Growing up in New York, María Isabel experienced a patchwork of influences from R&B and hip-hop to the classic songs of her Dominican heritage. She spent years learning how to distil these sounds into her own music, gradually refining her voice as a songwriter. When she released her first single “The 1” in February 2020, it finally felt like the perfect time to begin her journey as an artist… And then the pandemic happened. 

While countless artists saw their best laid plans for rollouts and tours fall apart overnight, Isabel hit her stride. Everyone in the world had been thrust into the perfect headspace to connect with her music. As we were forced into isolation, her esoteric explorations of long distance relationships resonated stronger than ever. Meanwhile, Isabel flew to LA to finish off her debut EP Stuck in the Sky. Each of her singles in the following months proved to be exactly what we needed. Her contemplative lyrics and comforting production helped us find peace and beauty in time alone.

By the time Stuck in the Sky arrived in October 2020, Isabel had cemented herself as an artist who is here to stay. Today, Isabel is emerging from the pandemic with millions of streams, a record deal with Warner Music, and a fresh outlook on self care. It seems the only piece that’s missing is getting to bring these songs to life onstage and connecting with her listeners IRL. The mere mention of live music paints a beaming smile across Isabel’s face. She can’t wait.

In the meantime, Isabel’s latest single “No Soy Para Ti”—an infectious self-care anthem arriving just in time to soundtrack our return to normal life—continues to prove her knack for perfect timing. We caught up with Isabel to talk about airport pizza, turning poems into songs, and the future of New York’s music scene.

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