan singer has and that is reconfirmed by her grades in flamenco and classical music and in her bachelor’s degree project ‘El Mal Querer’ with which she graduated from her studies at the Taller de Músics and the Superior School of Music of Catalonia in Barcelona with honors and turned her into a global phenomenon.

Caló is a language spoken by the Spanish and Portuguese Romani. It is a mixed language based on Romance grammar, with an adstratum of Romani lexical items through language shift by the Romani community. It is often used as an argot, a secret language for discreet communication amongst Iberian Romani. Catalan, Galician, Portuguese, and Spanish caló are closely related varieties that share a common root.

After this scene, Rosalia sitting on an assembly line as if it were one more package. What could this mean? Basically, the artist dismisses the criticism that accuses her of being a product of the music industry.

Photo credits: Youtube

After this, the singer jumps on these previously named containers. This symbolizes risk since jumping means escaping from the previsible, fighting to be different.

Photo credits: Billboard

In the beginning of the music video, Rosalía is seen pairs a unibrow, referencing Frida Kahlo, we all know what the Mexican artist has been through in her time. Therefore, the singer tries to express how a radical, broken and innovative woman has been capitalized and transformed into a commercial product.

Rosalía also references Goya’s «La Duquesa de Alba», the woman with most royal titles in Spain.

At this point its also notable the moves that the camera does, copying Rosalía’s movements, referencing that she is constantly in the public eye, even though she sometime doesn’t want to. Now knowing that «palé» means hidden in caló, this could mean that the singer is referencing her haters and how she’s the centre of their thoughts. Rosalía sings how her style has been copied all around the world since it has been exported. She sings: «my Kawasaki rides in seguiriya». Seguirilla is one of the oldest genres in flamenco music. This references the pop/hip-hop fusion the Catalan artist has created within this classic Spanish art.

There is a key phrase in «A Palé». Rosalía sings in the pre-chorus: «bite if you have to». Here Rosalía talks about the necessity to answer to those people who dislike you in the same way they attack you. The final phrase of the song translates to «pull it back». Here she directly talks to her haters and asks them to pull their bad words back after exposing that she is not a fabricated product by the music industry and telling them that she has the natural musical talent that has made her the global phenomenon she is right now.

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