Audiofeed 2018 preview: Isaac Stinson
Isaac Stinson will be a fresh face at Audiofeed this year. If you follow the festival’s social media, chances are you may have seen him be advertised as part of the hip hop lineup—it’s stacked, if you didn’t know!
The Tuned Up experience with Isaac goes back to last summer. We met him through Quiet Entertainer (I just had the pleasure of hanging out with this guy last night in Nashville! I’m on a business trip as I type this) and Spoken Nerd, a Mutemath-loving and Tycho-inspired electronic artist, and quirky hip hop artist, respectively. These three dudes went on a short tour last summer which brought them through Victory’s Live in Columbus for a Tuned Up event. I remember being a little apprehensive at how Isaac, who by his branding wasn’t shy about his faith, would go over late at night in a bar setting. Would it be too “Jesus-y” for the other bands and attendees? The answer was a resounding “No!” While I appreciate artists being bold, I’m also conscious of the environment Tuned Up hopes to curate depending the location. Isaac should fit perfectly on the Audiofeed lineup, and you shouldn’t miss his set.
Tuned Up: Sum up the band’s sound like you’re describing your favorite beverage (hot or cold)
Isaac: Hey Ryan! Thanks for having me. I’d have to go with high-end espresso. Overwhelmingly, coffee is a bitter drink. Once you’ve had plenty of it, you start picking out some of the flavors and tasting notes that sets it apart from other roasts and origins. Eventually, you can get some pretty wide-ranging flavor profiles, but none of them are strong enough to overpower the overarching bitterness. Otherwise, it wouldn’t really be coffee, would it?
When’s the last time you were really gripped by a piece of music? Tell us about that.
I listen to a decent amount of music, and I try to find new artists often. Occasionally, I’ll be listening through a new artist radio station on Spotify and come across a song I just can’t shake; other times it’ll be from listening to a new album from an artist I already appreciate. 2018 has been an incredible year for hip-hop, so I’ve got to share a couple of songs that have done so. Saba’s “LIFE” on Care for Me is unreal, J. Cole’s “Window Pain” and “ATM” (along with the entire KOD album), and Royce da 5’9” with “Boblo Boat,” and “Power.” Of this list, Royce’s feel is the least contemporary but his album is such a powerful look into his experiences growing up—it’s hard to listen to straight through.
What do you think of music fans using the term “stan” to describe being a superfan? I’m behind on Twitter lingo and still forming an opinion.
Is that something that happens? I’m so seldom on twitter, but I can see that. Seems a little late for that reference to be honest but I get it I guess.
Who would you like to see play Audiofeed in the future?
I’ve started working in the past couple of months with an artist who goes by S-Wrap. He’s coming up on his first full album release in the next few weeks, and the guy is fire. Really looking forward to seeing what else he comes out with this year, and I think he’d be a great addition to the lineup in the next couple of years. Also, Columbus rapper Taelor Gray has been a favorite of mine for years and years, I would pay an entry fee (or do a set, I guess) to see his set alone.
What’s a hobby you (or someone in your band) enjoys that would surprise people?
I’m pretty into cooking my own Nashville hot chicken. Maybe I’ll bring a setup to the Audiofeed campground.
How do you find out about new music?
Oftentimes just starting Spotify radio stations from songs I like in a previous station. It can get pretty deep into it through that route, so I’ll end up finding some relatively obscure artists and sounds that way. Social media is another huge one. I know how hard it is as an independent artist to get your music out there and actually have other people listen to it, so I make a point to give a follow on Spotify and an actual listen to anyone who reaches out. Doesn’t hurt anyone to help someone else’s stats out, even if I don’t end up liking the music.
What releases from 2018 have you enjoyed so far?
Saba’s “Life,” J. Cole’s KOD, Royce da 5’9”’s Book of Ryan, Sylvan LaCue’s Apologies in Advance, Earthgang’s Royalty, Logic’s Bobby Tarantino II to start with; that should keep listeners busy for a while.
Do you have a favorite music festival memory? Tell us about it.
Interestingly enough, I’m not a huge fan of attending music festivals, so I’ve only ever been to a couple. I was at Memphis in May a couple of years ago and got to see “Centerfield” by John Fogerty live on the way out, which is one of my favorite songs in general. That was a pretty solid way to end the day.
What’s something about your hometown you’d encourage travelers, whether or not they’re in a touring band, to take advantage of?
Please try the hot chicken in Nashville. Check out Prince’s (the original) or Pepperfire (my favorite). Hattie B’s is good, but the line isn’t worth waiting through when you’re only in town for a little while. Also, I’ve got to shout out Santorini, the little Greek drive thru about 2 minutes from where I lived on Murfreesboro Road for 3 years. That place is incredible despite appearances, and I had it at least once a week (I still stop there often even though I live nowhere near it anymore).
Take this moment to tell the people of Tuned Up about what your project has coming up that most excites you.
I’ve put out two projects so far this year (Hero, a 12-track album, and Transit, an 8-track EP), for both of which I’m receiving incredibly good feedback. More than anything, I’m looking forward to getting these projects the amount of live shows they deserve. Audiofeed is certainly a good jump into that, followed by some light touring and Overcast Hip-Hop fest in Cincinnati to finish the summer up. I’ll have a couple of singles out during that time as well, but the next full-length will likely land in January of 2019.