Riela // sola

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In her latest single, Miami’s own Riela drops a bi-lingual R&B ballad that expresses self-love in the most unapologetic yet dreamy way possible. Coming off of a couple singles in 2021, Riela opens this year with Sola, a song that is guaranteed to keep anybody from wasting your time in these streets.

As the name suggests, Riela releases herself from the shackles of external validation and prioritizes the happiness she finds in her own company.  Through her alluring vocals, Riela proclaims her independence-  “Prefiero estar sola / así me gusta a mi pasar las horas: “I’d rather be alone / that’s how I like to spend my time,”. Although Riela is making it very clear that she does not need you to be happy, the sonic-decadence that are her vocals make it hard to stay away. 

What stands out to me the most about this track is Riela’s ability to seamlessly transition between Spanish and English on the same track. Her Panamanian and Cuban heritage combined with her contemporary upbringing in Miami can be credited for her robust talent in multiple languages across her discography. There’s no apprehension in Riela’s cadence while singing in either language- further reinforcing her affirmations throughout the track. 

With lyrics that declare independence and vocals that are purely magnetic, the song is tied together with production that features a pitched-down vocal sample and drums that add a meticulous amount of energy. Riela’s sultry vocals are wrapped in the nocturnal ether that is the production on this track. Through the bridges, chorus, and verses, the whole song is designed for late night drives or intimate nights alone. Truly a product of her environment, Riela has done something special with Sola. Although her influences’ sounds are resonated throughout her discography, Riela’s approach to effectuating her heritage to her art brings something indispensably unique to the Latin-American music scene.

Be sure to give sola a listen! Available wherever you get your music!

Producer: Federico Vindver

Artist: riela
Writers: riela, Federico Vindver, Ale Alberti

Album art by Daniel Sanjur