Photo credit Gianni Gallant
Out now via Dirty Hit / No Matter
“This Californian singer charts a similarly musically combustible course to Nilüfer Yanya.” – The Sunday Times (Hottest Tracks)
“All fuzzy guitars and powerful vocals, ‘in my ways’ is how an intro should be done.” – DIY
““in my ways” is full of irresistible melodies and is the first of many exciting singles” – Notion
“‘in my ways’ pivots between Gen Z grunge-pop and something more colourful…King Isis seems able to chop and change between styles, asserting their own voice in the process.” – CLASH
Oakland-born artist King Isis (they/she) is giving us a taste of what’s to come from their upcoming project next year with the intoxicating new single ‘MAKE IT UP.’ The single comes replete with a vampire-themed video directed by Daddy. It’s the first new music from Isis since the release of their debut EP scales earlier this year on No Matter / Dirty Hit.
The guitar-driven track traverses through the slow burn of a toxic relationship and the hardships of letting go of the attachment of comfortability. Isis explains; “I wrote the first version of this song at home in Oakland, going through lows in love and life. I was experimenting with darker production and more droney melodies, which I felt encompassed the monotonous feeling of just getting through the motions that was my life at the time.”
Music has been in King Isis’ blood for generations. They were taught to play on the same piano owned by their late family matriarch and great-great-grandmother Omega King, one of the first Black opera singers in Chicago. King Isis’ artist moniker pays reverence to Omega’s legacy of pursuing her passion of art and creation in segregated, post-slavery America. “Her name holds a lot of power in my house and in my family,” Isis reflects, “A big part of the reason my artist name incorporates hers is to remind me that there is power in my voice, that music has always been a deep-rooted part of me, and to keep going.”
Growing up, Isis existed on the periphery: coming from a low-income, single mother household, they struggled with feelings of inferiority and insecurity in predominantly white, wealthy private schools. Isis turned to creating little worlds of their own through music and writing. Stifled by years of stringent classic training, they began to explore a more improvisational and experimental approach. Now, King Isis shifts shapes and fuses sounds ranging from indie rock, grunge and R&B to jazz and blues, sweeping through pain, growth, and transformation.
Emboldened by the strength of the maternal figures in their lineage and life, King Isis has always had an affinity for rulebreakers, gravitating towards the kinds of people who go beyond themselves to set the template for change. Sonically, they credit everyone from SOPHIE to Erykah Badu and Tyler The Creator, whilst personally they look towards feminist progressives like Assata Shakur, Angela Davis, Gloria Anzaldua. The communal healing power of music is also a pillar of King Isis’ ethos. They volunteer teaching music classes for low-income communities in Los Angeles, and worked with the FreeStudio Program of Rikers Island, creating a safe creative space for incarcerated youth. King Isis finds power and freedom in sound and is a firm believer in creativity as fuel to the revolution.
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