City Winery & IBA Present Grammy-Winning, Puerto Rican Star, iLe

City Winery & IBA Present Grammy-Winning, Puerto Rican Star, iLe

With the highly-anticipated February 10th event hosted by IBA & City Winery less than a week away, we had the rare opportunity to speak with 2017 Grammy Award Winner and 2020 Best Latin Rock, Urban Or Alternative Album Grammy Nominee, iLe to learn more about the inspiration behind her music.

Where do you pull your unique style of music from?

I get inspired by all types of music. I listen to a lot of different things that give me inspiration. Music from the Domincian Republic, Cuba, Puerto Rico, my homeland – they all influence a lot of what I do. I love it because it shows the infinite possibilities and allows me to explore music in different ways. My first album was more traditional. But, with my new album, Almadura it has a lot of afro rhythms that give it a whole new sound.

Your lyrics have a social justice theme to them. Can you talk more about that?

It is important to me to send messages of empowerment. Puerto Rico is still recovering. We are an advanced world, but at the same time, we are still a colony. It’s a very different way to live. You think everything is yours, but it isn’t and people do take advantage of that. I want Puerto Rico to be an independent country because I know we can do it. There are a lot of other people who don’t want that for our country. But, I think there is power in being self-sufficient and not having to depend on others for help. It may be hard in the beginning, but I know that we are capable of having our own independent country.

What do you think about IBA’s mission to embrace and share Puerto Rican culture?

I think it is very important work especially because when you move to another country sometimes you don’t feel connected to your homeland. It is very different living in the United States than it is living in Puerto Rico. IBA is able to give Puerto Ricans a strong connection to our roots which is so powerful. It helps everyone to see more about their culture and to be able to live in the arts and the movement. It really is an inspiration and helps us all feel like we are not alone.