My father was obsessed with flamenco. He was born in Southern Spain but moved to Barcelona. My mum was born in Barcelona, but her family was also from the South. She loved singing Mexican songs; I don’t know why, but that was her thing. As a child, I hated flamenco! Madonna and Michael Jackson were releasing pop music at the time, but all my father wanted to play was flamenco, which was extremely traditional. It wasn’t until much later, after I’d moved away from Spain, that I started to appreciate Spanish flamenco music.

Rafael Bonachela

Rafael Bonachela. Photo © Pedro Greig

I grew up in La Garriga near Barcelona. When I was 10, I heard that the church of my town was going to start a choir, so I auditioned and I got in. My parents were not into religion at all, and were a bit like, “Hmm, I hope he doesn’t get brainwashed by the church”. But it was free musical education, so they let me [join]. For five years,

I learned this gorgeous choral music, which was the closest thing to classical music that I knew then.