Singer and actress Isabella Leon released her debut single Dance with Me last year and is currently in the studio working on her EP. With her acting career, Isabella has recently been on the set for upcoming horror adventure film BITS alongside Dee Wallace and has previously appeared in The Dog Who Saved Easter in 2014 among a number of short productions. Chatting to Isabella last month, she discusses her new EP, working on the upcoming horror movie BITS and recording her debut single.
Last year, you released your debut single Dance with Me, can you tell us about the song and how long were you working on it?
The inspiration for my song is inspired by all the powerful women in my life, from my mom, my grandma, aunts, cousins and friends. My music video featured one of my friends, Nicole Lemus, who I met on this app called TikTok. Nicole was being bullied online while broadcasting live on the app. After I saw all the hateful comments, I knew I had to stick up for her, little did I know a friendship would blossom from this. I was so happy she was able to represent girl power in my music video.
There was a lot of growth behind the scenes, it was a lengthy process that took about three months. Throughout the process, I worked alongside my vocal coach, Dina Alvarez, and in the studio I worked with her daughter, recording artist and songwriter, Agina Alvarez.
How did you find the experience filming for the music video and how did you feel when it was released?
My favourite part about being on set and filming was being able to learn about all the magic happening behind the scenes. It gave me chills to see everything come together into an amazing music video.
Do you hope to release more music videos in the future?
As soon as I finish recording my EP, I plan on filming a music video for one of my original songs. I also plan on filming a music video in the studio of my song Perfectly Perfect, which will be released in the next few months. Perfectly Perfect was inspired by my recent diagnosis of Scoliosis, the message behind this was to tell everyone that we are all perfect in every way.
You have been in the studio recording for your EP, how is this going so far?
The process is going so well, I’m super excited to release it in the next couple of months. I’m so thankful for the amazing team I’m working alongside, such as Agina Alvarez and Kevin Thrasher.
For those that haven’t heard your music, how would you describe your style?
I would say my style is very mixed, but my recent single Dance with Me is definitely pop ballad. The single expresses what it’s like to be a strong, independent girl in our society today. I also love to sing in Spanish! I may not always know the meaning of the words, but I am working on that part.
Are there any music artists you would most like to collaborate or tour with and do you have plans for any live shows?
I would love to work/tour with one of my absolute favourite artists, Billie Eilish. I love her music and she is such an amazing live performer. I will be filming a cover of one of her songs soon.
I don’t have any live shows listed yet because I am currently working on some songs. I’m looking forward to having a release party for my EP soon and there I would be performing all of my songs live for the first time.
What were some of your favourite music releases of 2018?
One of my favourite song releases was from Billie Eilish, it was titled “when the party’s over”. I love the melody and meaning behind the song, even though it makes me cry sometimes.
Where does your love of singing come from and how did you get into it?
I’ve always enjoyed singing, in fact, I grew up listening to my grandma’s Spanish music, I loved the rhythm of the music and how it connected me to my heritage. Linda Ronstadt and Selena Quintanilla have been the two amazing women people have compared me to. Just like me, they didn’t speak fluent Spanish, but I had a love for the language that was big enough for me to learn it and sing it.
As an actor, you have recently worked on the horror film BITS, what can you tell us about this?
I was so excited to work on this film and it was directed by one of my favourite directors, Mr. Edward Payson. I worked alongside Najarra Townsend, from the horror movie Contracted, and Dee Wallace, who played one of the most iconic mothers Mary, in the movie E.T.. In fact, Dee Wallace was the victim of my first on-screen punch, rumour has it that I actually made contact. I absolutely love working on the set of horror films, especially when working with such an amazing director, cast and crew.
We understand you filmed for the American sitcom Life in Pieces, what was this like?
Working on the set of Life in Pieces was so much fun. I got to work alongside the amazing director Helen Hunt and actor James Brolin. It was so awesome to watch and learn from them.
In 2014, you appeared in the feature film The Dog Who Saved Easter (starring Dean Cain and Mario Lopez), what do you remember most from filming this project?
At the time of filming that movie, I was only five years old. All I remember was feeling like it was Easter every single day on set and that, for me at that age, was so exciting, it was like going to an Easter party every day.
Have you had chance to take on any musical roles in your acting career so far or would you like to be able to combine the two?
Not yet, but hopefully in the near future. One of my dreams is to do a live musical performance on TV like Hairspray, Grease and Rent: Live. It would be absolutely amazing to combine my two favourite passions.
What advice would you give new performers starting out?
I believe it’s very important to stay true to yourself and respect one another. We are all strong enough to stand up and follow our dreams. In the industry, you can’t lose sight of your goals and determination is key to being successful. You have to see the fun side of everything, you’re not always going to book the job.
Follow Isabella on: