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Artist Spotlight: Isaia Huron

Isaia Huron recently embarked on his first-ever tour, supporting the synth-funk artist Chiiild, after only premiering in the music scene as a solo artist in 2020. I sat down with Isaia the day before his show in Boston to find out more about his story of showcasing so much talent within such a short timeframe.

Isaia first started out musically by picking up the drums at 14. Growing up, his whole family sang, so he was under the impression that anyone could sing. While it was never something he set out to do, singing has come easily to the young artist. When the pandemic hit in 2020, Isaia resorted to making and singing music because the state of the world "left him no choice." He shared that in twelfth grade; producers of a rap group heard Huron singing and, recognizing his melodic talent, sent him a song to sing over. The revenue that came in from the Soundcloud posting was motivating enough, but seemingly-endless months in quarantine pushed Isaia to keep creating. Since then he has blossomed into the artist that he is now.

Most recently, Huron has put out LIBBIE 02, the re-recorded edition of his first album Libbie, which debuted three years ago. It’s rare and difficult for an artist to reproduce work that has already been mastered, especially to do it even better than it was done before. Huron somehow found a way to beat all odds with this project release. Enhancing his vocal and acoustic performance on every track, Isaia delivered a collection that is a testament to his artistic journey - a marking point of his "minimalist era," as he refers. An odd feat to take on, Isaia Huron says that rerecording this album "felt like the right thing to do with everything that was going on at the time." Looming on the criticism he received on the original take, Isaia wanted to approach Libbie from an acoustic perspective, one that challenged the non-cohesiveness that the album previously received criticism for from others. Recording it in just two days, Isaia emerged from the ashes of Libbie and found a completely new artistic angle to produce LIBBIE 02.

Accompanying this re-release is the short film Huron directed where he can be seen performing the entirety of the album’s tracklist. Following the influence of this “minimalist era” he is currently navigating, the beautifully shot and edited visual collection of the project's tracks reflects the many layers of Isaia’s artistic vision. A standout feature in his short film is the silver cape that is depicted on the LIBBIE 02 cover art, which can be seen, momentarily, draped over him during a transition between songs. Isaia shared with me that he did this as a homage to James Brown, an artist he has a personal admiration for, and his iconic cape routine. The creative depth of this visual representation of his audible art adds to the ongoing repertoire of Isaia Huron’s artful pursuit.

Isaia says that tour has been weird… but in a good way. From each day and show along the trip, he assesses the crowds, the energies, and the situations to determine what he’ll do next, "I love learning. I just figured out that I love meeting new people two days ago in DC."

This has been a challenge for Isaia as he touched on how being introverted has had an effect on his creative processes. He's touched on the topic in other interviews, and further detailed the kinds of challenges and discomforts he has been facing since becoming a bigger artist. The biggest hurdle for Huron during this period of experience is simple: people. "Finding balance with people is a challenge," he explained, but it is a test of his eagerness to learn. Isaia shared that he tries "to say yes to things that are uncomfortable," explaining that the introvert in him comes out when it comes to the music industry and the over-commercialization he sees within it. "I want to be recognized as an artist," Huron stated, as he explained how he plans to pursue his artistic growth by "treating it as fine art." Encountering all the different eras of reinventing with the goal of "preserving his hunger for music," has kept Isaia grounded throughout it all. He is insistent on staying as true and original to his art as possible, hoping to do it "in a way that no one else is" by curating works of art that are an accurate representation of himself and his art during all the different stages of his life and his career.

Isaia Huron’s passion for his art is inspiring and intentional. These qualities exude through conversation, his stage presence, and the control and connection he develops with the crowd. He took to the stage independently on Monday night at The Sinclair in Cambridge, MA, enhancing the minimalistic nature he has about him during this era. His flawless vocals echoed through the venue, his personal charm resonating with the audience as he encouraged singing along, keeping his beat with snapping, and cracking his sense of humor in between songs. His performance was met with great admiration, from those who knew him and those who were just hearing him for the first time. His genuineness and his passion for his art are a natural attraction that has turned into the energy and love Isaia yearns for and desires. As “weird” as the recognition and the love may be for him, Isaia Huron knows what he’s doing, and he’s doing it well.

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