Kany García: Soy Yo

Artist and Island, Uncovered

Listening Post 171. The personal and the universal, the yin-yang of human connection. Artists strive for the formula—individual experience finding broad audience—and the Puerto Rican singer-songwriter Kany García has scored with her perfect fifth album. The elements of Soy Yo (It’s Me) are her velvety supple voice, elegant melodies and intimate lyrics about life and love, family and friends, fear and courage. Soy Yo is also the culmination of a journey that took García from shadow into light and then back into darkness: It’s her first album since revealing she was in a same-sex relationship, and production was interrupted when Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico—and she rallied other artists to deliver hot meals and morale-boosting shows. Once on track, the album’s first pre-release single, the love song Para Siempre (Forever), became a runaway hit before anyone imagined the 10 songs yet to come (video 1). Bailemos un Blues (Let’s Dance the Blues), inspired by her own romantic life, seeks to bring hidden love into the open (video 2). The exquisite Dejarte Ir (Letting You Go) explores passion’s downhill slide (video 3), while A Mis Amigos, a duet with Spanish singer-songwriter Melendi, is an ode to friendship (video 4). The title track, a soaring torch song, magnifies its theme with a video that peels away layers—no makeup, showing the true artist underneath, and also evoking an island stripped bare (video 5). Also touching: Que Viva la Gente (Long Live the People), a tribute to the resilience of islanders rebuilding homes and society. In her music, García puts voice above instruments and subordinates style—Latin pop with streaks of trova, blues, reggae and bossa nova—to vision and connection. You know you’ve joined the personal and the universal when you sing “It’s me” and audiences at home and abroad hear “It’s us.” (Sony Music Latin)

Note: Soy Yo is nominated for four Latin Grammys: Album of the Year, Best Singer-Songwriter Album, Song of the Year (Para Siempre) and Record of the Year (Para Siempre). Winners will be announced at the 19thAnnual Latin Grammy Awards in Las Vegas, on November 15. García has previously won three Latin Grammys.

 

Para Siempre/Forever
Love, let me always be the wish/That makes you return home
That makes you look at my waist/And want to be the one that hugs it
May your words always linger in my ears/And may I be the best part of you

Let me hug you forever/Let me kiss you my special way
And hold your hand wherever/Because I was born to love you 

Love, I want to make my life with you/As lovers and as friends
And be the favorite story/That all who see us share
Those who know what we are/And what we were before
And may you be the best part of me

I just want to be your companion/I just want to add to your life
Be the white foam in the sand/Always rolling on your shore

 

Bailemos un Blues/Let’s Dance the Blues
We were on the same platform/And we talked about so much nonsense
You looked at me and I didn’t know/That between us there was more than symphony

Every evening, the same place/But I was prettier every day
You always wore always the same jersey/And a smile burning with mischief

And so we were surprised by love/It appeared, and wasn’t an act of magic
It was you and it was me/Dancing without fear of what happens

Let’s dance the blues/Because it’s sad that tomorrow
We’ll still have to feel people pointing at us/If I say I love you in broad daylight
Let’s dance the blues/For everyone defeated by fear
Made to think it’s a sin/To be in love

It’s no longer coincidence/That I go to the cafe on your corner
It doesn’t feel right to lie/And you know I was never your neighbor
You pass your hands so close/Almost touching mine
And I wonder how long I’ll have to wait/For all the spies to leave

Come hold my hand/And give me a good kiss 
In the square, on the corner/We’ll shout out loud 
We’ll wear signs/For love and sex 

Dejarte Ir/Letting You Go
The clock strikes six/And I’m still waiting here
Why come back to what I was with you?/I’m looking for where that was
What made me love you so much?/I’m just looking for that place inside me
That it was yours and nobody else’s/Where is it today?

I can’t find the memories/I try them on
Back to loving you/I can’t find in the memories
Which now are faint/They don’t come to me anymore
They lead only to the inevitable/The imaginable
Letting you go 

And I cling to your skin today/I despair not finding you here
Not being able to see me in your eyes/I’m looking for where that was
What made me love you so much?/I’m just looking for that place inside
That was yours and nobody else’s/Where is it today?

Don’t say anything/You know well
What happens tomorrow/When you wake up
And I’m not on the other side of your pillow

 

A Mis Amigos/To My Friends
You ring the doorbell without warning, just like always
You stay until the wine runs out, frequently
You’ve met my grandmother and hooked up with my cousin
When I have a fight, you’re always in my corner
A single glance is enough for us to see
What’s in one another’s hearts
We quarrel, but fill the corners with hugs

Don’t leave here, because your soul and mine
Are made to measure, for a lifetime
And don’t leave here, always come to my rescue
There are stone paths
Where I’ll need you, need you, to save me

 

Soy Yo/It’s Me
Today, the weeks are months/I have no reason to speak
Your clothes are in the bedroom and those messages are on your cell phone
I’m tired of all those/Who tell the same story about how you’ll come back
When they turn around they laugh/They think I don’t hear about my sad ending

It’s me, the first who wants to forget you
The one who’s dying to be the same as before
Before I knew you
It’s me, the one who’s already tired of crying
The one who dreams of falling in love again 

I am the one who says yes, to all birthdays and even to a funeral
I fill the whole calendar, until there’s no space left to think
Always betting on us, but what’s the good if you’re not here anymore?

 


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