In New Video, Alih Jey Exquisitely Transforms Her Father’s Dominican Classic, ‘Mi Debilidad’

Singer-songwriter Alih Jey recently debuted the video for “Mi Debilidad,” her newest single, and a preview of her upcoming full album, Soy De Peña, a fresh spin of traditional folk music. Accompanied by the band Cuñao, the new album is an ode to the roots music her father, musician Aníbal De Peña, composed in the 60s.

In the video for “Mi Debilidad” the story revolves around a couple who seem picture perfect on the outside, but behind closed doors are struggling to stay together. The wife, in this case portrayed by Alih, seeks to keep the marriage intact, an act of hopeless romanticism. The husband, on the other hand, is withdrawn and almost completely uninterested in what’s going on with his wife. This pushes the wife to extremes. Alih explains via email that the wife, “attempts to maintain the optimism of a hopeless romantic, knowing deep down that their love is doomed. She reveals her unhappiness by adorning her face with large crystal tears that begin to appear in each scene, exposing her true feelings.”

More about Alih Jey

“Dominican women have been taking center stage in music, and Alih is bringing her bolero-indie flavor and fresh eclectic sound into the mix. A bona fide rockera and previously Grammy-nominated for Best Rock Solo Vocal album, Alih kicks it up a notch in her newest release by revamping culturally significant songs from the Dominican Republic.

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.

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.

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.”

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)
Que debilidad
(What weakness)

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)

In a recent interview with The Ponderers, on 105.5FM Lumpen Radio, Ali goes into detail about Soy De Peña and how she transforms the legacy of her father’s music and its Dominican roots, creating something new, without losing its essence. Take a listen…