By Kieran Webber
The London based artist has been capturing audiences all around the country with his emotionally driven songwriting and heartfelt honesty. His music is a whirlwind of fervour that is utterly captivating. Isaac invites you into his world, giving you depictions of his own struggles with life, love and happiness. This beautiful and powerful songwriting is complimented by his soulful yet mighty vocals, luring you into the music.
Recently it was announced that Isaac was heading out on a UK tour and would be making a stop in our new home Falmouth, Cornwall. November 24th will see him grace the stage of the AMATA Theatre, at the Penryn Campus.
We were super eager to chat to him prior to his gig, so we spoke to him over the phone about his his influences, his debut album and lots more.
CLUNK: Hey Isaac, thanks so much for taking the time to answer our questions! How are you?
Isaac: Im good, just trying to brush my teeth but I’ll wait. Things have been fantastic!
CLUNK: In a fairly short time you have amassed a large following, is this something you ever expected to happen? How does it feel?
Isaac: Erm, it feels like it hasn’t been a short time. It feels like a rather long time. Before my music started getting recognised I had no idea it would get to this place. There is something about playing music, being able to play shows, being able to record your music in nice studios and being able to see your audience grow. It doesn’t necessarily promise a future in it at all but it definitely allows you to believe it might go somewhere I guess. So, you know if someone had asked me like four years ago if I’d be playing music I would have said no. I had no idea this was possible. Although in the last three years it has become more of a reality.
CLUNK: This year saw the release of your debut album, how do you feel about it now it is out in the wild, what has the response been like?
Isaac: Yeah great, on both accounts! It is difficult as you spend a long time working on something and it embodies a lot of effort, struggle and care. It’s very strange to let go of it and not have it behind the scenes but it is also quite a nice thing as well. So all in all I was really happy to put it out there, it allowed me to also work on new material. It was also received very positive it’s really nice playing it at shows and having people respond to the songs. It’s nice for there to be awareness to more than the two main songs, so all in all very good.
“It’s very strange to let go of it and not have it behind the scenes but it is also quite a nice thing as well”
CLUNK: Was being a musician something you always wanted to do?
Isaac: I don’t know, I wouldn’t say it was one of those things that when you’re a kid you say. I didn’t ever not want to be but I didn’t think it would be possible because I came from a school that wasn’t really about playing music and didn’t have a culture for it I didn’t have any direct people leading the way, I didn’t see it as a thing that could happen. I just wanted to something with my life that felt creative and personal in whatever sense that may be. I guess music became that outlet and profession.
CLUNK: When did you start playing music and who or what influenced you?
Isaac: I started singing in choirs when I was 7 or something and didn’t stop until I was like 17. I also know that my mum used to sing to me when I was a kid. My brother and my sister are not necessarily musically inclined and I wasn’t necessarily academically inclined and therefore it became my niche in the family perhaps.
CLUNK: Would you say your a black sheep of the family?
Isaac: I don’t know. I mean everyone is a black sheep, it is difficult to say. I live with my mum and I think as we grow up we learn to accept and understand each other better. There was always a certain feeling that I was somewhat different, not different in some extraordinary way at all, quite the opposite, perhaps more useless (laughs). Music was one of the few areas where I excelled a bit, this allowed a sense of myself.
Listen to ‘show me love’ here:
CLUNK: When writing your material how do you gather your emotions and convey them into your music?
Isaac: Well, when I was writing for the first record I was young and quite self involved I think. I thought that my emotions mattered a lot and it was fair game to have them, sing about them and the world needed to hear them, not in an arrogant way but in a way that I allowed myself, there wasn’t much of a wall between me connecting with that place. I think that it is a little bit easier when you are younger as you are not necessarily so oppressed by the pressure and structures of responsibility or the real world. So that was how it came out, I had a lot of experience with feelings at that time. Whereas now I require a bit more patience with myself to try and understand where that feeling is coming from and allow that feeling to emanate through what I am playing. I am trying to not be too practical or not be too contrived, it is a challenge and it’s not obvious.
CLUNK: Is it hard writing and playing music from such a personal place or do you consider it a healing process?
Isaac: Erm, It is and it isn’t. Sometimes it is when you are feeling a certain way, singing a certain song may sometimes bring on a painful or impacting emotion. Other times it is nice to relive the memory and feelings. There is something nostalgically important remembering how you felt at a certain time which led to you writing a song. Reliving and feeling that is an interesting one.
“There is something nostalgically important remembering how you felt at a certain time which led to you writing a song”
CLUNK: How do you like to bring this emotive feeling to your live performances?
Isaac: I like to be not to delicate and not too untouchable. Hopefully it is a range of emotions that you can experience, I don’t want you to feel you can’t interact with what you are watching or feeling. It’s not just about me putting myself on the cross and saying look at how sucky my life is, behold my awful experiences. You over there, let’s all move our feet and shed a tear or some shit like that.
CLUNK: You’ve played a fair few shows around the country but is there a particular place that stands out?
Isaac: I just love Cornwall, it is one of my favourite places. I’m really glad to be playing there on this tour as I haven’t been there enough. So I am very excited about that. I have a lot of fond memories there.
CLUNK: Lastly, we like to finish with a story, so is there anything funny/weird or gnarly that has happened to you that you would like to share?
Isaac: Honestly, these questions asked a lot, I really wish I could give you some anecdotal gold of life experience that was both hillarious and philosophical experience but honestly I don’t have anything (laughs).
Tickets for Isaac Gracie’s show in Falmouth can be found here.