Warm and filled with soul are just a few ways to describe the music of Miami-based, pop-R&B artist riela. Her latest single “if you let me,” is out now and marks the first release off her upcoming sophomore EP llorar y perrear set to drop later this year. llorar y perrear will be the second installment of a tarot-inspired trilogy of EPs that explore “the transformational narrative of the fool to the star to the magician,” riela explained in a press release.
Raised by Panamanian and Cuban parents, riela grew up listening to a wide array of artists from Ashanti to Celia Cruz and even El General. When it came to making her own music, this meant that nothing was off limits. Often switching between Spanish and English lyrics in her songs against sultry and addictive trap inspired melodies and beats, riela is doing something different, and crafting a sound that is uniquely hers. This unique sound is perfectly demonstrated in her new song “if you let me,” a track about wanting to get closer to someone special, but not being let in.
The song is complex and brutally honest, but in the best way. “Tengo la paciencia, pa darte todo lo que quieres… / Me dejas fría y el fuego se me muere,” she sings in Spanish atop a trap beat backed by an acoustic guitar. Translated in English to mean, “I have the patience to give you everything you want… / You leave me in the cold and my fire for you dies,” riela paints an exact picture of what listeners should note about this relationship and the heartbreak that came with it. In a way, the track provides a certain comfort to those who can relate to this experience too.
It takes a special kind of artist to write a song that can draw anyone in to listen to it, but for riela, everything she releases feels so freeing and magnetic. If you’re feeling like reminiscing and getting into your feels, take a listen to “if you let me,” out now.