Hearing Perla Batalla's voice for the first time is an epiphany. One may go to hear the songs, but you end up feeling the joy and the pathos in the music like never before. There is a tone, a depth of emotion and a sublime expressiveness along with her transcendent voice that makes the experience unforgettable. One on hand there is that powerful vocal instrument, but on the other is her intelligence and instincts. This combination in Perla makes her singing a true gift.
The seemingly effortless ability to make her music live and breathe is no accident of birth. Nor was it arrived at without much trial and tribulation. It is the product of practice, much experience, a love for singing and the good fortune of being born into a close family that valued the power of song. She was born in Los Angeles, California, to a father immersed in music; a Mexican singer and radio personality who also owned a bustling record store called Discoteca Batalla. At the store, literally at her Mother's knee, Perla was exposed to an education of non-stop music that cut across genres and languages. As a kid she heard everything from Javier Solis and Lucha Reyes to Muddy Waters and John Coltrane.
Her far-ranging influences are reflected in the eclectic choices of songs she writes, arranges and performs today, from traditional Latino melodies to bluesy ballads with a contemporary twist. Yet, it is that voice that brings each song to a new light.
Perla's musical education began in the record store but took on formality as she joined the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute on scholarship and eventually garnered roles in television and feature films doing vocals. Eventually she began touring and singing backup vocals with the legendary Leonard Cohen.