Alfred Isaac has just graduated from our course with his incredible record and performance ‘When You Stormed My Castle’ which won him the 2022 Ithaca Prize. We catch up with him about his plans to release his debut album and other endeavours.
DMSA: Three words that describe you as a creative person?
AI: Instinctual, Solitary, Haphazard
DMSA: When did you start working with sound and music?
AI: I started playing my first instrument, the violin, when I was a kid. I continued to pick up and play various instruments such as guitar and piano but when it came to practicing I always enjoyed writing my own melodies or songs more than working on my set grade pieces. I had always struggled and disliked working on computers and I had no idea how to record or produce until I was 19. At 19 I lived with a few DJ’s and producers and quickly realised that my frustration of only being able to write songs on guitar and never fully realise them was due to me not using a computer, DAW and audio interface. After purchasing the items I required my true career and path in music started to take shape.
DMSA: In what ways has the DMSA course supported or helped you to develop into who you are today creatively and professionally?
DMSA was not the first University course I attended. When joining the course I found it to be incredibly different to what I had previously experienced, there were unlimited avenues to navigate down and no restrictions on how I tackled them. The free and open attributes of the course and tutors is exactly what I needed and my previous course had lacked this. I went into DMSA very doubtful of what I wanted to do in music, my faith in my songwriting had diminished and I joined the course looking for other paths I could take. During the first two years I went down those paths with the set modules, finding interest in many different areas within the music industry. In my final year all this knowledge and guidance from the tutors took me back to having confidence in my songwriting but now with a wider knowledge and range of skills than I had previously had and with a new sense to experiment and push the boundaries of my chosen field. Being in a classroom of students who may become Sound Artists, Engineers, Producers, Composers, Songwriters or all of the above gave me perspective and knowledge that, I believe, is uncontested and purely a product of the course’s nature to allow the student to take any or all paths with no prejudice to them.
DMSA allowed me to develop myself into who I am as a creative and professional today becoming a performer, songwriter and producer.
DMSA: Can you tell us a few words about When You Stormed My Castle?
AI: “When You Stormed My Castle” is my first ever album that I have created. The album was created in my final year at Uni and involves a mixture of electronic and live instruments that accompany my vocals and lyrics with an emphasis on how the voice interacts with synthesizers. The lyrics are based on self growth, relationships and conflict that stem from my perspective of trying to understand the people close to me. At first an album was all that would have been achieved but with some convincing from my tutor Johanna, it turned into a performance. The performance is an impactful solo show using lighting projections created by fellow students Stephen Samaniego and Wolfgang Dubieniec. I am playing multiple instruments during the performance and singing as well.
The first single “Truths” is out 29/8/2022.
The album will be out at the end of 2022/early 2023.
DMSA: What are your plans for the near future?
AI: I am moving to London to pursue my career as a solo artist and will be booking gigs and events where I can perform my album and gain a stronger following. During this time I will be mixing, mastering and self releasing singles from my album with the first, “Truths” coming out on the 29th of August 2022. The album will be released at the end of 2022 or beginning of 2023 and will be accompanied by a limited run of merchandise and physical platforms. I will also be continuing to mix and master for current and new clients, trying to always improve and obtain the vision for their own music.