Dorset MC Isaiah Dreads has just dropped his second mixtape ‘Lights Turn Green’ with a big focus on his Jamaican roots splashing across tracks such as ‘Snacks’, along with big band, jazz productions on tracks such as ‘Fall Back’. He only turned 18 this year, but his first mixtape, ‘Nothin But A Mixtape’, garnered support from Pigeons & Planes, Noisey, 1Xtra, Complex and Phil Taggart on Radio 1. We caught up with Isaiah to find out more about his new mixtape.
My top tips for making a good mixtape is just to be creative and have fun.
What made you want to become an MC?
I was surrounded by all types of music growing up and my brother also makes rap music. He was the one who inspired me start doing it most when I was around seven. It wasn’t anything good at this point but he first took me to a studio when I was nine and since then it’s just been something I’ive been really serious about.
Which MCs do you look up to? Is there a particular act or acts who got you into the scene?
Kano, Ghetts, Bashy, Wiley are just some MCs who I listen to daily. I listen to so much more than Grime though, my favourite rapper is Kanye West. I listen to so many different types of music, a lot of rnb and soul. So many genres inspire to keep doing what I do!
What’s the best thing about being an MC?
The best thing about being an rapper is just seeing people enjoy what I make. I don’t think about it too much when I’m writing or recording, I don’t force anything so when I see certain people on social media being inspired by me it’s crazy. It just makes me want to work harder and harder.
How would you describe your lyrical style?
I would describe my lyrical style as different. I’m always willing to try new genres, I never want to box myself as a grime MC or a hip hop artist. I just want to make MUSIC, I think that reflects on my music and lyrical content by some of the things I just to do creatively. On the song ‘My Team’ from my new mixtape it breaks down into reggae half way through, I love doing little things like that.
What was the first mixtape you ever made and why did you make it?
I first got in the studio when I was nine. I used to make little mixtapes when I was young with a rubbish microphone, but the first proper mixtape I did was ‘Nothin But a Mixtape’. It was just a mix of everything I wanted to make at the time, similar to ‘Lights Turn Green’.
What are your top tips for making a great mixtape?
My top tips for making a good mixtape is just to be creative and have fun. For me, a mixtape is a project to showcase what I do and what I can do so I try and be as creative as I can, production wise and lyrically. I think it should be representation of what you do.
Your first mixtape ‘Nothin But A Mixtape’ got support from Pigeons & Planes, Noisey, 1Xtra, Complex and Phil Taggart on Radio 1. How much did that mean to you?
It meant so much to me getting love and support from all those people. Things like that only make me want to work harder, it feels like its paid off when people like the music ive worked hard on making so it was sick.
I hope everyone enjoys the mixtape as much as I enjoyed making it.
What’s the theme of your new mixtape ‘Lights Turn Green’?
There isn’t a theme to my mixtape, I tried to show as many different styles as I could really. Theres grime, hip hop, jazz samples, soul samples, reggae samples. I feel like if someone likes grime/hip hop music there will be a song for them on the mixtape. The concept behind the title however is basically saying how the lights are green and I just need to go and not stop. After I released ‘Nothin But a Mixtape’ and got support from so many blogs and people on social media I didn’t want to take a break, I moved straight onto the next project. That is why it’s called ‘Lights Turn Green’.
How did you approach creating it?
I record and write songs every day so making the mixtape was kind of just approached by doing that. I had so many ideas creatively and had so much fun making it, even now im writing and recording new songs everyday so people should definitely expect more soon.
How do you hope your new mixtape is received?
I hope everyone enjoys the mixtape as much as I enjoyed making it. People seem to really like it on social media which is good, I also hope anyone who listened to my first mixtape can hear some kind of improvement on the new one because thats what I always aim for.
What’s the music scene like in Dorset? Do you have any favourite venues to play in?
Theres not really much of a music scene where I live in terms of people making hip hop and grime music, however a lot of people do support it which is good. I never perform locally because I live in a small town, but in the future I’d love to just pack out somewhere close to me and do a long set.
This year you had live performances on the 1Xtra stage at Reading & Leeds festival and Phil Taggarts Grime Ministers night. What’s on the agenda for 2016?
I loved performing so much this year and I can’t wait to do more sets next year. The agenda for next year is to just keep going like I did this year, I want to put out more music, collaberate with more people and perform at loads of festivals. I’ve got a few surprises lined up aswell so I can’t wait for everyone to be apart of what im doing in 2016.