Isabella is an intoxicating fusion of sizzling influences and exotic cultures. She has a distinct and unforgettable voice that is a wildfire of passion and beauty. Her upcoming, multilingual debut EP is alive with fresh, irresistible grooves and it is infused with a powerful/much needed message. She has been gifted with an artistry that has the potential to make an impact on not just a nation or two, but the entire world. Isabella crackles with that rare and extraordinary blaze of a global superstar. 2017 may have only just begun, but it’s clear, we’ve already found the artist to watch!
Upon returning from her visit to Puerto Rico, Isabella graciously agreed to answer a number of questions so we could get to know our new obsession a little better.
Entertaining Options: Could you talk a little bit about what it was like growing up in Puerto Rico?
Isabella: I come from an island where there is diversity everywhere. From a culturally rich and passionate people, to the ocean waves crashing against sixteenth century San Juan. I was a beach kid. I grew up on the beach and would run throughout the week from my home to the pier. We often visited El Yunque. For any occasion, there was a party or festivity. Puerto Ricans are very family oriented and look after one another. My childhood is flooded with memories of love.
EO: When did you first know that this would be your life?
Isabella: From my youth, it became clear to me that this would be my career. The performing arts have surrounded me from a young age. I grew up going to film sets because of my mom [Isabella’s mom works in the film industry as a makeup artist], which had an impact on my expectations.
EO: Listening to your music, it sounds like you have a great many influences, from Ricky Martin and Jennifer Lopez to Shakira and Rihanna. Who are your biggest influences?
Isabella: I’m very influenced by international music. I like indie artists and I did listen to Shakira growing up. Ricky is definitely a strong influence. Many gypsy and flamenco artists like Lola Flores are an inspiration to me.
EO: Currently, there is really nothing quite like your music available in mainstream markets. There are familiar elements, which allow people to connect, but ultimately, you offer something that sounds fresh and exotic and is written from a wonderfully unique lyrical perspective. What is it about your approach to writing that makes your music so special?
Isabella: When the music I write inspires me, I’m happy. I try to stay as objective as possible, although I understand both the music and musician are one. I am satisfied when the writing, performance, and recording are very close to the creative vision. Keeping in mind that bringing music to life is an art in itself, I hope the music I am a part of is always special in its uniqueness and message.
EO: Can you talk a little about how the single, “Olé,” came about?
Isabella: I sat at the piano after hearing “Olé” in my head repeating over and over again. The melody for the chorus was also there. I called my producer to tell him I was writing our next single. When we were almost finished with the recording process for the EP, we decided to record “Olé.” There is hidden meaning behind this song, which is intended for the listener to discern. It is very special to me because it is also about the love of my life. In essence, it speaks of a king and a young woman who love each other deeply.
EO: Last year, you collaborated with BJ The Chicago Kid (Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, Chance The Rapper) on “Love Inside.” How did that come about and what was it like? Have you stayed in touch?
Isabella: A friend asked me if I could record a verse in French for one of his singles. I met him the same day I recorded my verse. He is special — a dedicated and intentional artist. As of today, we have not spent time outside of the recording studio, I hope to work with him more in the future.
EO: Your looks are incredible. There is an understated chic elegance that lets you radiate who you are. What inspires your fashion?
Isabella: I’ve always liked dancer attire. I dance myself and feel most comfortable in leotards and fitted clothing. Bohemian, eclectic, rock & roll, and gypsy fashions also inspire me.
EO: What is one thing we would be surprised to learn about you?
Isabella: Although I live in LA, I don’t drive. I try to walk as much as possible. It has become part of my creative process. It gives me an opportunity to observe the world around me and, for a moment, try to discern peoples’ journeys.
EO: How do you hope your music affects people?
Isabella: I intend to focus my music on love and hope. It’s a blessing to do what I’m passionate about. If I can affect people with the music I write or perform, I want it to be through love. I would like for my music to inspire life.
EO: What can we expect on the upcoming EP?
Isabella: Love is the central theme of this EP. The songs range in styles as I experimented with different genres throughout the creative process. Some have a more tropical sound. I’m excited to release acoustic versions of the songs too!
EO: What is the most thrilling thing about this moment in your life?
Isabella: Experiencing the harmony of everything coming together. I have been preparing to be a pop artist so I can perform my music internationally. I can see this season in my life unfolding into the dream I’ve had since I was a child. I’m thankful for my family and friends who have been instrumental in my personal growth and purpose as a musician.
Before saying goodbye, Isabella had a message for her fans: “Thank you so much for supporting me and “Olé!” I’m so excited to share the rest of my music with you; I hope you love it!”
Photos by Caesar Osiris.