“For me to learn and absorb more, I have to be understanding to what is out there. But Hip hop is my first sound and influence.”
Now being on Facebook one comes across countless low quality mixtapes, tracks and so on sent through every day, half of which are hard to listen to, let alone grasp. Which deters my attitude and inclines me not to pay attention to half the stuff I get sent, but every now and then you get a link to something that just feels right and grabs one’s attention immediately.
This was the case when a certain Pretoria lady hit me up with a simple link to her music page, where she conducts her ‘bizness’ under the name Miss Isis. I had a listen and enjoyed it from the start; her jazzy soulful approach is warm on the ears and the combination of the playful content with the easily accessible beats, most of which she makes herself, are most hospitable. I got chatting to Miss Isis…
One can hear the various influences in your music; a distinct Pretoria flava that we’ve become accustomed to as well as a personal take of your own. Who personally influences your sound and vocals?
Let me say this. At the moment, everything influences me. It has to. For me to learn and absorb more, I have to be understanding to what is out there. But Hip hop is my first sound and influence. When I was smaller I was into your Commons, Talibs, ATCQ, Biggie… etc. As I got older and got out the box a bit, I started diggin’ a little deeper to see where this music originates from and yes, I do believe it’s jazz. Jazz grew into me. My voice changed and developed into a more accomodating voice. In came Nina Simone and Jimmy Smith. Growing up opened my eyes to studios and music tools and once I tried, I kept going. I had found hip hop and its origins so I started fiddling around with the programmes and software. Now I can comfortably say I am a producer.
Being a producer as well as vocalist, what’s your approach when making a beat and laying vocals over it and what tools do you use?
I never have a ready plan of action. It usually depends on the mood that I’m in that day. If the sun shines, the beat will shine. Dull days have dark beats but nevertheless, they speak more with the song that way. That’s more of the spontaneous approach. Technically, I usually listen to what I’d like to sound like. I’d concentrate and try seperate the elements of the song and try repeat the process. Once I have familiarized myself with the foundation of the track, the magic begins. From sampling to cutting and editing waves, I construct my own sound. From here, the song is shaped, formed and twisted to what I want to be heard, of course with a dose of creativity, the pots keep bubblin’! I’ve watched a lot of hip hop documentaries, more like drilled to me, at a young age and became interested in producing. Fruity Loops , Sony Sound Forge and Acid are my main chopping tools. I use Cubase to record.
You’re at the dawn of a musical career in terms of dropping an album and getting it out. What are your plans to make that journey last?
Wow… um… tough question. I’d love to be remembered more than anything. So I’m really under pressure for time. But I have made plans for progress and growth’s sake. Cartoon Background [forthcoming album] was an old concept redone consisting of me on the beats and some vocals and getting a few mcees, vocalists, poets to be put on. Diggin’ for fresh new art to be recorded so yeah, that’s my first project to introduce myself as a beat maker. The EP is due soon. Then the album of course at a later stage. I’m busy with a dope contact overseas, Saneyes. She’s a beautiful producer. Check me out on the Ladies of the Mic Collaboration ft. Nthabi, Nombongo, Supa, Yugen Blakrok and other ladies as well. Also a track or two with Fifi Rai Blaster so yeah, will update you as time passes.
Any wish list artists or musicians that you would like to work with along the way?
The list is endless as they say. I’m crossin’ my fingers for Georgia Anne Muldrow. Anything is possible. Musinah. I would love to work with Hishaam (P.E. rapper, I previously produced for) again. I’m a huge fan of 34OML, and then my girl, Qba.
To stay in the loop with MISS ISIS visit:
INTERVIEW: DJ Raiko