Your Weekend Playlist, Courtesy of Isaac Dunbar
Yesterday, 17-year-old Isaac Dunbar released his debut album, isaac’s insects, with RCA records. Starting off on Soundcloud, Dunbar built momentum with each release as he shared the struggles and triumphs of his adolescence in Cape Cod. From his previous EP, balloons don’t float here, to his recent single, “scorton’s creek,” the pop singer has a knack for crafting, producing, and recording music that amplifies his personal message of embracing one’s insecurities and promoting self-love.
Milk spoke with the artist about his new EP, how he’s spending his time in isolation, and how his creative process has evolved over the years.
How have you been coping with COVID-19? Have you been working on new music?
It’s honestly been kinda tough and lonely but I talk to my friends a lot to deal with it. I’ve been making music all day, every day.
What are some of your favorite content to consume during these times?
I watch a ton of youtube videos on metaphysics and expanding my consciousness.
Your EP isaac’s insects is out today. How do you feel?
I feel satisfied. I have waited for forevvvvver for it to come out.
There is a strong message of self-love, and acceptance in your music. What message do you want your listeners to take away from this EP?
I want them to have a deeper understanding of who I am. All of these songs show who I am and what I believe, I hope they can help heal and provide comfort during this time of isolation.
Do you have a favorite song?
Can we expect new music videos?
Yes! It’s been interesting creating videos from my home, and I’m actually interested to see how other artists are doing it too.
Did being signed to a label change the way you make music? How has your creative process evolved, if so?
At first, it kind of influenced the lyrical content. I put a bit of pressure on myself to make the music more down the middle but that was me just getting in my head. I’m much more confident in who I am, and I believe it reflects in the music.
Who are some of your biggest inspirations musically? Any artists currently on your radar that we must know about?
Lady Gaga is my biggest influence, but Grimes’ new record has me really inspired. There’s this artist named Tamino and I believe he is a godsend human being and a genius.
How have your experiences in high school influenced your songwriting? Do any songs come to mind?
I feel like with all the petty 8th-grade type beat drama I used to be engulfed in helped me put myself in other’s shoes which I do in my music a lot. I try to write from all sorts of perspectives. I have a song on the EP called “suicide” and it was written about a friend of mine who attempted suicide. The song is a “conversation” between the two of us, and I tried to put myself in her shoes as best as I could. I wanted her to feel heard and I wanted her to know that everything she felt was valid.
Tell us more about your playlist, what have you been listening to while staying inside?
I’ve been listening to Fleetwood Mac nonstop, I’ve recently been drawn to their music and I think it’s just so captivating and refreshing. I wish there were artists like them today. Most of today’s hits are trash. I wish I was a teen in 1977 discovering the band.
PHOTOGRAPHER: Harshvardhan Shah
STYLIST: Brandon Tan
HMU: Luca Ponce
STYLIST ASSISTANT: Caroline Mack
PHOTO ASSISTANT: Samira Alfarius
Stay tuned to Milk for more Weekend Playlists.