The Music of ‘La Casa De Papel’: Much More Than ‘Bella Ciao

The most international Spanish fiction of the moment, which starts the season as the most watched non-English-language series in the history of Netflix, has not only catapulted its protagonists to fame. Millions of people around the world already know (and probably hum) the most emblematic themes of its soundtrack.



La Casa de Papel’ has a very eclectic soundtrack, which combines melodies by Schubert (Ave Maria, performed by Ellens Gesang), Beethoven (Symphony No. 9, performed by James Morris) or Carlos Gardel (Por una cabeza) with more modern songs by The Mutants (Bamboo Moon), Imagine Dragons (Believer) and Bob Bradley (Loud and Clear).

Special mention should be made of a popular song that has crossed borders and has become an even more universal anthem: Bella Ciao.

It is a song sung by the Italian partisans during World War II, which spoke of resistance against the “invader”. The lyrics speak of a farewell, of the difficult life of the rebels and extol the freedom for which they are fighting.

Workers’ demonstrations, student movements… In many countries and throughout the last century, Bella Ciao was taken up as an anthem of resistance and has since been covered by many artists such as Modena City Ramblers, Banda Bassotti, Goran Brégović, Manu Chao or Mercedes Sosa. From that cosmopolitan popularity perhaps came the emotional hook that has managed to connect with millions of viewers, in an epic scene between The Professor and Berlin:

However, even more viral has become the only song composed specifically for the series, My life is going on, which gives that peculiar personality to the header and has become the voice of La Casa de Pape.

Behind the melody, which is already known halfway around the world thanks to this television fiction, is Cecilia Krull, a singer and composer from Madrid linked to jazz, who had already done audiovisual work for series such as ‘Vis a vis’ and ‘El accidente’.

She composed it with Manel Santisteban, whom she knew from a meeting 10 years ago at Café Central, where it all began. “Manel already had ideas of melodies and production, and from there we continued composing. It was totally free although, of course, we based it on the story of the series, on the characters, specifically Tokyo (played by the actress Úrsula Corberó, who acts as the narrator of the plot). The message is that life goes on and goes by. And the choices we make change our course, as shown in La Casa de Papel. “It’s a creative process in which one tries to make the music express what the image shows. They have to go hand in hand.”

Cecilia is confident that her success with this tune is just a preamble: “I believe in karma, that when you forge your destiny there is a greater chance that everything will end up working out.

He must have done something right, because he has just released his new single, entitled “Hard”.

Although her references always come from jazz [she is the daughter of the well-known German pianist Richard Krull], she doesn’t like to pigeonhole herself in one style. “I’ve also listened to a lot of classical and contemporary music, I love hip-hop, I like funk, flamenco… You find so many nuances, so many messages and so many beautiful things in each style that’s why I try to soak up all of them,” she says.

With a French-German father and a half-Galician, half-Cuban mother, his songs, influenced by roots music, are born from his experience. “The mixture of nationalities is something that influences me a lot when composing as well as in my daily life, in my way of being, of expressing myself, of living life. It is who I am

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