We’re so excited to introduce our student Isabella, who’s been taking lessons from Michael. You may have seen her at one of our recitals or teen-adult events singing and playing her original songs, or at OCSA in the Integrated Arts department. We love listening to her rich, gorgeous voice as she accompanies herself on guitar. Isabella has been getting some well deserved attention from Capitol Records and has recently come out with a moving music video cover of “Praying,” by Kesha. She’s definitely one to watch for, because we know that this is just the beginning of her wonderful career. In the meantime, enjoy her video and this down-to-earth interview.
MM: How did you get started with music, and how long have you been singing and playing guitar? What originally made you interested in guitar, versus another instrument? What was the move to OC like to attend OCSA?
IE: I got started with music when I was very young. Everywhere we went in the car, I drove my parents crazy singing to “Jesus Take the Wheel” by Carrie Underwood on repeat. And then one day, my dad told me there were many more songs out there than just “Jesus Take the Wheel.” So I learned every song I listened to. A few years later, I asked where the songs come from, and my parents said, “people write them,” and then I started writing my own. I started learning guitar only about two years ago. My brother started taking lessons and I wanted to learn with him. When we moved to OC, I taught myself for a year before finding Molly’s Music. Moving here was exciting and terrifying at the same time, but well worth it.
MM: How long have you been writing music, and what was the title of your first song?
IE: I wrote my first song when I was nine and I named it “Shooting Star.” I would never sing it to anyone now, but it’s funny remembering where I started and how far I’ve come.
MM: I understand you’re getting some recognition and support from Capitol Records last I heard. Can you share about where your music is going these days? What are your short and long-term goals? Feel free to drop any social media handles or new releases for readers to check out!
IE: I did receive recognition from Capitol Records. However, the music industry is a business. Record labels do not sign artists until they already have a significant fan base, so it’s less of a risk for the label when they fund an artist money to create an album. Auditioning for the label and seeing how much they were interested once I was ready for the industry, however, was a big eye opener for me, and it really helped me to start believing in what I want to do. I recently signed with DNT Entertainment, and I have a wonderful manager who is helping me take the steps to be industry ready. I recently started a YouTube and I will be coming out with my first cover music video in August.* If anyone is interested in helping me grow and watch my journey as an artist, liking my page on Facebook @IsabellaErardiMusic and following me on twitter and Instagram @isabellaerardi would help me so so so much.
MM: How often are you practicing, playing, and writing?
IE: I practice, write, and play every single day, even if it’s just for an hour.
MM: Who are a few bands/artists that have inspired you, and why? Which would you call your influences? Any new recent sounds catch your interest?
IE: I listen to acoustic pop, mostly. If there’s a song that I like, I go and check out the acoustic version because I love it when music is stripped and raw and honest.
MM: Can you share about a technique, skill, or song you struggled with, and how you are overcoming or have overcome it?
IE: Before I came my Molly’s Music for guitar lessons, I was teaching myself. I wanted to learn how to fingerpick, but looking at it from an outward perspective seems extremely difficult and tedious, but I was determined to figure it out. So, I found the hardest fingerpicking melody I could find at the time (which was the intro to “Let Her Go” by Passenger) and began learning on YouTube. It took me a month, but since I had learned something so difficult, it made other fingerpicking patterns much easier for me. Today, I prefer fingerpicking over strumming and I find it my stronger suit.
MM: What are some of your other hobbies and interests? Favorite subjects in school? Books, movies, sports?
IE: At OCSA, I’m in the Integrated Arts conservatory, which is a blend of a ton of different artistic styles. I take film classes, tap dance classes, photo realism classes, as well as music classes. Through the conservatory, I’ve become so well rounded as an artist and my eyes have been opened to other talents I never knew I had. My favorite subject is lunch and I’m a terrible athlete haha
MM: What advice would you give to other students trying to write music, or get their music heard? Or for OCSA hopefuls?
IE: Don’t be afraid of writing something that isn’t good. I’m a perfectionist so I want to make my songs flawless, but when it comes down to it, real creativity comes when you’re willing to experiment and fail. That’s my main struggle and creative block. As far as getting your music heard, the internet is in your back pocket. It may take years of work, but growing your presence on the internet is the best way for the right people to find you.