Meet Oregonian and musician Isaac Turner. Isaac’s abilities with writing, singing, producing and playing an amazing guitar are great but for me it’s his passion that pulls me into his music. His excitement for his songs and performing live are contagious. Listening to him talk about what he loves about music and what he does makes me want to pick up my dusty (and maybe rusty) acoustic thing that has been staring at me for months and try again to play. He performs live all the time, you can catch him playing in Oregon constantly. I however, will just have to listen to him tell me how great it was yet again, until he shows his face in good ole Nashville! But I think with as great as he sounds and as hard as he works, it won’t be long! Check out his upcoming performances and his new album IT on his website and see what Isaac has to say about himself and his music…
-What got you started in music?
My music journey started when my friend had an extra ticket to see Less than Jake and Hot Water Music when I was 14. At the time I listened to Tupac and Snoop Dogg and wasn’t into rock stuff at all so I declined. Took him up on the offer cause it was free and had nothing better going on with my life. At that show seeing those bands standing up there with their guitars singing their hearts out I was mesmerized by the energy exchange between the performer and crowd. It felt like something surreal. In that moment I knew that was what I wanted to do with my life.
-When did you begin to write songs and play?
After that show I wanted a guitar so I started saving my lunch money saving 3 dollars a day hiding it under my stereo. One day I had enough for a package on eBay and went and told my stepdad I wanted it. He said okay where is your money and I brought him my one dollar bills. I remember the look he gave me and asked where I got the money. I lied and said I saved it from Christmas. He didn’t believe me but bought the guitar. As soon as it showed up I immediately started writing and singing with voice memos on my computer.
-You seem to have the support of friends and family, how important is that to you?
My music is basically a family effort. At the shows my stepdad does lights and helps set up and move gear. My mom does merch and helps with sound. In the beginning my sister did all my photography and shot the videos. Recently I’ve started working with some other people.
-What kind of music do you listen to?
I listen to a lot of folk and some indie rock. My two favorite artists are Shakey Graves and Ed Sheeran.
I perform with a suitcase drum because of Shakey and started using a loop station because of ED
-You are constantly doing shows. Is performing your favorite part of this whole process?
Performing used to be my favorite part. Doing so many shows its kinda lost its magic sauce for me honestly. Every once in awhile the stars align and a show is just amazing.
I really enjoy the writing part the best. Looking back at some of the songs that have defined me there was a point where it was brand new and I never shared it and had that feeling of “I hope people like it”. Also when I finish a song I listen back to my iPhone demo and realize that I created a song from nothing. Its very fulfilling and the excitement for what it will do is pretty great too.
-What is a show like for you? Do you sing all your new songs? Any crowd favorites?
A show for me I try to make an experience for my fans. I’m very aware of my energy and try to be positive an up lifting so hopefully I can project that to the audience. I want people to leave my show feeling happy about their experience and life. Every song from my new album is on my set lists. Only two from the old IT EP I still play in the sets. The crowd favorites are also mine because of the energy I receive by playing them. “Meant
To Be”, “Boomerang”, & “The Girl With The Guitar” off the new album. “Music-Man” off the old EP
-How do you come up with a song? What is your process like? Do you have to be in a certain place or around certain things?
I usually come up with my songs just by living and collecting experiences. But the process is I just set up my writing space with a guitar, paper, and pen with the intention of writing. I usually just start messing around and let subconscious thoughts surface. At some point I get a direction and usually just try and focus in on it.
-What is next for you?
Well I hope to start playing some bigger shows and basically just move into the next tier of music. Still in the local stage and basically am looking to get a song to get some traction on YouTube so I can fill some bigger spaces. Working on the next record with some new experiences and more live performance knowledge under my belt. Hope just to move forward and continue to do what I love and people like it.
-Do you have a favorite karaoke song?
I actually only very recently sang karaoke for the first time a about month ago. It felt kinda like cheating cause I only did songs I actually cover live in my set lists. Ed Sheeran’s “Don’t” is definitely my favorite to perform at karaoke though.
-What is the song you wish you had written?
Not sure there’s a song I’ve wished that I has written but my all time favorite song is “Forgive Me” by Missy Higgins. Its the only song I cried the first time I heard it.
To keep up with Isaac and everything he is doing check out all these places…
IsaacTurner.com and Like and message him on Facebook, SoundCloud and subscribe to his YouTube Channel. His new album is available for download on iTunes here. And he is a Breedlove Guitars endorsed artist, which you can find out about more of that here. Thank you Isaac for this great interview!