She’s got more aliases than we have room to write (La Caballota, La Diva, La Potra) but there’s really only one that matters: La Reina. Today, reggaeton’s Royal Highness unveils her highly anticipated new project, Drama Queen, under Machete Music, her first studio album in three years. Her current single, the powerful and pulsating break-up anthem “La Vida Es Asi” continues to sit atop Billboard’s Latin Rhythm Radio chart, and if you haven’t yet checked out the video, add that to your to-do list today and marvel at her shoe collection.
In between a whirlwind schedule that includes an album release party in her native Puerto Rico and an upcoming performance at the Premios Juventud in Miami, we caught up with Ivelisse to talk about exactly what kind of drama she’s endured, what we can expect on this album, and why it’s good to be the queen.
The album is titled Drama Queen. Has there been a lot of drama in the last 3 years?
Always! Well, for one, I’m single. For the first time in my life, I’m really experiencing what that’s like because I used to always feel the need to be in a relationship; I didn’t like being alone. But this time I’m realizing that people come into your life for a season, and my last relationship served its purpose. I can’t sit here and cry about it, because it ended right where it should have. A lot of that stuff is on the album.
So how are you feeling about love these days?
I think that when the person is really meant for you, you won’t even see them coming. Time will bring you together. Think of the great love stories, like Pedro and Celia Cruz, Emilio and Gloria Estefan. Cuando la persona es pa’ ti, es, y punto. In my case, the men have been intimidated, or they’ve felt inferior to me, or they’ve felt like they don’t have control over me, and I’ve suffered and cried, but I’m moving on with my life. It’s like a tree, you don’t ever see the roots, but they’re what keep holding you up. You have to nurture those. The men are like leaves and branches, they’ll come for a season, and they’ll fall when they need to. But your roots will forever be there, unshaken.
How has reggaeton evolved since your last album?
I notice a lot of my male colleagues singing lyrics with a positive message for the ladies, which is really nice. There’s a song from a duo called Dyland & Lenny called “Quiere Pa’ Que Te Quieran” which I really paid attention to. When I started, the lyrics were much more aggressive. The lyrics now actually have substance, and the videos have become a lot more visual. The men are more preoccupied with how they look; they’ve cleaned up.
You’re still the queen— the only woman that matters in this genre. Does it get lonely at the top?
My male peers have always shown me respect and I feel so blessed and privileged to be in the position I’m in. I sit in my throne, tranquilita.
What has been the key to your longevity in an industry that’s so fickle?
I don’t know. The only thing that I can tell you is that I was born for this. I feel it in my soul.
What’s the best thing a fan has ever told you?
Fans say stuff all the time, but I’ll say the most amazing thing I’ve seen is my face tattooed on different part of fans’ bodies. They’ve told me that my songs have helped them out of a moment of darkness. That’s love. I’m a Pisces, so that stuff makes me cry.