Sound Off: Ella Isaacson x Gallant
Jun 17, 2020
If you’re a fan of the mixture of powerful vocals and electro-pop, you’ll be a fan of this up-and-coming star! Ella Isaacson is an LA-based singer and songwriter who is defying all expectations with her aptly titled new single “Expectations” featuring Gallant. With the masterful production by Stargate (known for Beyonce, Rihanna, Charli XCX) Ella has created a hit that is a beautiful blend of soulful and eclectic and has come just in time to set the chill vibes for the summer!
After the success of her debut single “Pretty Little Gangster,” with millions of streams, Isaacson is not slowing down, making the most of this quarantine with the release of our new favorite bop! We had the opportunity to talk to the artist about her new single, how she got connected to the talented Gallant, and what’s inspiring her, and what she’s looking forward to with her music and more!
Stay tuned to learn more from the artist in the complete interview below!
1. Where did the inspiration behind your new single ‘Expectations’ come from and how did the collab with Gallant come about?
As I live my daily life I’m always seeing words and concepts and writing them down in my notes or in journals to stay inspired. I had seen the word Expectations somewhere and it really got me thinking about expectations, of myself, my life, my career, my family, and I just started to write pages and pages of lyrics and poetry. I can always tell when I just connect to a concept because I go into this zone where I just write and write and need to get it all out. I brought what I had written into my co-writer and we started to sort through the ideas. I wanted to tell a story about coming out as who you are and how sometimes in life you start on a path or a direction and suddenly things change, you change and unlock who you really are in ways you didn’t even expect. I showed the song to Stargate who thought it was really special and reproduced it, but we discussed that we felt there was the next level of soulfulness we felt the song was yearning for. We discussed the idea of adding another voice and I had brought up Gallant. His voice is stunning and has that magic that brings so much emotion. So Stargate reached out and asked Gallant if he’d like to take part. He sent the song back to us with a new verse that captured the song in a whole different light and how expectations impact our relationships. It was simple and so honest and his gorgeous harmonies just really draw you in.
2. What inspires you to be an artist?
From the time I started learning to make music, someone told me great artists are great storytellers and that always stuck with me. Life is a series of moments, even a look from someone you love has a whole story to tell right there. I think the human experience is beautifully complex, I think we are more imperfect than we feel comfortable admitting and there’s excitement and wonder in the madness but that’s real you know. Raw, imperfect, real-life and I like to find ways to bring that into the pop space. I just like everyone I know have had my struggles with relationships, identity, life choices, career path, sexuality so let’s talk about it cuz we’re all dying to! I’m inspired to be an artist by the rush I get when it all comes together, there is no greater feeling than the puzzle of words fall together, the voice could break your heart and then fans write you and tell you how it touched them and told a story that they needed to hear, or brightened their day. It’s just the best!
3. If you could work with any artist – who would it be?
I’d probably say Sam Smith. My goodness that voice and his words. He is hands down one of the greats of our time.
4. Describe your sound in 3 words
Vulnerable, Powerful, Honest
5. What is something you want to express with your new releases?
I wanna tell real stories that people can relate to, less sugar-coating more vulnerability. But at the end of the day, the only way I can make that authentic is just expressing “me”. Some days I’m happy extroverted and open and some days I’m reflective, sad, and in my own world. I think people can relate to that most.
6. What has been your most memorable show to date?
I performed at the Peppermint Club and it was amazing because the place was so packed, it was only my second show and I heard everyone in there singing my songs with me.
7. We heard that you’re a lifelong fan of emo-pop-punk! What are some of your essentials in that genre!
MCR “Black Parade” is hands down one of the best songs ever made. Fall Out Boy “Take This To Your Grave” Album and Green Day, Billie Joe Armstrong was my first crush. I still secretly wanna put eyeliner on every guy I date.
8. You went to NYU! What was school like and how did that lead you to where you are now?
I did! What I loved about it is that you are surrounded by amazing, motivated people from all walks of life in a city like no other in the world. It was actually where I first met Gallant, we had a class together taking analog production. I took a few production courses while in school I found the engineering side really interesting and last fall I took it up again and started to learn how to vocal produce. I honestly think having that kind of control over your art and the ability to record myself and engineer my vocals from anywhere in the world has been life-changing. There are so few female engineers but I’m hoping that will change, we are so capable and the technology is there, we just need to empower and root each other. And now with COVID, it gives you so many more opportunities to do what you love and to collaborate with people in different countries even.
9. What Top 40 songs are you listening to right now?
Hmmm, I’ll be honest! In Quarantine I haven’t been focused on the top 40. I decided to quarantine with my family, in the house I grew up in and that has been a super nostalgic experience for me. I think I’ve been into older music “La Vie En Rose” “Imagine” and then just everything random “chasing cars” by Snow Patrol, “20 Something” by SZA, “Surrender” by Natalie Taylor Jp Saxe, even meditation music
10. Go-to quarantine snack and activity?
We’ve been experimenting with cooking and baking at home trying to keep things interesting. A go-to are these banana oat blueberry cookies we’ve been making every day. They just have the house smelling amazing! Perfecting the art of a great Bloody Mary with the bacon and veggies, I think mine is professional at this point.
11. What are you looking forward to? (Anything!)
Personally, I’m looking forward to seeing my apartment again, I’ve been wearing the same two weeks worth of clothes for two months haha didn’t quite expect to quarantine to last this long, but it’s good everyone is safe! I’m super into fashion so I miss dressing up. I’m looking forward to hitting the beach and driving down the PCH, blasting music, and laughing with my friends overlooking the water, sailing. I’m also looking forward to getting more music out! This is the year I just wanna give it to my fans they’ve waited long enough and been so patient. I’m looking forward to when I get to perform again and being in the room with my favorite writers and producers.
12. Can you tell us a secret?
Hmm, a secret? Haha, I’m a pretty open book but let me think Hmmm I like to go on Houseparty and play trivia with my ex-boyfriend during Quarantine? I know we’re all doing that, so don’t lie! I rewatched all the Harry Potter movies this past Christmas.
13. What does popular mean to you?
Popular means whatever’s on a bunch of human minds at one time, something that’s making waves. A song that feels good that we can’t stop listening to?
14. Are there any other upcoming projects you can tell us about?
There is a really amazing remix coming very soon for “Expectations” by one of my favorite DJ’s! I have so much music that I’m gonna be dropping so stay tuned!
If you are enchanted with these two artists the same way WE ARE, please go listen to “Expectations” NOW.
Oh, and obviously follow them on social media – so you can stay tuned on everything that is happening in their lives :)