It’s been one hell of a start to 2021 for rising alt-pop star Issey Cross. In mid-January the artist burst onto the scene with her vibrant debut offering ‘WHO’, a fiery left-field pop track that not only showed Issey’s endless potential, but also enamored her to thousands of new fans. The artist followed this perfectly with ‘Boys Make Promises’, an emotive single that offered the ideal prelude to her debut EP ‘Mirrors Don’t Lie’, set for release March 25th via Cult Behaviour. We caught up with the artist to talk about her latest release and her ambitions for the future.
Issey started making music as young as 13 when her father brought her first guitar, from then a love blossomed that would lead to Issey being one of the hottest young artists around. Issey has a distinct alt-pop aesthetic and says it’s something she’s “always loved listening to since I was young. But in my teens, I was obsessed with Lorde, so I guess a lot of my inspiration comes from her. Her lyrics are amazing, and the melodies are always so good!”
The artist’s debut EP has, of course, come with its challenges, in her wildest dreams probably not quite a challenge like a global pandemic, but nevertheless Issey is still “so excited for everyone to hear it!” adding “It’s been a bit strange releasing my first songs in lockdown as I’ve always imagined being able to celebrate my first releases with my friends and family and also doing live shows which will hopefully be able to go ahead soon.”
‘Mirrors Don’t Lie’ is a collection of songs that work so fluidly together. Issey’s stunning vocal range is reinforced by a premium level of production that gets the very best outcome. With both working together so naturally, it sounds as though Issey produced it herself, instead she worked with an abundance of talented producers regularly in preparing this EP, as the artist explains, “Sometimes I start an idea at home and produce it the best I can and then take it into the studio to finish but most of the time I spend my days in the studio with another producer. I have quite a few producers that I work with regularly such as Ebeneezer, adp, risc and hight. They’re all so talented and some of my favourite people to work with at the moment.”
Issey’s song inspiration comes from an emotive standpoint, whether that’s from her own standpoint or through others, it’s something that transcends clearly through her music. “Most of the songs on the ep I wrote about 2 years ago now! I guess that period of time was when I realised that I had found my sound and what kind of artist I wanted to be.” The artist states, “A lot of the songs I write are about certain situations in relationships or my own feelings. I’ve always loved to write about someone else’s story and put it into my own perspective.”
The rest of 2021 sure is looking bright for Issey as she explains her hopes for the rest of the year, “I’m hoping this year I will be able to do some live shows and maybe do some shows around Europe! Also, I’ve got another EP coming after this one and a lot more music in the works. I also would love to start writing more for other artists this year too and work on being able to produce better by myself.” ‘Mirrors Don’t Lie’ is a great way to introduce yourself, a mix of powerful production, a voice worthy of any accolade, and an intricate storytelling approach to her song writing sure makes Issey Cross one to watch in the future.
You can listen to Issey Cross’ debut EP ‘Mirrors Don’t Lie’ below.
Words by Owen Quinn