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Down the imaginative graffiti streets of East Williamsburg, the red brick building of The Paper Box inconspicuously blends into its surroundings. As an independent music venue, they often showcase eclectic and expressive artists drawing in Isa and her dedicated team.
Isa, a 24-year-old singer and songwriter, has made serious moves in cultivating her musical career. With strong vocals and a classical training, the Bronx native takes advantage of the influences in her cultural background and diverse city setting to refine a distinctive technique.
While Isa readied herself to take the stage elsewhere, I sat at a wooded booth on the sidelines of the main stage with Isa’s core team. It did not take long to grasp how truly essential the connection, collaboration, and support of an artist’s team are. Lauren M., an entertainment attorney, represented Isa’s management; Ruthie, a spunky promoter, handled Isa’s media and marketing; whereas Lauren R. assisted in co-managing.
Brought together organically, the singer describes how the relationship with her team affects the overall success and movement of their shared goals:
Before making any executive decisions, I always consult with them - it's so important to get a wider perspective before making a big decision. Also, there is so much that has to happen behind the scenes before doing something as simple as putting on a show at a venue, releasing a single, releasing a music video, kicking off a campaign, etc. Being able to have the support of others helping you manage the bits and pieces of the puzzles to individual projects, and handling third party relationships in order to release and present all content, is crucial. In times of crisis, it's great to have a helping hand to come up with a full proof, and fast solution. This industry is very last minute, so we're under the pressure of being prepared for any outcome at all times. How you handle these situations is key; our goal is to always be as professional and sufficient as possible.
It was then with Lauren M. that I spent more time understanding the dynamic of the group. Her commitment to the artist she supports also derives from her belief in Isa’s technical abilities and the notion that Isa’s “vocal strength and control set her part”.
Attributing to that distinguishing style is the experience Isa received during her time at La Escuela de Canto de Marianela Sánchez in the Dominican Republic, learning under the wings of the school’s namesake soprano singer. When asked about her time with Sanchez, Isa fondly reminisces on her biggest lesson learned being that “a combination of talent and willingness to work hard and actually work through your art are what get you where you need to be”.
With plans to “tour the world and experience new cultures and people”, after building up a broader English speaking audience the aspiring singer seeks to compose songs in Spanish, French, and Italian- all languages she has sang in before either through musicals or operas.
In the meantime, Isa’s second album of all new original works will be released September 2015.
Ana P. Montes