Isabella Lovestory @ House of Blues Dallas, 05/04/23

Akin to her most well-known song, “Mariposa,” Isabella Rodriguez, better known as Isabella Lovestory, is just now spreading her wings. The Honduran-born, Montréal-based pop and reggaeton singer boasts a limited but promising discography as of now. Rodriguez’s debut album, Amor Hardcore, was independently released in 2022 following the release of her debut single, “Humo,” in 2019. Singing in a Paris Hilton-esque baby voice over a hard-hitting tresillo rhythm accompanied by a 4/4 bass drum, Rodriguez flawlessly meshes Y2K elements from America and Latinidad into the singular entity that is Isabella Lovestory.

With songs centered around themes of female empowerment, sexual liberation, and glamor, Lovestory’s music is reminiscent of other Latina powerhouses like La Goony Chonga, Six Sex, and Ms Nina. A majority of these trailblazers have been releasing music as early as 2016, but female rappers, especially whose lyrics are all in Spanish, have been a minority in the US mainstream up until now. It is refreshing to see a large influx of new artists in an oft-overlooked subgenre see critical acclaim; not only in music, but in art and fashion as well.

For an artist who is just now going on their first world tour, Isabella Lovestory boasts an impressive amount of magazine editorials and cover spreads due to her unique style and personality. At the same time, however, one cannot discredit the one-of-a-kind production and concept behind Amor Hardcore. That album alone, along with her previous singles, solidified Rodriguez’s place in the interdisciplinary art scenes worldwide; so much so that Rodriguez is the first Hondureña to perform at Coachella. Isabella Lovestory is here to stay, and her future, just like her tour costume, is bright.

Toting sparkly nails, her signature converse arm and leg sleeves, forest green hotpants, and an iridescent bikini top, Isabella Lovestory sashayed, dipped, and danced across the stage for all 65 minutes of her set time in the House of Blues’s Cambridge Room. I’d never seen an artist have so much energy and stamina throughout a performance before; Rodriguez didn’t miss a single beat, appear out of breath, or even convey the slightest hint of exhaustion to her audience. Truly, I was in awe at her ability to effortlessly display her athleticism and musicality in over one hour.

Clearly, Isabella Lovestory’s dedicated fans were also enamored of her stage presence, as they screamed in delight at the utterance of every single lyric and phrase from her selection of songs that evening. From the colorful stage lighting, the original costuming, and Rodriguez’s ability to captivate her largely gen-z crowd, without a doubt, Isabella Lovestory’s show is one I will never forget.