Interviews, Music

Interview: ISA “Dare to stand out and never stop believing in yourself”!

Swedish singer/songwriter ISA has recently released her stunning 13-track debut album that features a number of highly captivating singles including “Craving”, “Bye Bye”, & “Rare” (ft Garren).

Now, I have had the chance to speak with ISA about her debut album, the release of the official video for “Rare”, & getting to know more about the artist herself.

Check out what ISA had to say below!

1. Hey Isa, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Could you start off by telling the readers a little bit about yourself?

Oh wow. It’s always so hard telling who you are in a few sentences. But I would say I am a loving, sensitive person who cares a lot about the people around me. But I’m also extremely strong, motivated and focused on what I want to achieve.

I love music more than anything, almost. My family and my boyfriend takes first place, but music and artistry definitely comes second. I think people sometimes can perceive me as a little cold when they meet me for the first time. But the ones who really know me, who I truly feel comfortable with, they say they think I’m warm, honest and genuine. And that’s what I want to be. I don’t know where that cold wall or surface or what ever you want to call it comes from. Maybe it’s about me wanting to be confident and strong. Perfect, in a sense. I’m trying my best to be my unfiltered me, always. But it’s a challenge. I’m working on it;)

2. When did you first discover your love for music & know that it was a career that you wanted to pursue?

It’s been a dream since I was a baby, or at least 2 years old! Watching my own idols like Beyoncé and Britney Spears inspired me that it’s possible. Some actually can make it and be able to stand on a huge stage, perform and create music that people love and relate to. I wanted to do that too. 

3. Who were some of your musical inspirations while you were growing up?

I listened a lot to Destiny’s Child and Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake growing up. I always loved artists who were great performers and always created entertaining concerts. That inspired me to start dancing, to one day become as great at performing as my idols. I remember being blown away by a Beyoncé concert in Stockholm when I was six years old. Those sorts of moments definitely kept me dreaming. 

4. Congratulations on the release of your debut album (It is amazing by the way!). How did the idea for this album come together?

Thank you! I mean, last year I just felt that I wanted to share all the music I’ve created the last couple of years! I think it’s such a shame that a lot of the songs that you write never come out. I felt like I needed to show my writing and my depth in my artistry and my love for it. I’m so proud of the album and I actually think I always will be whenever I will listen back to the songs. 

5. How would you describe the songwriting process behind the songs featured on this album compared with the singles that you have previously released?

I wouldn’t say that the songwriting process has been that different, but finding a red line between all the songs and finishing up the album definitely has.

I’ve been working a lot with my brother, co-producing the album with him. We both put in a lot of time to make every song as great as possible. I usually record my own vocals and arrange them too. I know what I want, how I want it to sound like and I’m also good at pushing my self to perform at a higher level. We also worked on other songs that didn’t turn out to take part on the album. That is something you gotta do to, kill your darlings.

Other people that have participated on several songs on the album are Garren Edwards and my boyfriend Filip Groundstroem

6. What are some of the things that inspired you during the creative process of this album?

I talk about confidence, self love, relationships, heart ache just to give a few examples. I’m inspired by the people around me, strangers, movies, social media, politics and my own opinions. 

7. How would you describe the overall vibe of the album to anyone who is not familiar with your music?

It’s a punch in your face. This album is crossover between R&B and pop, with hip hop inspired beats, yet with a focus on vocals. The lyrics are personal and talk a lot about not settling on relationships that don’t do you good. It is definitely an empowering album for people to listen to and feel more confident and ego boosted. 

8. What are some of your personal favourite tracks to feature on this album & why? 

That’s always the hardest question to answer since I have a connection to every song and it’s process. But my favorites are ‘Conversation’, ‘Settle On Love’ and ‘After You’. I gotta say ‘Craving’ too haha.

‘Conversation’ is one of my favorites cause that’s probably the song that feels most like me when it comes to my writing. I wrote it with my boyfriend, who’s co-written ‘Craving’, ‘Bye Bye’ and ‘After You’ too. That song is just a 100% match of how I define myself as a songwriter today. ‘Settle in Love’ and ‘After You’ are songs in which the lyrics mean a lot to me. ‘Craving’ is a great song and I just love performing it live!

9. How have your family & friends responded to your album? All good I hope!

Yeah I’ve got some beautiful comments on this work, which warms my heart. But what is most important is that I’m so proud of this album, myself and all the people who’ve made it happen. 

10. Are there any songs that have not made it onto this album that we could be seeing released at a later date?

I will release new music this fall which is really exciting! I’m working a lot in the studio right now, just creating new material, experimenting and coming up with some unexpected but amazing songs. I hope people will love it:)

11. Is there going to be a tour that will accompany the release of the album?

I’ve been touring Sweden this summer and I will continue performing during 2019 and 2020! It’s been amazing to perform my songs live this summer:)

12. You have just released the official video for the single “RARE” (ft Garren). How did the idea for the official video come together?

The director, Darren Balgobin, has worked with Garren several times before and I loved his creativity in his previous videos.

So I had never met Darren before the day of the actual shoot, which was interesting but it actually turned out amazing and we worked great together. I wanted the video to be based on performance and our different artistic expression but also mine’s and Garren’s friendship we’ve had for the last 7 years.  

13. Do you feel that the friendship between yourself & Garren played a key factor in the inspiration & production for the video?

Yeah, for sure. I wanted to highlight our friendship, having each other’s backs. We come from different parts of the world but we still found each other in music. I’ve been to LA several times since 2011 and Garren has come to Sweden 4 times too. I think it’s so inspiring and fascinating how the most unexpected people end up being a huge part of your life. 

14. What were some of your highlights from filming the video? 

It was definitely to go up in the mountains around Pasadena. The view was amazing and I think those shots look crazy. Especially the ones when we stand back to back. 

15. What are some of your favourite moments from the video itself? 

I both love the shots on the tennis court and the ones taken from inside a hotel room, with us sitting back to back, in the blue light. Both the intro and the outro are my favorite moments, since the movement of our heads symbolizes how you sometimes can be far from one another, physically or in other ways, but still work together. Or no matter if a relationship is shaky, you can find your way back to each other.

16. Now, this is the part of the interview where I like to get to know the artist behind the music. What sort of things do you like to get up to in your spare time, any hobbies? 

I love hanging out with my friends, eating dinner at different restaurants and going to the movies. I’m also huge fan of cooking so when I have a little more time during weekends I usually make a nice pasta or sometimes even a three course dinner. I wish I went to more concerts, cause that’s one of the best things I know. 

17. What was the last TV series that you couldn’t stop watching?

That was “La Casa De Papel” which is a Spanish series about a group of criminals that are planning to rob the mint of Madrid. It is definitively addictive and I actually watched season 3 in one day this summer! 

18.  What is one item that you can’t live without & why?

That’s a hard one but I love my laptop, because on that I can basically do anything from making music, editing videos and pictures, to being on the internet. 

19. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

I would love to go to all the continents before I die. I haven’t been in either South America, Africa or Oceania. But Hawaii and Bora Bora would be crazy to see. 

20. What is the best piece of advice that someone has given you about pursuing a career within the music industry?  

Dare to stand out and never stop believing in yourself. Be proud of yourself and be your best friend. 

21. Finally,  is there anything that you would like to say to the readers of Fierce & Fabulous Revolution?

Thanks to everyone who listens to my music! I hope you’re doing really good and that you’re excited to hear some more music coming out soon! Don’t forget to take care of yourselves! Love Isa