Q&A with singer/songwriter IsaacO

By Alex Brown - 18.2.20



Birmingham-based singer-songwriter of Nigerian descent IsaacO has supported national touring acts including Benjamin Francis Leftwich, Augustana, Billy Lockett, Joe Fox, Luke Concannon (of Nizlopi fame) among others. His debut release "Sea of Sound" has been streamed over 250,000 times on Spotify alone.

He also featured on ‘Keep Moving On’, a song on the Gold-certified Satin Jackets debut album “Panorama Pacifico”, amassing over 670,000 plays and has had continued support from BBC Introducing West Midlands.


Looking back, what were some of your earliest entries into music appreciation? And music production?

The first-ever song I ever obsessed over was The Fray’s ‘How to save a life’. Something about the honest songwriting and enchanting melody just resonated with me. It’s also one of the reasons I fell in love with Coldplay.

If you could paint a picture of your unique sound, what would it look like?

Firstly, I’ll have a bit of Nina Simone. Then, add a layer of Afrobeat artists (including Adekunle Gold & Simi). Finally, sprinkle on a bit of Coldplay and Bon Iver’s first two albums. Delicious 😊.

What are some of your key musical influences?

(Afropop)----------->IsaacO<--------------(Coldplay, Bon Iver) 

If Chris Martin had a love child with Afropop. That’d be me 😜.

What's on your current playlist?

- ‘I Believe In You’ – Sesemann
- ‘Saturday Went By Too Fast’ – Luke Marzec 
- ‘All My Life’ – Charlotte
- ‘Jore – Adekunle Gold and Kizz Daniel

Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when putting music together?

Mostly, I just mess around with a melody for a while, save it and see if I remember it in a few days or weeks. If it’s passed the time test, I’ll continue working on fleshing it out. I run it by Theo “T.O” Davis (my producer) and then we find the right production to suit the vibe of the song.

What gets your creative juices flowing?

- Night-time (post 9pm) 
- Introversion
- Finding new beautiful songs (Jealousy)

As an artist, it becomes apparent that there is a huge difference between the art and the business. Is there anything about the music scene that you would personally change?

Not at the moment. I’m grateful that the current scene allows artists like me to reach music lovers beyond my living room. That’s not a privilege we’ve always had.

Tell us about the chemistry you have with your fans on stage.

I love creating moments for fans to remember when I play any gigs – from spontaneous singalongs to sharing a sense of honesty and openness when talking about my songs and my life.

What is the most memorable response you have had to your music?

When we released our debut single ‘Sea of Sound’, Theo and I fully expected no one to care. I don’t even think my mum cared lol. However, from nowhere, it just started gathering steam.  I started getting messages from music lovers all over the world.   

Then to cap it off, we got a personal invite to Spotify UK HQ who wanted to know who we were. This was totally unexpected and it’s now given me full confidence to continue my music career as a one-hit wonder haha.

What would you like to achieve with your music? What does success look like to you?

Success for me looks like: Me at 70, still drinking Supermalt, writing and releasing songs and some people still giving a shit.

Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you in the near future?

My next single called ‘Skin on My Bones’ is out on 11th February 2020 and I will drop the full EP in March 2020.

Famous last words?

‘Age is good for the human but death is the disease’ - IsaacO (Skin On My Bones).

Follow IsaacO  online 
Soundcloud | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram

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