“The path of a DIY artist is not always easy, and there are many things and aspects involved that take time and perseverance. And then when you have created something you have poured your heart into, it can sometimes pass by without the world seeing or noticing…” – ISLE
We caught up with Netherlands based duo ISLE following the release of their latest entry “Lone Wolf”. Comprised of songwriters Lise Low and Arjan De Wit, the duo’s vision is to make music for the introverted and creative dreamers in life. Inspired by the soundscapes produced by Björk and Ane Brun, they look to build creative communities through their music, inviting fans into their world through their online community World of Isle
As for the artists themselves, Lise explains how “Lone Wolf” has been an interesting journey for the pair, as the song was initially recorded with live instruments in the studio, with a very acoustic sound. The duo later deciding to put an electronic layer over it all, with synthesizers and effects on their vocals. A decision they feel made for a fairly unique combination of both of these genres!
Lyrics and melodies come intuitively to the pair, they explain. Going onto highlight how they usually don’t fully comprehend or uncover the meaning of a song until later on in the production process. “I wasn’t really conscious of the self mockery in the song as we wrote it together”, Lise explains.
Describing their music as dreampop. The duo point to Arjan’s distinct arrangements, fused with Lise’s voice; alongside the acoustic and electronic sounds combination, that make their music stand out. However, for the artists, what is truelly key to the message, is that their fans and listeners are able to take a feeling of wonder and possibility from their lyrics and melodies.
Lise explains how during her time at univeristy she was diagnosed with ADHD. She highlights the challenges she faced as result of struggling with structure and time management, and something that has followed into her entrepreneurial vision. “This can sometimes cause me to feel anxious or cast down. At other times it makes me feel inadequate, like I am not doing enough and not working hard enough, no matter how hard I try to push myself, because things can overwhelm me so that I procrastinate. I just don’t know how to bring the task and goals at hand into manageable pieces”, she explains. Lise goes onto point out how what has helped her in overcoming these challenges is accepting who she is and in doing so finding ways to work around these anxieties. In doing so finding strength in not comparing herself to anyone else!
The Music Industry
Finding influence through artists including Radiohead and Thom Yorke’s solowork, the duo highlight the importance of looking at how other people in the industry work, and evolving your own artistry to build your vision into the final production! For Lise, she feels it’s important to take the time to figure out who you want to be, why you want to make music and for whom. To not rush as the more clarity you have on who you are as an artist, the more clarity you will have on the next step to take on this path that is in front of you.
Arjan makes a point of noting from experience that people in the industry do not just stumble on to you by accident. You have to work hard and do a lot yourselves! But equally believe in what you are doing and persevere, as at some point people in the industry will recognize/acknowledge what you’re doing!
The duo are currently working on producing the remaining tracks of their upcoming debut album due for release this September! #watchthisspace