Ella Issacson recently released a new single, Expectations with Gallant. Lapalme Magazine was able to sit down and discuss her start in music and what keeps her motivated.
Where are you from, and how would you describe your childhood?
I’m from New York originally. I was a bit introverted as a child. I was always around adults and had trouble relating to other kids when I was young. Music was always something that made me feel good, and I felt free to express myself, so I threw myself into music in whatever way I could. I was in choir, taking vocal lessons, performance classes, learning piano.
When did you start singing, and who inspired you to start?
I started singing at probably 3. My older sister actually sang and would perform in plays, so I wanted to also.
I know artists rely heavily on performances and touring, how are you connecting with your fans during the pandemic?
I’ve been using this time to connect with fans, especially on platforms like Instagram and TikTok. I like to share what this time has been like for me, different ways I’m coping, or finding ways to smile and laugh. I show how I’m working from home as well as doing at home videos singing songs to bring my fans some joy in a dark time.
How do you stay creative while staying at home?
I am continuing to write and record almost daily from home. I have a home recording setup and started learning how to engineer vocals and record myself last year. So that has been super helpful, and then I zoom and write with other writers and producers. When I’m not doing that, I like to create in different ways, whether it’s painting or baking and using my brain differently.
What would you say are your favorite aspects of the musical journey and industry?
I think the high of creating something extraordinary from scratch was just an idea between a few people in a room and then seeing that reach millions of people; it’s really amazing. I get a rush every time I make a great song, especially when it’s telling a story. I think it could help someone who might be listening one day. I think a lot of us feel relief from hearing we’re not alone in our feelings, and I want listeners to feel that connection.
How have you grown as an artist since the beginning of your journey?
Oh my gosh, yes! I’ve grown more than ever, even in the last year and a half. You grow as an artist just like you grow as a person, and the more you do, the better your art becomes because you are experiencing more but also maturing and can better understand yourself and the world. That’s been the case for me.
Do you write your own lyrics? If so, where do you find the inspiration? What does your creative process look like while writing?
Yes, I do! I’ve always loved writing; even as a kid, I was always writing poems. Most people journaled and wrote diary entries, and I would write what would one day become lyrics. I find inspiration everywhere, on billboards, in Ted talks, when I listen to music, when I read– it all inspires me. I just latch onto words and concepts usually and write them down in my phone or a journal. If I am inspired by something, I will on-the-spot write pages and pages of lyrics and lines of poetry fleshing out every thought that comes to me. Sometimes I’ll bring in a topic I’ve wanted to talk or write about, or something I’m going through at the moment, and other times, the song will tell you what it wants to be.
What advice can you give to someone looking to pursue their passion for music?
Dive in! I think people who make music are just drawn to it and have to do it. They can’t even help it. I think songwriting is such a powerful tool for artists, and with the ease of modern technology, writing and recording on a high-quality level is super attainable even from your bedroom these days. The best advice I could give is to make great music and find a platform for it. Fantastic opportunities are out there for special songs.
What can we expect from you this year?
More music! My record “Expectations” with Gallant just released and, there is much more to come.
Photographer: Michael Higgins
Creative Direction: Stylebarre, Joy Bullard Breitman
Styled by: Monica Cargile
Makeup by: Erik Torppe
Hair by: Michael Sebastian