Jake Isaac

Singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer Jake Isaac is an undeniable talent.

It takes passion, skill and a hardworking ethos to gain traction in the music industry but luckily for the versatile artist Jake Isaac, he possesses every trait needed to succeed in the business. After first learning the drums at the age of three years old, music has been in his blood since he can remember. In his school years, he taught himself piano and guitar, and by the end of his teenage years, Isaac was giving drumming lessons and living as a part-time session musician. Since then he’s worked with artists such as Duffy, Gabrielle, Blue, and Cynthia Erivo to name a few. Thankfully, he then made the decision to pursue his own artistry and the world is all the better for it. Jake Isaac’s sound combines stunning vocals, lush production qualities, and easily relatable lyricism. Over the course of his last two records, the vocalist has supported Sting, Ella Eyre, Paloma Faith, Elton John, and many more. Now, the South Londoner is gearing up to release his third studio album, For When It Hurts on April 14th.  A record that will be sure to elevate him to an even higher position.

In conversation with 1883 Magazine, Jake Isaac discussed his latest single When It Hurts featuring Jack Savorettiplaying Glastonbury Festival & supporting Elton John,  and his production method.



Jake, thanks for speaking with 1883. It’s a very exciting time. You’ve just announced your third record, For When it Hurts, which lands April 14th. Alongside this, you’ve also dropped a new single from it entitled When It Hurts featuring Jack Savoretti. How would you say this new project highlights how you’ve improved upon your craft since the release of your last two albums, not just as a musician but as a producer as well?

Honestly, I’d say that this project has really been a journey of me leaning even more in to the music that I love, soul music. I really feel like this whole thing has been an exercise of me trying to be even more honest with some of my life experiences and communicating them not only in the lyrics but also sonically in the production as well. I think this project highlights my progression with my craft basically by being even more authentic and honest compared to my past projects.


Following on from that, How did the Savoretti collaboration come about? And do you prefer working with others when writing or do you prefer to write solo?

Working with Jack came about from connecting with him perhaps a year or so ago on social media. I think I woke up one morning and saw that he had recently followed my socials. I think I was following him already as I really love his work and I had known of him for a few years being on the singer-songwriter circuit in London. Around this time last year, I was working on the beginnings of this album and I felt it would be great to reach out to him and see if he might be up for joining me on a song. I think I ended up approaching him during the demo stage of writing the song. He heard it and basically agreed straight off the bat! I love working with others in the writing process as much as I love working on my own. I feel like each creative process can produce different outcomes and innovative expressions of creativity.


Two major career highlights so far must surely be when you played Glastonbury’s Other Stage and when you opened for Elton John on tour. What did you learn from these two experiences? They must have both been very surreal moments!

Those two experiences were really massive mile stones for me! Playing the Other Stage at Glastonbury and coming on just before Imagine Dragons was honestly an incredible feeling. If i’m being entirely honest, I think me and my mates were so blown away that we’d just played in front of thousands that we didn’t even realise the company we were in [laughs]. It was the same with the Elton support slots. One of the most specialist moments on that tour was when I opened up for him at Twickenham. If I ever felt a sense of imposter syndrome it was playing that show [laughs]. But upon reflection, I realised that if me and my band can survive those two experiences and not mess it up, then we must be doing something right. All in all, i’m super grateful for both those opportunities.


Can you tell us a little about how you produce your work? Do you have a home studio or do you go into a studio? Is there a certain mic you love using to capture your emotive vocals? You can literally tell us anything you want about producing, we’re happy to listen!

I basically make all my EPs and albums in my pyjamas at home in my little studio setup, it’s real professional [laughs]. A lot of the music I make starts its journey from my house or a writing session with friends. The music then lives with me at home until it’s ready to release or when i think its ready. During that journey, it completely cheeses off my whole household as they have to put up with hearing my songs a countless amount of times. A lot of my production starts with finding great drum sounds, a lot of which I often have my friends play drums remotely and they send over their parts after hearing my beatboxed voice notes [laughs]. During the lockdown, I made most of my last project remotely and my friends would send me cello parts from north London and electric guitar parts from as far as Hamburg, Germany. I feel like over the past few years, I’ve really come to value what it means to live with a song before it is released.



Thematically, the new album opens up a conversation about relationships, love, loss, fears, toxic masculinity and more. These are topics that a lot of men can often struggle to talk about. What’s your relationship like with being vulnerable, do you find it easy to open up and talk about things weighing on your mind? It can be so hard to do but talking about worries always helps.

I’ve often said that I sing the things i struggle to say. This album and the record before are both reflections of that. I think all of the above topics are issues which need a safe space to discuss and what better space to do this than music. I think ones’ ability to be vulnerable can quite often determine the state of ones’ mental health. I think in this day and age it’s never been as crucial for men to find outlets to be vulnerable, particularly with the opposite sex. So much is lost in translation particularly when it comes to relationships. But that’s just my opinion [laughs].


You’re a multi-instrumentalist as you originally started playing the drums at the age of three-years-old. You can also play the piano and bass guitar. This is a difficult question but hypothetically if you could only play one instrument for the rest of your life, what would you pick and why?

It would have to be the guitar. I feel like if i could play guitar, I would always be able to write songs and also communicate those songs well to listeners, it wouldn’t quite be the case if I only played drums for the rest of my life [laughs].


I admire that you’ve been honest about how you’ve juggled two roles in the past, a marketing role in the day and then a session musician job at night. That’s a very good work ethic and it highlights how passionate you are about pursuing your passions. What keeps you motivated in general? It can be tiring being so busy all the time….

There’s a great saying i heard a few years ago: ‘nothing extraordinary happens without risk’. I think in my early days of music, I always had it in the back of my mind, if I didn’t give it a try, I’d never know what might happen. That thought often fuelled a lot of my decisions. my creative expression and pursuits. The unknown is often seen as a scary place to journey to and through but I think that if we can creatively take a bit more risk, even though it is some times hard to, we might find something beautiful in that risk. I hope that answers the question!


Finally, what would you like to manifest for yourself this year?

More rest and time to enjoy the people and things in my life that actually matter.


Jake Isaac’s new album For When it Hurts is out April 14th. Follow @iamjakeisaac


Interview by Cameron Poole


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