Isaiah Dreads has been making a name for himself of late. After performing at the illustrious Glastonbury Festival and being put on by Zane Lowe, Annie Mac and Mista Jam, Isaiah has gone from strength to strength . Although grime is synonymous with London, the 16 year-old from Dorset proves he has the panache and ability to go toe-to-toe with young emcees leading the charge.
CM: How did you first get into rapping?
Isaiah: My brother raps. From when I was like six years old, he was always playing grime music, Channel U and all of that. One day he just said write a track, he helped me and we wrote it together. Since then I’ve just been writing tracks and I’ve always found it really fun. That’s what got me into it and I’ve just been recording since then.
CM: Who were you listening to back then?
Isaiah: It was Wiley, Skepta, Crazy Titch, Scarz and loads of people. There were so many people on Channel U, just new people everyday and I loved it.
CM: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Isaiah: Everything. Music I listen to, things I see, TV I watch, places I go and anything I see I write about.
CM: What process do you go through when writing?
Isaiah: It completely depends. Sometimes I’ll have a concept and write around that or I’ll hear a beat and I’m like ‘yeah that’s a cool beat’ and I’ll write around that. It can change each time, it depends. Usually, it’s a concept though.
CM: What are the themes you explored on Nothing But A Mixtape?
Isaiah: It was just everything in my life, I guess. I tried to make each track just a bit different. There’s a track on there for everyone who likes rap music, there’s boom bap, soulful hip hop, grime and an in between grimey rap. Yeah, I just tried to bring a bit of everything and the inspiration was everything I listen to.
CM: Who are you listening to at the moment?
Isaiah: Stormzy, Joey Badass’ new album, J Cole’s too and Little Simz.
CM: What do you think about Stormzy and Little Simz leading the scene at the moment?
Isaiah: They’re two of my favourite artists right now. I feel the music is just so powerful, it's energetic and I’m really feeling it.
CM: What do you want people to feel when they listen to you?
Isaiah: I just want people to connect to my music and relate to it. Or just really feel it like I felt when I was making it.
CM: The juxtaposition in the Wait For Me video was striking, was that intentional?
Isaiah: Yeah that was the idea. Me and the guy who made it, we sat down and thought of just switching shots, like we usually do. We also thought ‘how can we make it different?’.
CM: How long did it take to put it all together?
Isaiah: We did it in two hours. The video and I sat with him and edited it, which was fun. I liked being involved in that. It was a really fun process.
CM: Do you see yourself going into any other creative fields?
Isaiah: Yeah well I enjoyed doing that and I enjoyed the editing process of the video. It was really fun.
CM: What was it like performing at an illustrious festival such as Glastonbury?
Isaiah: It was such a cool vibe and being there, experiencing what it was like because I went from performing in little tiny venues in my town, to getting a chance at Glastonbury. I loved the opportunity.
CM: How did that come about?
Isaiah: I entered the Glastonbury Emerging Talent competition and I got shortlisted to the final five. I didn’t win, I came third but I got the chance to perform.
CM: Not many people can say they’ve done that.
Isaiah: Yeah that’s true but it was really fun.
CM: What are your future plans?
Isaiah: I’m just going to keep writing and making music. Just putting more out there for people to see and listen to.
CM: How do you wind down from it all?
Isaiah: I guess when I’m not making music I’m listening to music. I never get bored of it though, I just like music and have a connection with it.
CM: Any new tracks coming out soon?
Isaiah: Yeah my new single is with Predatah and C4, it’s called Foolish. It’s a real nice bouncy and garage/grimey vibe. I can’t wait for people to hear that.
CM: What do you think about the grime scene at the moment?
I feel like right now, people are appreciating grime a lot especially other countries. I feel that’s a really good thing, the grime scene feels really good right now - like, where it should be. I think it’s going to go a lot further very soon.
Keep up with Isaiah's music here & Stream "foolish" below.
Interview led by Jesse (@MarvinsCorridor)