Isabela Merced is celebrating her Latin American roots…
Last month, the 18-year-old half-Peruvian American singer/actress premiered the music video for her single “Papi,” an urban-dance anthem for women who have self-respect and like to take things slow and steady.
“Never gonna call you papi/ Even if it makes you happy,” she sings on the catchy chorus.
The video, which currently has more than five million views, puts the spotlight on Merced’s Peruvian roots, including a modern twist on the traditional Peruvian dance called Marineraand the devil masks worn by her dancers, which represent the Diablada.
“Different elements of my Peruvian culture, from the coast to the Amazons, are incorporated into every aspect of my music, wardrobe, dancing, and storytelling of my videos,” Merced, who was born in Ohio to a Peruvian mother, said in an official statement. “I want to introduce everyone to the rich culture of my family’s heritage.”
In the official behind-the-scenes video, premiering exclusively on Billboard, fans can enjoy how the entire production came to life, from the dress rehearsals to the meaning of the “diablito” masks to Merced executing her Peruvian-inspired street outfit.
Merced, formerly known as actress Isabela Moner, has starred in many films like Dora and the Lost City of Gold. “Papi” kicks off her career as a solo musician under the name Isabela Merced — a tribute to her grandmother Yolanda Mercedand her Peruvian heritage.