Photo: Driely S
No matter the language, María Isabel's voice is captivating. The Dominican-American artist blends a classic R&B charm with a forward-thinking appeal, delivering on a vision that feels as rooted in her generation-spanning inspirations as it is in the New York City streets that shaped her. The latest taste of that homegrown nostalgia arrives in the form of the Spanish-sung "No Soy Para Ti."
Releasing her acclaimed debut EP, Stuck in the Sky, earlier this year, "No Soy Para Ti" is further proof of Isabel's timeless and border-spanning appeal. Marking Isabel's Warner Records debut, it would be no mere hyperbole to say that every second of "No Soy Para Tí" sounds heavenly. "Esta camita me tiene amarrada," sings Isabel in a vocal tone as smooth as butter, all while hints of Latin instrumentation signal the fervor to come. And while the ensuing melding of Isabel's velvety voice and groove-inducing instrumentation are easy enough to get lost in, the lyrics tell another story, with the aforementioned line translating to "I wanna set myself free but I can't baby."
At its core, "No Soy Para Ti" is a song of self-realization and affirmation. It is a sentiment best showcased in the accompanying Alfred Marroquin-directed video, which sees Isabel return home to New York only to realize that the greatest love we can gift ourselves is not found in the arms of another but our own.
While "No Soy Para Ti" may not be Isabel's first completely Spanish-sung song - that honor goes to her debut EP closer, "atrapada en el cielo" - it is certainly her most self-assured. It lays the groundwork for a budding star whose potential knows no barriers, language or otherwise.
Listen to "No Soy Para Tí" below: