- Words Notion Staff
- Photography Karina Barberis
- Styling Suzie Walsh
- Makeup Lauren Webster
- Hair Carlo Avena
- Lighting Henry James
The hotly-tipped Welsh pop-singer talks musical firsts with Notion – from picture-book song adaptations to idolizing Busted.
Born and bred in Wales – even starting out writing in Welsh – the country’s poetic traditions have had an undeniable influence on Greta Isaac – but have been startlingly updated with her trademark stamp of rebellion. The young songwriter has been dubbed one of Radio 1’s Future Artists with Jack Saunders and her sound, with notes of noughties rock and even classical, is a winning combination.
Over 18 months of submersion in song-writing, Greta worked with writers and producers Martin Luke Brown, Matt Zara, Mark Elliott and Phil Cook from her bedroom and tiny recording studios to offer up her critically acclaimed EP ‘Pessimist’. The result: an explosive and personal mix of tracks. From “Tomi Losdis Bol”, a tongue-in-cheek track which Greta wrote when only 5 years old, to “How To Be A Woman”, a wry take on gender norms, the young musician is here to stay.
Greta has already clinched a coveted spot on BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend line-up and 2021 promises some more opportunities to see her perform live. To mark the occasion of her latest EP, Greta has exclusively shared her musical firsts with Notion – from Avril Lavigne CDs to tiny nylon guitars.
First song you released officially?
I wrote a song when I was 15 called ‘My Book’ about a very dramatic case of unrequited teenage love. I put it up on MySpace (RIP).
First CD or record you owned?
I’m pretty sure it was either ‘Let Go’ by Avril Lavigne or the first Busted album. Both are iconic truly.
First time you realised you wanted to be a musician?
I knew I’d always make music or perform in some capacity, but it wasn’t until I started listening to women around my own age making similar music and seeing their journey in the music industry that I figured I could try and be an artist too.
First gig you went to?
It was Busted in Birmingham – it went off mate!!
First festival you performed at?
Green Man Festival in the Brecon Beacons. Everyone should try to go to Greenman; the combination of Welsh rolling hills, good people and good music is amazing. They also have a food truck that exclusively sells different variations of toast and tea which sells it for me.
First instrument you owned?
A tiny nylon string guitar and those early 2000s keyboards that had those mad sound effects and pre sets on them
First time you felt like giving up?
A couple years ago when the pressure was too heavy and I didn’t know why I was making music anymore.
First time you felt starstruck?
When I met James Taylor after a show he’d done in Cardiff. I sobbed and my mum thought someone had just died.
First time you heard your song playing somewhere?
Co-Op in Ealing and I was buying a cheese sandwich.