About this Artist
Ileana "iLe" Cabra began her professional career as the female vocalist of Calle 13, and was known by the artistic moniker PG-13.
At age 16, the Puerto Rican singer and songwriter made her solo debut. The setting for this milestone was a major venue – the Coliseo de Puerto Rico, as her set was part of Calle 13’s first concert at that arena. Performing her version of “Puro Teatro” by the Cuban singer La Lupe, she received a resounding ovation from the attendees.
As a teenager, she toured internationally with Calle 13, rubbing shoulders with prominent musicians of international renown.
She made one her most memorable performances as an 18-year-old, at the eighth annual Latin GRAMMYs® held at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, singing an a capella rendition of the introduction to Calle 13’s acclaimed hit “Pa’l Norte.”
In 2010, she appeared at Buenos Aires’ National Theater as a guest of singer and songwriter Kevin Johansen, where she sang “Logo” and “Timing.” Both songs were included on the live album The Nada + Liniers: Vivo en Buenos Aires.
Performing the opening number of the 12th annual Latin GRAMMYs® in November 2011, iLe sang “Latinoamérica” with Calle 13 and a symphony orchestra conducted by Gustavo Dudamel, with arrangements by Alex Berti. Fox News Latino reported that iLe’s impressive vocal range left viewers spellbound.
She made a solo performance at Banco Popular de Puerto Rico’s annual Christmas Special, giving a rendition of the Roberto Angleró song “La Pared” that was described as “fierce” by the Diario de NY newspaper.
The same year, she sang the Puerto Rican national anthem before the bout between Miguel Cotto and Floyd Mayweather Jr., in an appearance that was seen by millions around the world, and received universal praise, including kind words from Bob Dylan.
In 2014, she collaborated with Gustavo Cordera on his song “Estoy Real” for his Cordera Vivo live album, recorded at La Trastienda Club in Buenos Aires.
The award-winning Uruguayan singer-songwriter Jorge Drexler invited her to perform “Olas y Arena” (Waves and Sand), written by the Puerto Rican composer Sylvia Rexach, in 2015 during his concert in Puerto Rico.
That August, she artistically renamed herself iLe and announced the launch of her solo recording career.
Her debut album, iLevitable, dropped in June 2016. Its first single was titled “Caníbal,” a commentary on ego that featured a stop-motion video that portrayed her devouring herself. Second single “Te Quiero Con Bugalú,” was the album’s most rhythmic cut, and featured a thought-provoking video that tweaked taboos about sexuality at an advanced age. In July, she launched her first solo tour with her own band, performing songs from iLevitable in the United States and Latin America. The album received critical praise. New York Times named it one of the best records of the year, and “Caníbal” as one of the year’s 10 best songs. “From Latin pop’s history, iLe has absorbed the trickiest lesson of all: the subtlety that hides magnificent craftsmanship behind immediate emotion.” - JON PARELES - THE NEW YORK TIMES
It was also named one of the 50 best albums of 2016 by Billboard magazine: "The songs on iLevitable immediately get under your skin... it's a sound that could be deemed retro. But timelessness is a better description for this striking debut.” - BILLBOARD
On the strength of iLevitable, iLe was nominated for Best New Artist at the 17th annual Latin GRAMMYs®, and won Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album at the 59th annual GRAMMYs®.
Starting in 2017 and continuing through February 2018, she visited over 25 cities in the United States and Europe for her iLevitable Tour. This tour went out on a high note with a sold-out performance at the Pablo Casals Hall of the Teatro Bellas Artes in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where she received a standing ovation.
In summer 2018, she traveled to Japan to perform with the Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra, and filmed a video for their ska cover of her song “Te Quiero Con Bugalú.”
She officially closed the books on iLevitable on mid-2018 with the release of brand-new material, the single “Odio” (Hate), whose music video raises awareness of the politically motivated Cerro Maravilla, Puerto Rico, murders and coverup in 1978.
Both the video and song were critically acclaimed: "A protest song in the most righteous tradition..a thrillingly unexpected climax in a song that refuses to settle for established categories." – Pitchfork
Her first single of 2019 was “Temes” (You Fear), whose video is directed by her sister Milena Pérez Joglar. Its music video is a potent denunciation of machismo and patriarchal structures of power.
In May, her second solo album “ALMADURA” came out, where she ventured into new melodies, with the artistic imprint of a more mature iLe, with the same commitment as always, with powerful messages and impacting those who seek music with content. Her song "Contra Todo" had a Latin Grammy nomination for "Best Alternative Song" and the album was nominated for the American Grammys for "Best Latin Rock Album, Urban or Alternative".
"Her two albums, 'iLevitable' (2016) and 'Almadura' (2019), are well rooted and, at the same time, innovative: they combine styles and upset old assumptions to create Latin music back to the future." - JON PARELES - THE NEW YORK TIMES
In 2020, during February and early March, iLe began a tour in the United States to present her album “ALMADURA”. She toured through 17 cities, such as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, among others.
In April, iLe released a new track: “En Cantos”, in collaboration with Natalia Lafourcade. This song was awarded as Best Alternative Song at the Latin Grammy 2020.