Photo credits: Isabel Pless via Soundcloud
Isabel Pless is a singer-songwriter from Vermont. So far this year, Isabel has been verified on Instagram and released two singles. She will be graduating from Wellesley College in 2022.
Molly: How did you get started writing or performing music?
Isabel: I started when I was 10 and my school offered free guitar lessons, and I was really fierce about it, so I started learning guitar. Then, when I was 12 I started writing songs. I was a poet, I mean I still am, but I found that first [in] early middle school. Then, when I was 12, I put poetry and music together and started writing my own songs. They were always just for me; I sort of did little performances throughout high school, like open mics and stuff. But, it was always sort of a side hobby, a way for me to journal my feelings.
Molly: You were recently verified on Instagram, congratulations, how do you think social media has impacted your songwriting or your career in general?
Isabel: It has made all the difference. I never thought I could do this as a career until I just started posting videos on TikTok and that’s where I was able to garner an audience. It was an incredibly useful tool because I can post from anywhere. You know, I’m finishing my degree at college and last year I was posting from my bedroom in Vermont. So, TikTok has been very useful and a way to get in front of people who want to listen to my music and it’s a way to connect with your listeners, so it has really made all the difference.
Molly: Can you tell me about your most recent single, “Call My Own”?
Isabel: I wrote that song in July of last year when all the billionaires were going to space, and I was thinking a lot about ownership and how much money it takes to go to space and how they could be spending that on other things. And about how I was stuck at home with my parents and not going to space. I was just thinking about being a young person who’s like waiting for all their life experiences to happen.
Molly: Who would you say is your biggest inspiration in music or your biggest influences?
Isabel: I started songwriting because of Taylor Swift, which I feel like is a very popular answer. She is why I started writing music and I still love her, obviously. Then I found Joni Mitchel in late high school, [I’m a] big Dolly Parton fan. I also listen to a lot of Vermont artists like Noah Kahan, Henry Jameson, Grace Potter, yeah.
Molly: Have you been happy about getting back and playing in front of people or do you like the recording aspect of music more?
Isabel: I like both. I mean they’re very different. Performing live has been an adjustment. I love it but I’ve had to sort of learn backwards because I didn’t really start performing for people, so it’s a new aspect of music that I’m building in.
Molly: What are you working on next, or in the future?
Isabel: I have another single coming out in May and this year [I’m] just really focusing on trying to get a lot of music out because that’s one of my favorite parts about being a musician; releasing music. Also doing more live performances, I don’t have any to announce right now but, more of those this year also.
Molly McShane is a fourth-year Media & Culture major with a minor in Journalism. firstname.lastname@example.org