Hailing from New York City, 22-year-old Isa Reyes has been catching attention across the board throughout the past few years. Becoming known for her compelling song-writing and alternative R&B sonic which is laced with indie-pop influences, Isa Reyes has a sound that is familiar yet uniquely her own. She has now revealed her debut EP, entitled ‘Bels’, a 4-track offering that showcases Isa’s broad sound.
The EP, written and recorded by Isa Reyes and co-produced by Gamal Abdu (Nyck Caution, Thutmose, Alex Mali), is led by ‘Bels’ the title track of the project, lush guitar notes fuse with the samba drum patterns and Isa’s smooth vocals creating a sound that captures your attention and is a perfect opening track for the EP, giving us a taste of what to expect from the project.
The second track, entitled ‘Whistles’, released last Autumn, has reached over half a million streams on Spotify. The track is a hip-hop influenced banger full of introspective lyrics as Isa riffs on the struggles she’s had so far during her journey as she provides captivating vocals over catchy hip-hop drum patterns.
The third track, ‘Black Velvet’ is a seductive R&B ballad that sees Isa collaborating with Julian Kaufman and Layla Ku from NYC collective MICHELLE. The track is driven by Isa’s strong vocal performance which perfectly weaves within the instrumental arrangements which are full of deep bass and jazz-influenced drumming as Isa vocally hits on issues around self-worth in relationships.
‘Bels’ culminates with the final track, ‘Santiago’, a pop-folk ballad that is perfect to finish off the EP. ‘Santiago’ lyrically focuses on inspiring others to navigate their life freely, as Isa Reyes’ vocals combine with the more folk sounding instrumental to create a sonic which shows off Isa’s lyrical and vocal prowess.
Speaking on her inspiration behind the creation of ‘Bels’ Isa has said, “Thematically, ‘BELS’ takes you on a journey of vulnerability, nostalgia, love, belonging, grief, depression, heritage, generational trauma, and coming to terms with the past. Each song is like a location and time in my life that I’m reflecting on or paying homage to. It is also an embodiment of processing for me. ‘BELS’ is the culmination of that journey, one that we are all on, one of the processes of self-growth and acceptance. For me, each track is a step into that process”.
Despite being a quiet child, Isa delved deep into the New York City music landscape whilst growing up. Influenced by her parent’s record collection, Isa began composing music at 13, combining her poetry with instrumental arrangements. Now at 22, the NYC native is making music that transcends one sound, with her debut EP ‘Bels’ perfectly representing this.
Words: David Pratt