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ISLA DE LUCA

RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW ISLA DE LUCA, WHAT HAPPENED?

Hiya Isla. Thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.

What made you decide that music is the path for you?

I’ve kind of always known– it’s just something I had so much shame and fear about for such a long time, because creating it is such a vulnerable act. The main thing that pushed me past it is that I would have spent the rest of my life regretting not trying it.

Introduce us to yourself and your musical history.

Hey! I’m Isla. I’m born and raised in New York, now living in NYC, and I’ve been singing for my whole life. After years of preparation, I’m finally putting out my first releases!

What was life like for you before music?

In a lot of ways, I feel like everything I’ve done has led me here! I did a lot of musical theater growing up and then got super into film, and went to school for that– all of these different modes of storytelling have really influenced my music now, and the way I use it to create this character I play in it.

What was the first song you heard that steered you towards making music?

Probably some song from a Disney movie, when I was a kid. It’s something I always dreamed of being able to do.

Where do you feel you currently sit within the music industry?

Very scrappy, very hot fresh meat.

What’s the biggest thing you have learned from someone else in the industry?

The value of hard work and advocating for yourself.

Tell us two truths and a lie about you.

I love snakes.

I got a nose job before I was 18.

I’m a great whistler.

If you could wish for one thing to aid your career what would it be?

Incredible collaborators. Or a few million dollars.

Do you ever worry about people taking things the wrong way or cancel culture? Discuss…

A couple of years ago, I might have said no– I’d like to say I’m relatively unproblematic. But after being on social media for a while, I’d say it is something I’m conscious of– people will really find any way to spin something negative out of what you put out there, so it’s important to be clear about your message and intentions.

Do you subscribe to any conspiracy theories? If not, why not?

Most of the really crazy ones are things that the CIA has openly admitted to, so.

What was your worst-ever experience on stage?

I actually have really awful stage fright, so I’ve never had many particularly great ones– but I’d say a childhood talent show where I became so wildly insecure in my performance that I just stopped and walked off in front of everyone. Confidence building has been a major hurdle I crossed to be able to put myself and my music out there, and I think it shows in the message of my songs.

Tell us something about yourself that you think people would be surprised about.

I’m a huge nerd!

ISLA DE LUCA

What makes you stand out as a band/artist?

A lot! Going into making music, I really wanted to forge a persona where every aspect of it is performance art, even beyond the music. My style really plays into that. This act of constructing a character really appeals to me—this persona I embody is an interplay of my essence and pop-star artifice, pieces of my own journey mixed with these modern icons and archetypes. I’m also openly LGBTQ+, which is becoming more widely accepted but is still enough to make someone stand out.

As far as the music goes, though, powerhouse vocals, cohesive storytelling, strong hooks, and engaging energy and dynamics. I draw from wide and nostalgic inspiration– Y2K Pop, Art Pop, Alternative, Dance, Rock, and Electronic music, to name a few– to forge a sonic identity that cuts through the noise, and really stay true to the ethos of trusting my taste and making music that I miss and want to hear. I also create all of my music informed by the persona I’ve created to go with it and the music they’d like, and am considering switching personas every few sets of releases or so! You’ll have to tune in and see how things pan out.

I hear you have new music coming out, what can you tell us about it?

I sure do. “i already am one” is my debut single within a slate of them I made last year and have ready to release or am putting the finishing touches on! I’m still playing with my sound so some lean more Dance or Rock than others, but it’s all under the Pop umbrella. This one definitely leans Rock!

“i already am one” is a track that intertwines the spirit of Y2K sleaze and Pop Rock, reflecting cultural conversations about femininity and relationships. In all of my songs, I play the persona of a hedonistic, ultra-confident, maybe-definitely-evil siren type– she’s having fun, and you should be too! That confidence really shines through here. This song is also inspired by an interview with Cher in which she shares how her mother told her she needed to marry a rich man, and she responded, “Mom, I am a rich man.”

What was the recording process like?

A little tedious, since I’m learning as I go, but fun!

What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes?

All of the technical aspects! I’m an eternal student as far as music theory and production goes.

Would you change anything now that it’s finished?

Hindsight is 20/20, and I’ve received a lot of feedback I’ll definitely keep in mind going forward– maybe I’ll eventually put out remixes! But as it stands, and in my current position, I’ll say no.

Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?

To anyone who listens to my music and loves it, or is inspired by it, or anything in that vein: thank you, from the bottom of my heart. It feels unreal that I get to do this for a living, and create things that leave such a profound impact on people.

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