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Puerto Rican Singer-Songwriter iLe On The Music Of Protest

Puerto Rican singer-songwriter iLe.
Cesar Berrios
Puerto Rican singer-songwriter iLe.

Ileana Mercedes Cabra Joglar — better known as iLe — got her start in music as part of the Grammy-winning sibling trio Calle 13.

Now, she’s creating protest music for Puerto Rico. Her new album, “Almadura,” is her second solo album. It’s an ode to the island, an homage to its history and a plea for political action.

Last August, she teased the album with a single called “Odio.” Its music video recreates the Cerro Maravilla massacre of 1978, a police ambush that left two pro-independence activists dead.

She told Rolling Stone that the song was triggered by President Trump’s response to Hurricane Maria, which killed nearly 3,000 people on the island last year.

The song comes from that anger I was feeling. I was going through it. When I picked up my phone and saw Twitter with a combination of things along the lines of hatred, it got me very angry. It makes me feel a little sad that we as Puerto Ricans are still waiting for someone or something to help us. We need to recognize that we can help ourselves, together; not only as Puerto Ricans but as a world. We don’t have to see each other differently, but as a human race.

We talk with iLe about the sounds, textures and electronic effects behind her protest soundscape — and the emotions that inspired it.

Show produced by Avery Kleinman. Text by Kathryn Fink.


iLe, Singer & songwriter; former member, Calle 13; @ilevitable

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