by Larry Rohter
The singer Buika was carrying a Spanish passport when she arrived in the United States last week to begin her first extended tour of North America. But her music, with its roots on four continents, draws on such a wide range of influences, from jazz and flamenco to pop, soul and African polyrhythm, that it sometimes seems as if she is from everywhere at once and nowhere in particular.
Buika, 38, comes by that eclecticism naturally. She was born on the Spanish Mediterranean resort island of Majorca, where her father, an intellectual and political figure originally from Equatorial Guinea, and mother, a member of a minority tribe there, had settled after fleeing their homeland, which many human rights groups consider to have the worst dictatorship in Africa, and she grew up hearing her mother nostalgically singing Guinean folk songs.