Landed in Venice for the Film Festival as an Armani Beauty Ambassador, singer and actress Isabela Merced is one of the freshest talents of today’s entertainment industry, and our September Cover Story.
That day we met her in a former church, which was the background of a breathtaking Venice.
There, within those walls, Isabela kept singing in-between shots, and with her we talked right about her music which, as we had the chance to see and hear, constantly flows in her. A kind of music that makes her feel strong, free, and sometimes even vulnerable. In fact, we also talked about this: feeling good with ourselves and managing to accept the many things of us that feel wrong, and learning to do so with kindness.
What keeps you in bed? And what makes you wake up?
A good bed keeps me in bed. I have a very good bed. My dogs make me wake up for sure. Every morning.
Your mother told us that you never cried when you were a baby, you were already singing. What’s your first “music memory”?
I really loved the “Sound of Music” and “The Wizard of Oz.” And I still sing all the time. Everyday.
Growing up, was there a part of yourself that was difficult to “accept”? How did you deal with it?
I had all these insecurities, like a big gap in my teeth that I fixed eventually with braces, but I wish I didn’t. It’s funny. Everything I hated about myself back then has become something I appreciate now.
What does “feeling comfortable in your skin” mean to you?
Maybe it means really looking at yourself in the mirror. I’m naturally very introspective so I’m always looking for something wrong. Something I can fix in order to “finally” feel comfortable in my own skin. It’s important to actively try. But I think I can overdo it sometimes. And then suddenly it’s counterproductive. Oh well. I’m still working on it, it’s an everyday thing.
“I’m always looking for something wrong. Something I can fix in order to ‘finally’ feel comfortable in my own skin.”
What’s the power of makeup for you?
I can become whoever I want to be. My makeup usually matches my mood.
With your work and your music, I think that you often put yourself out there, speaking with some parts of you that you even didn’t know you had. What’s the last thing you discovered about yourself throughout music?
I discover something new every day. With each song. But lately, I’ve actually learned a lot about myself through listening to my old music, kind of like reading an old journal.
You write your music. Is writing something that frees yourself?
I think music for me is almost a solution for when I feel like there’s nothing I can do about a situation. So yes, I think it is freeing.
During your creative process with music, have you ever felt lonely? If so, how do you cope with loneliness? Do you ever look for it?
I feel very lonely sometimes yes. I can minimize my problems a lot too during those times. It’s a bad habit. But listening to music helps me through those times. And writing. Or crying a lot.
“Music for me is almost a solution for when I feel like there’s nothing I can do about a situation.”
What do you do when you feel like you need a creative boost with your music?
I actually think the best way to deal with creators’ and writers’ block is to do nothing about it. Just work through it because the more you think about it, the more frustrated you’re going to get and the less productive it is. I listen to interviews of people I admire, and I hear them sometimes say that they’re going through the same thing and that also helps.
What was the most challenging thing about your career so far?
I think balancing my personal and professional life will always be an issue because there’s no recipe, and I never know what is too much or too little. but I think as long as I’m putting myself first, I won’t ever have too big of an issue. This strike has been very eye-opening for me. I am learning so much about who I am outside of work.
What’s the bravest thing you have ever done?
I’m going to be honest: I don’t know how to answer this question. I’m gonna have to plead the fifth.
What scares you the most?
Not being able to support my family.
When do you feel most confident?
When I’m at home with my family. I feel safe.
What’s something you’d want to scream out loud for the world to hear it?
I am radio rebel!!! (If you get it, you get it)
When you sing, how do your space and time transform?
I just lose track of time completely. I could be in the studio for two days straight and not realize.
What’s your biggest act of rebellion?
Probably my career. A lot of people didn’t believe in me. And I know they’re mad.
What does home mean to you?
It means a place full of snacks and dogs and a pool where I can swim all day.
What’s the book on your nightstand right now or the latest you read and liked very much?
I like to read a lot. I take my time when I read. I don’t feel pressure on myself to finish a book right away. I am currently reading “Lessons in Stoicism”. I’ve always had a fascination with that way of life and I think it could be really productive for me. Apparently, John Cena believes in stoicism.
The last thing that made you laugh?
I’m with my friends on the beach, and we made a joke about how Dave Franco should actually be named Damien Franco. My friend thought his name was David Franco. I don’t know.