Close-up Culture’s James Prestridge chats to pop singer Issie Swickle about her new music, working with producer Andrew Lane, taking inspiration from Lady Gaga, and much more.
Q: ‘Mirror’ came out earlier this year. I was impressed by its positive and mature message. How special has it been to see the song out there and the response it has gotten?
A: Mirror was my first song that I wrote and it truly came from the heart. It’s really all about facing who you are and being the best of you. It’s about honesty.
It’s so cool to see the reaction to Mirror and that people see the message behind the song. That’s the important part. The fact that people like the song is the icing on the cake.
Q: The music video was impressive too, especially the costuming and lighting. How did you find the experience of making the video?
A: Thanks for liking the video. I loved making it. The makeup and costuming was the best part. Being able to go crazy with makeup and glamming it up was fun.
I’m about to shoot my second music video for my next release, Me, You (song set to be released early September and then followed up with a video at the end of the month), and I cannot wait!
Q: Can you tell us about your time working with producer Andrew Lane and why you make such a good team?
A: Andrew Lane, I can’t say enough about him. He was the first “music industry” person I met in LA and has been amazing for my development. He is known for working with young artists and developing them. He produced and co-wrote Mirror with me and three others songs that I can’t wait to release!
Writing and producing music with Andrew is just so easy and natural. He has been an incredible source of guidance and support. It is a privilege to work with him and I will jump at the chance to do it again in the future!
Q: Another important person in your life is your older brother. How important has he been as a role model and to your progression as an artist?
A: My older brother Max has been a huge support to my career in so many ways. He has sacrificed his time with me and my mom so I can pursue my dreams. He has been incredibly unselfish and there are no words for my appreciation of that.
Plus, he also makes incredible beats and has a great ear for music! Anytime I’m writing I always ask him his opinion on the song because I know Max knows what he is talking about. I look to him for “teen guidance” on so many levels and he is a cool older brother.
Q: I saw an awe-inspiring cover you did of Lady Gaga’s ‘Shallow’. Is Lady Gaga – as an multi-talented artist – someone you aspire to?
A: Absolutely! She is incredible. Her passion for her performances is what is so inspirational. I hope I can grow as an artist and a person and one day have that same passion for when I perform. She puts one-hundred percent into her performances and that is what I have yet to accomplish. I know I am only 14 years old and it will take life experiences for me to get there, but she is what I aspire to.
Q: From performing in ‘Annie’ to being on stage at Kidzcon, you are no stranger to performing live. Do you still get nerves or is the stage just a second home for you now?
A: Broadway performances like Annie are so different than pop/individual performances. Making the transition from Broadway to pop singer/performer has bee a growing experience and fun! I love being on stage and it does feel like a second home. I still get nervous and I always think I will but it fuels me and gets me amped for each performance. Every time I overcome the nerves it’s just another accomplishment.
Q: I’m used to seeing people share pictures on the beach at this time of the year, but you recently went to snowy Alaska for some dog sledding. How was that experience?
A: Alaska was incredible. It was a family vacation and to have down and gave us some down tine. I love the cold because I’m from Florida and so used to experiencing the beach!
Q: What is next for you? Any ambitions or plans to share with us?
A: I just wan to keep putting out music and I have a few things in the works that will be revealed before the end of the year! Some exciting things ahead.