Lush, hypnotic and brimming with alt pop whimsy, the brand new single Body from Aotearoa New Zealand artist Isla Noon is an electrifying ode to growing up from one of the scene’s most exciting up-and-comers. A dynamic addition to Isla Noon’s ever-growing repertoire, Body is also accompanied by an enigmatic music video featuring the artist herself in a potent display against a fittingly eerie locale.
(STM) First up, can you please give us a quick intro?
I’m Isla Noon, an alt-pop artist from Auckland, New Zealand. I recently released my latest single ‘Body’.
Tell us about your new single ‘Body’?
Body started as a way for me to excavate a lot of negative thoughts and associations and get clear on the kind of relationship I’d like to have with myself. I’m particularly proud of the dynamics in this one, going from these melty verses to hit-you-in-the-face choruses when the emotion of the song takes over. It’s a very special one to me and I’m super proud to share it.
What’s the creative process like for you?
It’s changing a lot at the moment! I’m in a real period of exploration and growth with my own creative process. Body was an interesting one because the writing process was like nothing I’d written before. I started the lyric idea as more of a stream of consciousness in my notes app, something I didn’t think I would ever put to music. Soon a few of the lines I’d written in that note started making their way over a chord progression I had been playing around with for ages, and it all sort of came together quite organically from there.
If you could change something about the music industry what would you change?
If I could change anything about the industry, it would be more viable income streams. Over the last few decades the industry has changed so much, and the sale of music doesn’t bring in what it used to. I’d love to see my artist friends be fairly compensated for the immense work and heart that goes into their music and creative projects.
What do you think life would be like for you if you didn’t have music/visual art as an outlet?
I think I would still be a writer, just not the musical kind. I’ve always loved writing but it’s more than just a creative outlet, it’s how I process life! I’m not sure I could get by without something that could act as that lens.
Is there anyone you would like to collaborate with?
So many people! I look up to so many artists and it would be a dream to collaborate with any one of them. At the moment I’m actually looking at a lot of visual artists and designers as I prepare for my next release, and I’m really excited by the prospect of that collaboration. I’ve always put my own imagery together so I’d love to experience working with someone else on that.
What’s your advice to young people who want to make a career for themselves in the industry ?
I think having multiple ways of engaging with the industry or multiple skillsets is a great advantage to making creative work sustainable. Whether you are an artist who can also produce for others, or you’re a great keys player who can double as a session player. Sometimes having those other skills in your kit or doing work with someone else can lead you to an opportunity for your own music. It’s just about getting in there in some capacity, meeting people and showing you’re good to work with.
What’s your favourite song to perform?
Hands down my most recent single Body. There’s just nothing like that chorus coming out of large speakers! I also love performing a song called Talk About Us, which I released in 2021. I have such a soft spot for that song and it has some really fun melodies to sing.
Got any secret hobbies that we might be surprised by?
Not sure it’s a total surprise but I love clothing and fashion. I also love challenging myself to put looks together with second hand and/or vintage pieces for my videos and performances. I think a love of fashion doesn’t have to exist in a space where you’re constantly acquiring new, and I find it more interesting to source unique pieces and customise them. I also do a liiiittle bit of film photography - as featured in the cover art for two of my singles ‘Summer in August’ and ‘I Need To Go Home’.