Puerto Rican star iLe has announced her sophomore album ‘Almadura‘ set for release on May 10. The album follows her GRAMMY-winning breakthrough debut ‘iLevitable.’
‘Almadura,’ meaning “strong soul,” is a Puerto Rican play on the word “armadura.” The album was co-produced by her longtime partner Ismael Cancel and includes her siblings Milena Perez Joglar and Gabriel Cabra as creative directors. The 12 song album features the legendary pianist Eddie Palmieri as a special guest on the track “Déjame Decirte.”
“My first album was about recognizing hurts and vulnerabilities and realizing that those aren’t weaknesses, but signs of strength,” iLe told Rolling Stone. “Now with ‘Almadura,’ we release that strength, and courage.”
iLe’s recent single “Temes” presented a somber, direct questioning of machismo. In the video directed by iLe’s sister Milena, intimate camera shots reveal a story of painful aggression. iLe questions – point blank – “why do you fear me?” She redefined machismo as a psychological expression of terror.
“The song ‘Temes’ has nothing to do with romance,” iLe explains. “Instead it is a defiant bolero that exposes one of patriarchy’s darkest blind spots: ‘machismo’ is more than an expression of power, it is a weak and horrifying reaction of fear.”
“Temes” followed last year’s single “Odio“; the song’s official video recreated an important moment in Puerto Rican history – the Cerro Maravilla massacre and government cover-up of 1978. Cerro Maravilla is widely considered to be one of the biggest assassination cover-ups by the Puerto Rican and U.S. governments in which two young pro-independence activists were murdered in a police ambush.
“Odio” looks at how we can all kill the hate that destroys us. “We are still manipulated by the hate that we feed,” iLe says. “If we want to live in a world guided by love, we have to make the effort to look within, and be willing to find ourselves in our fellow human beings.”