The single is now available now on all platforms. The emotionally moving song, which features elements of the Dominican criolla and bolero, is part of her upcoming album Soy De Peña, a tribute to her father Aníbal De Peña, who to this day remains an icon in Dominican musical history.
“Mi Debilidad” was written by De Peña and was his greatest success in the 1960’s. With an updated rhythm section and eclectic instrumentation provided by the Latin folk band Cuñao, Alih Jey’s newest version provides a modern, alternative take on this timeless classic while remaining true to the original version.
“While remaking Mi Debilidad, I changed the time signature from 4/4 to 6/8, because it just felt right to me! And it turns out that the new version sounds a lot like an older genre from the 1860s in the Dominican Republic called the Dominican ‘criolla’. I realized the lyrics and melody of my father’s original bolero song combined with my triple time variation and Cuñao’s stripped down arrangements, gave it that criolla feel. It was pretty exciting! The criolla’s precursor is actually the ‘barcarola’ of Venice, Italy (a rhythm reminiscent of the gondolier’s stroke, almost invariably in 6/8 meter at a moderate tempo), that got to the DR in the 1850s! Hence, the triple meter characteristic.” says the young recording artist.
“We are thrilled to collaborate with Alih Jey in her tribute to her father Aníbal. His songs have a beautiful timelessness that resonates with Cuñao’s own musical history. Her quest to reimagine these gems into the 21st century aligns with the group’s vision to speak in a voice that learns the way of the new but yearns to belong to the old. Our attempt to bring new dynamics to these songs stems from the bands’ curiosity of our own cultural dualities and how they come together in a modern setting, all the while treating them with reverence”, says Cuñao.
To promote the single, Alih Jey recently performed on twenty-five shows during a nine-day trip to the Dominican Republic. During her televised performance on the renowned Dominican variety show Chevere Nights, her father surprised her on stage, and they performed her grandfather’s song “Tú No Tienes La Culpa” as a duet. Aníbal De Peña is a legendary singer and composer from the Dominican Republic’s Golden Age of music with a catalogue ranging from romantic boleros to songs about social justice with political messages.
Video clip of Alih Jey’s Chevere Nights performance
“Soy De Peña” chronicles the musical heritage of Alih Jey’s family with tributes to her father’s much beloved repertoire as well as her grandfather’s lesser-known musical poems. In certain regions of Latin America, a “peña” is a celebratory gathering of artists presenting their work and can also mean mountain. This double meaning reveals how Alih Jey’s newest project honors and adds to a rich, long-standing musical legacy.
About Alih Jey:
➢ Alih Jey is a Grammy®-nominated singer and songwriter living in Los Angeles, CA of Dominican Republic roots.
➢ In 2008, she was the first Dominican nominated for a Latin Grammy® in the category of Best Rock Solo Vocal Album for her independently released album Necia. Alih is also a featured vocalist and writer on “Déjame Bailar”, Los Rakas’ single from their Grammy®-nominated album Los Rakas.
➢ She has performed at major festivals and events such as SXSW, LAMC, LALIFF, The Grammy Music Series, L Festival, The Casandra Awards (Premios Soberano), The Miami Music Festival, and Dominicana Moda.
➢ As a songwriter, Alih Jey won the BMI award in 2016 for co-writing Ricky Martin’s hit single “Adrenalina (Spanglish version).” On stage, Alih has performed with Gloria Estefan, Paulina Rubio, Aleks Syntek, Bacilos, and La Quinta Estación. Alih has also collaborated with multi-Grammy winners Sebastian Krys and Elsten Torres (Fulano), Jarina De Marco, Francisca Valenzuela, Huey Dunbar, Paulina Rubio, and Frankie J.
Lyrics: “Mi Debilidad” (With English Translation)
Ay, que triste haber sufrido
(Oh, how sad it is to have suffered)
Que triste haber tenido
(How sad to have had)
La debilidad de amarte
(The weakness of loving you)
Ay, que desconsuelo
(Oh, what grief)
Ver que no puedo arrancar de mi
(To see that I can’t tear from me)
Tu nombre, ni tu bondad
(Your name, nor your kindness)
Me es difícil reír
(It’s difficult for me to smile)
Me es difícil llorar
(It’s difficult for me to cry)
Me es difícil vivir
(It’s difficult for me to live)
Mi Debilidad fue quererte, con toda mi alma
(My weakness was loving you with all of my soul)
Mi debilidad fue adorarte
(My weakness was adoring you)
Mi debilidad, es no poder olvidar de una vez
(My weakness is not being able to forget)
todos tus besos
(all of your kisses)
Mi debilidad es quererte todavía
(My weakness is still loving you)