Annapolis, Maryland has a fresh, new budding star ready to emerge from its music scene. Her name is Isabel LaRosa. Her music is a moody, ethereal take on the club scene that draws from Billie Eilish’s earlier days.
LaRosa has already seen 8 million hits with her song “HAUNTED” on the streaming service Spotify and monthly listeners are still climbing. LaRosa has grown and matured since her poppy first back-to-back singles “Therapy” and “Gameboy”, which were released last year. Her newest EP is based upon a trilogy—“HEAVEN”, “HAUNTED”, and “HELP”. She writes about personal situations and experiences about growing up in Maryland and she’s only seventeen years old. Her father, a jazz musician, passed down his expertise to both his son and daughter until they branched out on their own to do their own thing.
Surviving the Golden Age’s Robert Frezza recently sat down with the emerging lyricist and singer to talk about nailing down her sound, growing up in Maryland, and slowly conquering the pop world.
You have matured a lot since “Therapy” and “Gameboy” both lyrically and musically. How did you hone in on the sound for your current EP?
I write a lot with my brother. He produces all my stuff. We experimented with “Gameboy” and “Therapy”. We thought they were good songs but not completely right for me.”
Later, when we wrote “HAUNTED” and “HEAVEN” we were very honestly inspired by the new season of Euphoria. We wanted to write a song that could be in the new season of Euphoria. For whatever reason, it connected well and felt very honest to me. It felt right.
We are never too attached to a particular thing. We wanted to grow and evolve yet keep a core base throughout the music.
You always had music growing up in the background in Maryland. Can you tell me more?
The music has always been on my father’s side. He is a jazz musician. He played a lot of Latin music, especially Cuban music because my mother is Cuban. He always wanted to have children in music. We followed but me and my brother started writing on our own. We just grew up performing everywhere and that gave us the proper experience.
I love Maryland. Sometimes it’s good to live in area where there’s not a lot going on, so that it pushes you creatively.
Can you talk about the lyrics to your songs?
“HAUNTED” and “HELP” are similar topically and speak to experiences with friendships and relationships that are toxic. These songs are based on a feeling that when you leave certain situations with people that never go away, and thus, their opinions hang over you. It’s about giving and listening and never getting anything in return.
“HEAVEN” is written about going to high school parties and seeing people that I know use substances to escape their fears. I wrote about this from an outside perspective. I write about very personal experiences.
RCA records scooped you up in a heartbeat. How did that all happen?
I have been writing and singing for ten years. Signing with RCA was such a fast thing. We knew people at the label just as “HAUNTED” started to gain traction on YouTube and Spotify. I’ve been signed to them for about three months. It’s been wild to talk to labels and have them listen to my music.
How do you come up with the visuals and treatments for your videos?
When we decided to the three songs for the EP, I wanted the videos to be one storyline. I worked with the director Giles Perkins. We did it in such a short amount of time. I take a lot of inspiration from movies that I like. Walking around at night is something I do often. It draws a lot from my personal experiences too.
Do you think it’s an easy or challenging time to make it in the music industry?
There’s a lot of different subsections of pop music today. There are a lot of pop punk artists coming up. I think “dark pop” is a good term for my music. It’s going to be challenging at any time to come up in the music industry. I think they’re a lot of different artists in other types of pop but not a lot doing the dark pop right now.
What else can we expect from you?
Right now, the goal is to get more music out. I’d like to tour, but the timing has got to be right. I love performing. That is the end goal.