Sarah Isen was born to sing. The daughter of LGBT mothers, she was conceived through an anonymous donor in Berkeley, CA. She grew up in the same household with her uncle Richard Isen, a professional musician and award-winning songwriter for musical theater.
Recognizing her talent at an early age, her uncle Richard has greatly influenced her musical career path. Bringing life to a progressive folk track channeling Janis Joplin's neo-soul, tinged with the vibrant intricacies of psychedelia, Sarah Isen is a visionary in her latest single, "Into The Blue."
As Sarah Isen collaborates with Richard Isen in this bold utopia of mystically charged rhythm, the unique essence of "Into The Blue" has us immersed in a modern wave of funk and soul.
The musical foundation has us fully absorbing the large and in charge tenors that sizzle through this impeccable offering of character. Piano chords prominently make up this record as the colossal drum hits seep into your core. The seamless execution of Sarah Isen's vocal range leaves us awestruck in this cover as the robust quintessence of her timbres gracefully picks you up into a blissful swirl of magic.
"Into The Blue" takes us through the perspective of what Janis Joplin may have experienced later in her life. Accounting for the struggles in her mid-life and watching her youthful dream of a hippie utopia die, the bold energy that protrudes through this track has us dancing in the glimmering embodiment of a true icon portrayed by Sarah Isen. Instilling a rush of emotion by the projection of "Into The Blue," what strikes us as moving is the dynamism shared between the duo of Richard Isen and Sarah Isen is rather impactful.
A close bond is always felt more than heard, and it is significantly showcased with passion and magnetism, something that you can't deny when taking in "Into The Blue."
Welcome to BuzzMusic, Sarah, and Richard Isen! Congratulations on the release of "Into The Blue." With such a striking ballad that moves us in the best ways possible, what does the deeper meaning of this record mean to you?
Sarah: For me, this project was a representation of the familial and musical bond that Richard and I have built over the years. We have been playing together since I was about 8 years old, but never recorded a real project together. It was time we recorded together to share our musical connection with our family, friends, and strangers :)
Richard: The person in this story finds herself facing the beginning of old age and realizes that many of her strongest ideals have disappeared and died. She feels betrayed and disappointed, exhausted as she stirs through the ashes looking for one last ember that she might ignite. But she realizes during the musical break that the world is much more mysterious and unfathomable and the way forward is to marvel in that mystery that never ends, to embrace it, and to leap into the unknown.
What differences do you notice in your creative process when bringing life to a cover? Do you prefer creating an original song versus a cover song, or do you admire the challenge?
Sarah: I very rarely write music- I wouldn't call myself a writer. My love is specifically for singing, not for creating music or anything peripheral. When I create a cover, the challenge is to sing in a way that best compliments the writing and my voice. It's more fun for me because I get to focus solely on the singing, which is really where my love for music lies.
Richard: This is an original song and not a cover. But there's a real difference in the approach. For a cover song, particularly one that is better known, I try to find a new approach so that the song is revealed once again, finding something in the cover song that nobody else has found. With a brand new song, I try to be true to the intent of the writer though I always bring myself to a new song. The best outcome is when the songwriter is shown something in the song by me that was apparent.
What is it like working with your most significant influence by your side?
Sarah: Honestly, it just feels comfortable. We've been playing together for so long that more than anything, it just feels like I'm coming home. I am endlessly grateful for Richard and his support, both musical and personal.
Richard: For me, I realized that Sarah is coming into her own and has surpassed me in many ways. She was very professional and had some real training that I wasn't aware of. I'm kind of in awe of Sarah and with some bittersweet sadness feel she will be passing me by very soon.
What has been the best piece of advice that you've been given on your journey thus far?
Sarah: No idea is a stupid idea- I still struggle to internalize this advice, but I know it is SO important. The creative process is about failing over and over until you finally succeed. Being ok with creating art you think is bad is a step you cannot jump over in the quest to make great art.
Richard: There are billions of people on this earth and they all respond and understand the universal language of music. My work is not for everyone but my audience is out there and I just need to find them. Some people like strawberry ice cream and some people like raspberry coconut pistachio ice cream.
What's next for you?
Sarah: I'm 22, just graduated, living in Los Angeles. Next for me is just finding my footing and exploring what it means to be a young musician in a big city. Hopefully, that includes making lots of music with friends, making new connections, and generally building up a creative life for myself that I enjoy and that feels fulfilling :)
Richard: The rest of the EP will be released as singles over the next few months and the whole EP as a live stream concert with Sarah doing the songs from the EP and a lot more. I plan to also work on making my music ready for sync licensing by creating new mixes and instrumental versions of these songs. I'm always planning on writing new songs and putting out a new EP or full-length. I'm kind of looking for a new sound - a sound that can be made only in the studio and getting away from this troubadour guy with his piano. I always believed that if I can write a song and then just play it on the piano and sing it and it works that way, then it will work all ways. I'm exploring the idea that I can make a song that cannot be played this way. That's very new for me.