In Ile’s “Triangulo” Video, Hollywood Glamour and Historic San Juan Collide

Fresh off her Grammy win for Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative album, Calle 13 little sister Ileana Cabra is back with a cinematic video for “Triángulo,” one of the most emotive songs on her debut iLevitable.

Written by Ile’s sister Milena Pérez, the song is a mournful ode to heartbreak and loss, and the video doesn’t hold back on the melodrama. Ile enlisted the help of Puerto Rican director Gabriel Coss, who was behind Calle 13’s memorable videos for “Atrévete-te-te” and “La Perla,” to realize the striking vision. Frames saturated in deep, rich tones provide a lush backdrop for Ile’s story of grief to play out, and vintage details complement the song’s nostalgic waltz influences.

“The video reflects a situation that many of us experience when we hit rock-bottom and reach that darkest part of our inner self. It’s that individual tragedy represented by a painful break-up of a relationship and the absence of love which, in turn, is expressed in our outward behavior,” Ile said.

“Triángulo” was shot at the Tapia Theatre in Old San Juan, and mixes elements of Hollywood glamour with the city’s historic aesthetic. By now, Ile has demonstrated her penchant for sumptuous, narrative-driven visuals — her surreal take on “Canibal” and the pop art-y “Te Quiero Con Bugalú” are all examples of her artful, dreamlike perspective that is often inspired by film. The video’s dramatic bend requires her to pull out a bit of an acting performance — something new for the singer.

“I truly respect films. My mother is an actress, my sister, who wrote the song, is also an actress, and so I’m lucky to have them working at my side, helping me with the acting part, but I admit it’s something I cannot master yet,” she said.

Ile has a couple of performances coming up. She’ll be at the Chico Cabaret of El San Juan Hotel on March 3 and the Heineken Jazz Fest at Bahía Urbana on March 23.