A principality snuggled by France and Spain, Andorra is a resort playground. Finding live entertainment in its capital, Andorra la Vella, isn’t a challenge— there are plenty of DJs and Top 40 cover bands to tide over tourists. But for the authentic melding of Catalan and French influence, one must dig deeper, to both ex-pats and immigrants to the nation of around 85,000. Here are four artists of Andorra that you ought to know.
Coming from such a miniscule country, it takes a ferocious voice to be heard by the rest of the world. No problem for prog-metal mavens Persefone. They’ve been shaking the Pyrenees since 2001 with the waterfall-power licks of guitarists Jordi Gorgues Mateu and Carlos Lozano Quintanilla, and the gargantuan growls of Marc Martins Pia. Renaissance musician Miguel Espinoza Ortiz contributes synthetic strings and bleeps that transcend terra firma, while bassist Toni Mestre Coy keeps the low end subterranean. A rotation of drummers has lent its industrial pummeling to Persefone’s Mach 5 songs. Check out their 2013 album, Spiritual Migration, for some truly elevated musicianship.
Another Eurovision alum, Georgi is also one-half of Danish pop group Me & My with her sister, Pernille. Though not Andorran by heritage, Susanne has called the landlocked nation home since 1995. That same year, Me & My’s ubiquitous single “Dub-I-Dub” dominated radio across the pond. (Sonic cousins include Ace of Base and La Bouche.) The siblings have been working on a comeback album since 2014 and occasionally perform in their native continent.
The majesty of cellist Claret has brought this Andorran to the world’s stage. He’s taught at the New England Conservatory in Boston and the Toulouse Conservatory in France. His specialties are chamber music and the classics: Rachmaninoff, Bach and the like. What’s even more stunning is that he learned his craft at the tender age of 9.
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