Written & Interviewed by Bernadette // Photos courtesy of TwntyThree
San Diego-native, ISOxo, is rebelling in the kindest way possible bringing guerilla-style shows literally onto the streets such as last month in an alleyway in Brooklyn, NY to a recreation of the same-style show this month on the west coast off the 10 Freeway in Los Angeles. ISOxo is breaking the mold of what defines live performances. Though some may possibly consider his music and fashion choices to be on the rebellious side of electronic dance music, there’s no denying that ISOxo brings class & sophistication to a whole new level in the most non-conforming way possible bringing energy, heart, style and catchy beats & sounds.
What makes ISOxo an artist to keep an eye on is not only his unplanned rapid rise in the EDM scene, but his talent to break barriers by allowing his passion for music to push him forward in multiple subgenres rather than staying in just one lane. His creative perspective proves his ingenuity goes beyond what it means to be entertaining and skilled. His attitude and talents as a musician bring a dichotomy to the world of pop-culture to which can only be described as sophisticated adolescence. His music can be enjoyed by anyone no matter what age. From softly sweet hyperpop beats to hardcore heavy drum & bass, ISOxo’s debut album released today, kidsgonemad! is perfect for any mood. Seeding a loyal fan base that quickly continues to grow, it’s no wonder that ISOxo has caught the attention of many well-established artists such as Skrillex, RL Grime, Alison Wonderland and Porter Robinson among many others.
Since breaking into the electronic music scene in just a few years, ISOxo is paving the way for the next generation of DJ’s and producers building a following in the music industry with fans at Billboard in addition to being presented as ‘Breakout Artist of the Year 2022’ by Dancing Astronaut. ISOxo was also extended an invitation to perform at this year’s Coachella also showcasing his skills with sets at HARD Summer, Ultra Music Festival, 88rising’s Head in the Clouds Festival and Electric Forest.
From the twntythree, ISOxo shared his thoughts on the new album: “This album can be split into 3 parts. The first few tracks have a cocky, rebellious energy that builds to a breaking point with ‘pressure’. The second part is about trying to reconnect with the passion and feeling of making music with no restrictions or expectations (how2fly). And part 3 builds again into the high energy from part 1 and brings back those themes but from a more hopeful perspective. kidsgonemad! is the whole journey of growth and self-discovery from brash rebellion and angst to hopelessness, and finally acceptance and self-worth.”
Check out Frank151’s interview with ISOxo below:
You’ve worked with so many amazing artists from your collab w/ RL Grime to your Ice Spice remixes to collaborations with Skrillex.. – How did the collaborations come about? / What is your collaboration process?
The collaborations were actually hella natural, everyone I’ve collaborated with I consider a friend. The RL Grime collab came from my friendship with Henry and working with the sable valley crew early in my career. With Skrillex our friendship started when I first helped out with Quest for Fire with some mastering and mixing, but by the time we were done we had gone through a ton of demos and music and it just fit when we tried working on them together.
How was it working with someone like Skrillrex that inspired you to be a musician?
It feels surreal to be honest because he’s the reason why I started making music but it’s very full circle. I’m really grateful that he has enough trust in me to work on music with him and it’s cool because nothing ever feels too forced. it’s comes almost natural to work on some of our collabs because our styles are similar in some sense but different in good ways too.
Is it easier or more difficult working with someone you’re a fan of?
Every circumstance is honestly really different.
What made you decide to remix Ice Spice’s “Mood?”
It’s one of my favorite tracks and the vibe fits with the way I curate my sets.
Any dream collaborations you’d love to do in the future?
Definitely, anyone in the Opium group like Ken Carson or Playboi Carti are dream collabs for me.
In the past 2 years, it feels like your popularity and fanbase has rapidly grown large & wide. -How did you decide to pursue a career in music?
Music has always been a huge part of my life as far as I can remember, I never calculated my way or expected to get here, it just kind of happened which makes me a lot more grateful for how far I’ve come, everything I do is done purely for passion.
How do you come up with music? What is your music producing process? What comes first: lyrics or beat?
Definitely beat, but it’s different every time.
Did you go to school for music or self-trained?
I call it YouTube university, self taught by the internet.
What’s your advice for anyone wanting to become a dj and/or music producer?
Honestly, fuck all the trends and make whatever feels authentic and fun to you.
As an artist, how do you stay productive & proactive in the music scene?
Surrounding myself with people that uplift and inspire you is the most important part, it takes a team.
Who and/or what are your muse(s)? Where do you get your inspiration?
My girlfriend is definitely my muse, she’s been a huge part of not just my inspiration process but also has been the vocal in some tracks as well as featured in some of my content and visuals for tracks.
What’s your pre-show & post-show regimen?
Honestly, style is really important to me so making sure my fashion represents me and I feel confident in what I wear. Not many people know this but I have a lucky shirt I wear.
How was it performing at one of the biggest music festivals (Coachella)?
Do Lab/coachella was one I didn’t expect to play, they came to us only a little before the festival and I was stoked on it, but I didn’t know how the crowd would be. seeing the dancefloor overflow like that was pretty mind blowing.
Any specific moment in your life when you realized that you’ve made it as a musician?
No, because I don’t think I’ve “made it” and don’t ever want to call it that. I’m grateful for where I am but I always strive to keep improving both my music and my performance for not just myself but the fans.
You recently had one of the best live performances ever last month in Brooklyn.. -How did you and Brownies & Lemonade decide on doing such an artistic guerrilla-style show?
Renegade events like that are something I love to do because there’s no rules, it’s just for the fun and the fans. pop ups have been something I like to do for the culture and driving it forward is hella important to me.
What’s one moment that stood out to you about the New York City Alley show?
when the cops came, i think it makes for such a moment, the fear but excitement makes a great story for the fans.
You’re from San Diego, CA.. -What’s the music scene like out in SoCal?
The dance scene is very underground at the moment which is why I like to represent SD, to represent my city
Do you think San Diego has influenced your style in both music & art in any way?
Yes, as mentioned above.
What’s one of your favorite thing(s) about San Diego?
The Mexican food haha its my favorite food.
Knock2 is also from San Diego and is known to be one of your closest friends.. -How did the two of you meet?
We met at the SD county fair in 2015 doing a dj gig, we both were shocked that another young asian dj was performing and it built an instant friendship.
Do you ever help advise one another on music?
Literally every day haha it’s great to have another person to learn from and lean on for inspiration and creative ideas.
Can we expect a collaboration or do you both prefer the separation of business & friendship?
Come to our Shrine shows and see.
You’re about to go on tour at the end of this month for your debut album kidsgonemad!.. -What are you looking forward to most about this tour?
Playing my own shows and music again, the energy is always so much different at my headline shows and finally having my album out is going to give me the ability to play it live to so many fans who have heard some of the tracks, and have been anticipating the ID’s finally coming out.
Your 4 LA shows at The Shrine are already sold out.. -What is it about the venue you love?
The ability to curate a brand new show and creative freedom we have with production, it’s gonna be insane.
Can you give 1 sentence or 3 words to describe what each track on your new album represents to you:
○ kidsgonemad! – fuck you bitch
○ dontstopme! – energy, rebelion, angst
○ MOONSPELL – alluring, whimsical, love,
○ VOXCUTR – this one is very hypnotizing
○ PRESSURE – anxiety, pressure, breaking point
○ Fragile – this ones about being lost
○ how2fly – wanting to feel alive again
○ STARsound – this ones been an anticipated ID that i’ve been working on for over a year
○ SKYLIT – finally feeling alive again
○ IGNORANT – back on my bullshit
○ OK!OK!OK! (with Wavedash) – a collab with wavedash who are great friends of mine
○ SHYPOP (with Ninajirachi) (with Ninajirachi) – self reflection, facing insecurity
○ growing pains – positive outlook
****kidsgonemad! by ISOxo is out now, buy/stream here****
ISOXO KIDSGONEMAD! TOUR ROUTING
10/26 – Suwannee Hulaween – Live Oak, FL
11/18: Shrine Expo Hall Co-Headline Show w/ Knock2 – Los Angeles, CA SOLD OUT
11/19: Shrine Expo Hall Co-Headline Show w/ Knock2 – Los Angeles, CA SOLD OUT
11/21: Shrine Expo Hall Co-Headline Show w/ Knock2 – Los Angeles, CA SOLD OUT
11/22: Shrine Expo Hall Co-Headline Show w/ Knock2 – Los Angeles, CA SOLD OUT