Upcoming artist Riela is about to take the world by storm. Having just released her latest single titled ‘Sola’, the Miami based singer is quickly becoming a household name. With an eclectic style and sound that ranges from Reggaeton to up-tempo pop and R&B. Her beats and melodies seem to draw heavily on trap influences, giving her a fresh modern edge.
Riela frequently draws on her Latin heritage with her smooth vocals and lyrics, using a mix of English and specs of Spanglish to convey a sound that is rich compelling in several dimensions. Having only debuted in 2020 with her lockdown project ‘Tranquila y Tropical’ this is just the start of Riela’s promising journey.
We sat down to get a glimpse of how she started on this journey and where she plays to go next.
How did you get into music?
I have been singing since I was little, but I really found my passion within music when I was 6 years old after my incredible music/choir teacher Mr. Smith at Snapper Creek Elementary. He told my mom if she could to put me into lessons she should.
What’s was it like growing up in Miami?
I love growing up here. It was a bit unhinged not gonna lie, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I was always surrounded by so much culture and people from so many different paths that I felt ready to leave at 18.
What’s the music scene like there now?
It’s definitely growing and has changed so much since I moved. There are many writers, artists, and producers that have an insane amount of talent so it’s easy to find collaborators. There are also incredible people that are pushing the needle and putting on new artists. Particularly Bonnie Beats, she is a DJ/Promoter/TV Host that is constantly supporting new acts and gave me the opportunity to perform at Oasis in Wynwood which is a massive venue that’s had performances by Anitta, Rauw Alejandro, JQuiles and more.
Why did you leave LA?
Because of the budding music scene here in Miami. I think it’s less saturated and if I’m going to rep my city, I should break here first.
It seems as though there are a lot more people leaving LA and California at the moment. Why do you think that is, based on your experiences?
I think for the exact reason I left. More opportunities, cheaper rent (not so much in Miami now), and less saturation of talent.
How do you think your culture influenced your music?
I mean Panama is where reggaeton was born. Boricuas can fight me on that, but yeah. If you listen to La Negra Tiene Tumabo by Celia Cruz you’ll hear everything. That’s the Cuban side. And living in Miami I was only listening to JaRule, Ashanti, JLo, Daddy Yankee on the radio. Quite the range.
How do you feel about the term Latin being put before a genre even though it has no Latin influences? would you describe your music that way?
I don’t think a song should be defined as Latin just because the artist is LatinX. If Spanish is being used sure go for it, but I’d prefer R&B en Español over Latin R&B.
Who are some of your musical influences?
Definitely El General, Celia Cruz, Ashanti, Kehlani, Sade, Bad Bunny, IvyQueen, Dijon, I could talk about influences all day to be honest.
Can you tell us a bit about your new single ‘Sola’
I had the honour of creating this song with Ale Alberti (JLo, Anitta, Becky G) and Federico Vindver (Kanye West, C.Tangana, Justin Bieber) and it came along really quickly. Fede started with recording his own vocal sample and that’s what you hear in the intro. It’s really about self-love and I’m happy it’s not corny (at least to me). [laughs]
What are some musical trends that you predict i.e. the rise of a certain genre?
Imma say probably R&B and Hyperpop especially within the Latinx scene. I feel like people are kind of tired of hearing the same reggaeton beat. Time to mix it up.
How would you describe the feel of your music?
I feel like if my music were a person, it would give great hugs.
Who’s the best dressed person in music right now?
Bad Bunny hands down.
How would you describe your look?
Mmmm I’d say stem. I love androgynous looks but also can be very fem. Really depends on my mood.
Who’s your favourite artist right now?
Bad Bunny or Kehlani 4ever.
What are you working on right now?
My third project! I have a few songs already but tryna polish it up and finish it by the end of this year but I don’t necessarily rush.
What does the future look like for Riela?
I don’t really know, I mean I wanna go on tour, I wanna release more music, act, be cool [laughs], I should probably ask my tarot cards about that one.
Words: Dylan Jay Turner
Images: Press Shots