1883 Magazine

ISA, despite the name, isn’t as clean-cut and obvious as you’d think she is. Being only 20 years young, she had already having blown a lot of the underground music scene away with her infectious and magnetic sound; scoring an impressive and boastful two-figure discography of singles. Merging onto the scene with her debut single “BOMB” in 2012 followed by “What Are We?” in 2014 as a young teenager, ISA is slowly but surely finding herself as she exists adolescence.

For ISA, this year has been no exception as she’s gained international traction on her Spotify-viral previous single ‘Perfect’. Now, the Swedish R&B singer, songwriter and dancer ISA is a multifaceted pop act who is self-sufficient, fully liberated and ready to urge the world to not be “Shy” with this new single- ahead of her debut album which is set to drop early 2019.

Shy is a refreshing, bold introduction to showcasing her infusion of pop and R&B. This new track expresses the need for people to step out of their comfort zone, emphasising on the encouragement for anybody and everybody to act on their feeling and ambitions. ISA explains “This year, for me, has been all about being “shy” – I left the security of Sony Music and started my own label, and can now make music which is 100% me.

Ahead of her newfound independence, we decided to get to know the songwriting prodigy further and ask about what her artistry means to her.

You first emerged into the scene in 2012, in the past 6 years what would you say have been the highlights of your career so far?

The first real highlight for me was when I released my first single “Bomb” in 2012, 14 years old, and got to perform it live on national TV. It was my first big show with a self-released song and a dream come true for me. Another was when my single “Don’t Stop” sold platinum. That song was also the reason for me going out on a huge summer tour all over Sweden in 2015!
Last but not least, I started by own label “Licious Music” last year and I started releasing my music myself, which has been a huge highlight for me as an artist. I’m very excited about building my own brand, sharing my music and growing as an artist.

Describe your music in the three words to someone that had never heard of you before.
Real, “R&B” and Pop. 

What’s the strangest thing that’s ever happened while writing a song? Do you follow a specific formula or creative process?

From memory, nothing super strange has happened while writing a song, but what’s so fascinating about writing music with other people is the energy between different creative minds. Sometimes magic just happens, and a hit song is made within a couple of hours. I think it’s crazy how you can arrive at a studio with a blank mind and nothing pre -written and leave with the best song you’ve ever written!
My strengths lie with writing melodies, so I often start there. Sometimes I write on a track and sometimes with an instrument like piano or guitar. Before a co-writing session I try to come up with a lyrical theme, but I usually don’t start writing lyrics until the melodies are written.

Last year I started producing my own songs which is awesome! It means that when I feel inspired, I can just write a song all by myself in my studio at home.

Favourite throwback jam?

Say my name by Destiny’s Child! I sang it sitting in my buggy when I was only 2 years old. Might sound crazy but it’s true!

What would you be doing if you weren’t an artist?
I think I would have been a doctor or a cook! I’m amazed by the thought of saving lives but I’m also very interested in food and baking. During weekends I love standing by myself in the kitchen for 4 hours cooking a three course dinner.

Who would be your dream collaboration? - one alive and one passed.
Post Malone and Prince, if he was alive. I admire his unique artistry and expression. A modern prince track featuring Isa would be the dream.

You wrote a song called “Me Too” in response to the movement and performed live at Stockholm manifestation, what was that like?
I wanted to be a part of that important movement by writing a song about it and share my opinion through my artistry. I actually wrote, recorded the song and my brother produced it in one day, in order to be able to perform at the manifestation. It was very emotional but it felt important. We have to keep on fighting for equality til it’s achieved. Sexual harassment and assault can’t be accepted. I’m so happy the discussion has been initiated, that’s the only way to make a real change.

What do you personally stand for as an artist? Any special messages for your audience?
I stand for being proud of who you are, loving and believing in yourself. I want to inspire people to strengthen their self-esteem and confidence that doesn’t depend on anyone else’s opinion but their own.

What are you most excited for in the future?
I’m excited to see where my music will take me and where I will take my music. I’m always hungry to improve on my songwriting and performance. My dream is what keeps me going, but the passion for the music itself is also the reason for me never giving up.
For the latest on ISA visit www.isaofficial.com

Interview by Ashley Morris


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