Jessie Reyez Channels ‘Inner-Turmoil’ for New Spanish-Language Song ‘Con El Viento’ From ‘Roma’ Album


R&B breakout speaks solely with Billboard about her new ballad, from the just-released “Music Inspired by the Film Roma.”

On Friday (Feb. eight), Sony Music launched a brand new companion album for Alfonso Cuarón’s Oscar-nominated film Roma. Featuring a wide selection of artists from Beck and Patti Smith to Billie Eilish and Jessie Reyez, Music Inspired by the Film Roma is a transferring, bilingual compilation of songs that speaks to the guts of Cuarón’s semi-autobiographical movie set within the Colonia Roma neighborhood of Mexico City within the 1970s.

For her contribution to the soundtrack, Reyez wrote and recorded “Con El Viento,” a pleading, Spanish-language ballad that captures the expertise of the movie’s primary character, a live-in maid named Cleo performed by Oscar-nominated actress Yalitza Aparicio in her movie debut.

Below, Reyez talks to Billboard about how she linked with Cuarón for the challenge, her response to the movie’s heart-rending story and the way empathy — and fireplace — sparked her emotional new music. (Mild spoilers forward for many who haven’t but seen the movie.)

What was your response upon seeing the movie?

It reached into my chest actually simply. I’m fairly positive I cried two-plus occasions. … It was dope to see individuals of coloration onscreen. Not the feelings — that was not cool — however it was dope.

How did you get entangled within the challenge?

I do know [Alfonso Cuarón] was reaching out to my crew a bunch. He additionally reached out to me by way of Billie Eilish and Finneas, who’s her brother, so we lastly started working collectively. When we lastly received to speak, it was cool. It was actually liberating to have such belief from one other artistic to contribute extra freedom, you recognize? He advised me to only watch the movie after which no matter it evokes in me, use that.

Is that freedom and belief what made you wish to be a part of the challenge?

Yeah, it was mad cool to have that. Watching the movie was so dope that I felt honored to have even been requested, and in addition with Alfonso’s historical past … it was mad cool. So I’d say from the start after which watching the movie that it was simply strengthened.

"Con El Viento" is an unique music impressed by Roma. How did you evoke the spirit of the movie once you have been writing the music?

I really feel just like the film was so emotionally potent that I used to be capable of stroll away with a bit of it. And I sat there and I considered being in her sneakers and I considered after I could have felt a parallel — an anxiousness from what I used to be going by way of emotionally versus my… if I used to be Cleo, the second that I felt like what I used to be going by way of emotionally type of matched my setting. And there was clearly just a few moments within the film after all when the child’s father runs in and she or he’s frozen — that’s clearly one of many moments that caught out, however one other one that basically caught out essentially the most to me was the hearth. So the start of “Con El Viento,” it’s actually refined, however when you pay attention carefully, you hear fireplace flicker and also you hear sounds of fireside. … The first lyrics, translated into English, are “We fought once more/ The home is on fireplace/ And if I keep it’s suicide.” And then that’s the place I took it.

How did you method recording such an emotional music and evoking that type of emotion?

I don’t find out about you, however I’ve undoubtedly been in conditions the place I’ve felt my coronary heart a large number and I’ve been pressured to be in public conditions, and also you simply have to carry it collectively, despite the fact that you’re a fuckin’ mess inside. Even although you are feeling like your world’s crumbling or one thing’s threatening the way in which that you simply constructed your complete life. Something’s threatening your lifestyle, one thing’s threatening your peace and also you don’t know if it’s good or dangerous. It’s simply that inner-turmoil, however outdoors that you must be composed. And then hastily the skin setting blows up too. … So I simply thought in regards to the occasions that I’ve been there and empathized.

Can you speak in regards to the that means behind the remainder of the music, significantly for listeners who possibly don't communicate Spanish?

Sure. So like I mentioned, the start is “We struggle once more/ The home is on fireplace/ And if I keep it’s suicide/ You mentioned you wouldn’t do it once more/ The guarantees I don’t hear/ 'Cause you place lies in my ear.” Then “You left me with nothing/ You left me dry/ You left me empty/ And I ought to’ve recognized higher.” And I assume the theme of the music is that feeling of desperation, that feeling of being left in like a desert, and barren and holding dying.

We’ve heard you sing in Spanish earlier than on 2017’s "Sola" — why is it necessary to you to characterize that a part of your identification as an artist?

Oh man, I don’t even know — it’s one thing that’s unconscious, it’s one thing that’s in my blood. It’s one thing I see after I look within the mirror, it’s the colour of my pores and skin, it’s the way in which I communicate to my dad and mom, it’s the meals I eat, the music I take heed to. It’s simply second nature. It’s virtually like asking me, “Why do you breathe?” It’s the identical factor. Why am I who I’m? It’s the way in which I used to be raised.

So can followers count on you to launch extra music in Spanish sooner or later?


What are you engaged on subsequent on your personal music?

I’m simply working, constructing a challenge … and I’m excited to start out placing extra issues out, however I’m simply working.

Any thought when followers can count on extra from you?

No, it’s gonna be a shock.

Stream "Con El Viento" under. Music Inspired by the Film Roma is out now, and you may stream Roma on Netflix.