Interviewed by Brian Rademacher
Date: October 2011
Brian Rademacher: Hello Issa and welcome to RockEyez.
Issa: Hi, thanks for having me.
Brian Rademacher: "Sign Of Angels" came out in 2010 and you worked with Ronny Milianowicz (SAINT DEAMON). That album to me seemed more spiritual than the second album is that true to you?
Issa: It all depends how you look at it. Itís definitely more spiritual with songs about angels and things like that. The first album was a little harder than the new one. I think its cool not releasing the same style record every time, kind of gives you a little bit of a surprise.
Brian Rademacher: Early in your career you worked with the THE QUIREBOYS, NAZARETH, STATUS QUO. How did you work with them or did you open for them at concerts?
Issa: I worked with so many bands but with THE QUIREBOYS I was working on a cruise ship, like a rock festival thing. I was in contact with the a little bit later on too. Yeah I hooked up with them and did a song with them on stage. The next time they were in Oslo they called down to see if I could do a song with them unfortunately I couldnít work it with my schedule.
Brian Rademacher: Your second album "The Storm" is getting ready for release on Frontiers records on October 18th. The new CD seems more about love than spiritual things. Do you see it that way?
Issa: This album I worked a lot more on myself. Itís been a turbulent year and a lot of things going on and itís a bit of a reflection on that reality. It was real cool that I had to write some of the songs myself on this record compared to the first album which I didnít write anything even though Iíve been writing for years, it seemed I didnít have the right material on the first release. This year I hooked up with some of the guys that I worked with on the first album and we wrote a lot of songs and some of those songs went on to other acts. I didnít know when I was going to release another album and Frontiers contacted me in December to work on a new album and start recording in March. We pulled out some of the material that we wrote beforehand like "Invincible". Itís a bit of a different record probably more about love.
Brian Rademacher: Was it nerve racking writing new songs for the new CD "The Storm"?
Issa: Definitely, the funny thing when these songs were writing I didnít think about it. I didnít sit down and say Iím going to writing new songs for my new album. I would just writing songs and find out what album or artist the songs are going to end up on. I was really happy how the songs came out and itís a lot more on your shoulders when you writing songs yourself for your own album.
Brian Rademacher: Reading past reviews many writers are paying more attention to you as a sexy female than paying attention to the songs. Does that bother you at all?
Issa: I donít really know; business is business. To be honest, to be female and to be in this industry is not as easy as people might think. Especially around rock music and metal because it is male dominated. I think you get judged about everything you do. My life has always been a focus on the music doing videos and having fun. I love to dress up and Iím very feminine so I donít think thatís a bad thing. I donít think I should let myself go in a different direction because people want me to, I like being sexy. You canít get away with anything in this business just looking good you have to have talent and good music and I hope that is what people see and hear.
Brian Rademacher: They also mention that you are sexy as hell but you can also sing. Does that make you happy?
Issa: (laughing) Of course it does but I want to be recognized for my music. I think being sexy and using your looks is just a fun thing. Iím a hard working musician and Iíve been working since I was very young. Like anybody else Iíve been struggling but Iíve been working really, really hard.
Brian Rademacher: On the new release I see a name on there who is a good personal friend, Chris Laney. Did you work with him personally?
Issa: To be honest I really havenít talked with him but when we sat down to chose songs for this album Chrisís song "You're Making Me" went on the new album. So Iím sure Iíll have a chance to talk to him soon.
Brian Rademacher: Do you have a personal favorite that you like singing on this album?
Issa: Definitely! There were some songs I was a part of and I did the demos on them already. Some of the songs were already familiar and some songs were new and I would have to pick what we wanted to use. I think it was easier to create your own sound and do something new and creative with a new song than a song that you have already recorded. Like "Invincible" which is a massive huge ballad I did the demo like eight months ago I just took it home and worked on it from home and I was happy with the demo. Than eight months later I had to re-record the song and I just could not get the vocals like it was on the demos. I spent hours on it and in the end you just have to be happy with it. I would not say that song was hard to sing but hard to re-create with all that emotion I had as it was on the demo. Itís one of my favorite songs. I like "Take A Stand", "We're On Fire", "You're Making Me" is a really cool song too. I have a lot of favorites!
Brian Rademacher: A lot of the new reviews are comparing you to Celine Dion, what are your feelings about that?
Issa: Oh God, I absolutely love it. Iím a huge fan of hers and I take that as a big honor.
Brian Rademacher: How is Frontiers Records treating you?
Issa: Awesome! I just came back from Napoli. I was invited by Frontiers to come down and do an acoustic concert. They had a conference with all the Europe label managers and all the promoters. I went down there and had a chance to meet them for the first time. It was awesome and they are such nice people and very supportive. Iím happy to work with them and they are treating me good and doing everything they can for the record. It was a special experience.
Brian Rademacher: So you had an album in 2010, 2011 whatís up for 2012 another album?
Issa: I hope so. I think Iíll be more prepared and I would really like to write the whole album myself. I worked with really great people who wrote for me and helped me with input. My goal is to write the next whole album myself and have it released in 2012.
Brian Rademacher: So what is a normal day for you?
Issa: I recently moved to England eight months ago to work more with music. So I get up in the morning have a cup of coffee and relax a bit. Try to write a little, lots of interviews and try to book some gigs.
Brian Rademacher: When the tragedy happened in Norway what was your feelings?
Issa: It was a tragedy. The funny thing is the place where it happened I use to work there before I moved to England. If I was at work that day I would have passed that exact spot. I would have been in the middle of it all, I could have died. It was a true tragedy with all the children, it was awful. It was cool to see the country sticking together and helping each other.
Brian Rademacher: On a better note congratulations on the new album and I wish you the best. Would you like to say anything in ending?
Issa: I would like to say thanks a lot and I hope you enjoy the album, byeÖ