ISOxo: 我还只是个孩子,不比任何人出色

ISOxo 是谁?
Who is ISOxo?

For those familiar with him, there is no need for elaboration; this alias simply signifies uppercase MAD

However, this “madness” is evidently distinct from the EDM landscape of the past decade. Through it, we can gain insight into the new storm of mainstream electronic dance music and advance alongside the current era, which is equally challenging to easily define.

而对于尚未听过其音乐和领略过现场的朋友来说,ISO也绝对值得你即刻列入重点关注对象,我们完全有理由相信两三年间他便会成为巨星。不论是今年实现又一次进化的Skrillex,还是Porter Robinson、Madeon、San Holo、RL Grime、Alison Wonderland、G Jones等一众才华超群的电音明星,都无不赞叹于他的潜能爆发。
For friends who have not yet heard his music or experienced his live performances, ISO is definitely worth your immediate attention. We have every reason to believe that within two or three years, he will become a superstar. Whether it’s Skrillex, who has achieved another evolution this year, or the immensely talented electronic music stars like Porter Robinson, Madeon, San Holo, RL Grime, Alison Wonderland, G Jones, and others, all of them can’t help but admire his explosive potential.

The San Diego native’s debut album, ‘kidsgonemad!’, released by 88rising, has received widespread acclaim. He is becoming a phenomenon in his own right, causing a frenzy that transcends mainstream perspectives and igniting sparks of hope in the darkness for some.

▎Mixmag China = M

▎ISOxo = I

M:我们知道过去两个月你除了发布了备受好评个人的首张专辑《kidsgonemad!》,还与Knock 2在Shrine创造了4个无与伦比的夜晚,这一系列的成功会影响着你的音乐策略的走向吗,如何保持在音乐上的个人特色和观众之间连接的平衡?
We are aware that in the past two months, you not only released your highly acclaimed debut album ‘kidsgonemad!’ but also, alongside Knock 2, created four unparalleled nights at the Shrine. Will this series of successes influence the direction of your music strategy, and how do you maintain a balance between your personal musical style and the connection with the audience?

I:最近俩月确实很疯狂。我的专辑《kidsgonemad!》终于实现发行,最终创作成果也令我感到满意,因而获得一阵解脱感,但我不知道业界会有怎样的反应。真的,我很惊讶听众们和我一样热爱这张专辑,毕竟它对我意义非凡。在The Shrine首次将整张专辑演完的感觉很爽,现场观众统统陷入了疯狂。我将永远铭记这一切,但同时我不希望这种暂时的“膨胀”改变我未来的创作方式。说到底,我觉得自己并不比任何人更出色,我也只是个孩子,你懂的。而且,我认为其实这就是平衡我个人追求和观众链接之间的原因。
These last two months were definitely crazy. Finally dropping my album kidsgonemad! felt very relieving to me and I was very in love with what I created, but I didn’t know how the community would feel about it. Genuinely, I was very surprised to see that everyone else shared the same love for the album as much as I did, and that meant so much to me. And playing the album in full for the first time ever at The Shrine felt amazing too, seeing everyone go crazy together. I’ll cherish all of these wins deeply in my heart forever but at the same time I don’t want this temporary ego boost to change the way I make my art. At the end of the day, I see myself no better than anyone else, I’m just a kid ya know. And truthfully, I think that is what balances my personal music style and the connection I have with the audience.

△ 依然孩子般的ISOxo

You’ve met Knock2 since the early days of your career, and you’ve formed a long-term musical partnership. Finding a compatible musical partner isn’t easy. In your opinion, what factors have led to you two being regarded as the ‘perfect duo’ in the eyes of many?

I think people love the synergy between me and Knock2 because we’re in two different lanes, but when we merge together our styles blend so seamlessly. Also, I’ve known Richard (Knock2) for almost 10 years now, we’ve seen and grown a lot together and I think people can see the genuine brotherhood between us. ISOKNOCK was never some super thought out and calculated industry shit, it’s just two best friends doing what they love.

△ 值得ISOxo永远铭记的瞬间 w/ Knock2

M:你也曾说过新专辑中与 Ninajirachi 的合作曲《SHYPOP》是与你之前音乐完全不同的作品,你怎样看待和 Ninajirachi 这种前卫流行电子音乐人的合作尝试,以后还会有更多类似的合作吗?
You’ve mentioned before that the track ‘SHYPOP’ with Ninajirachi in your new album is a departure from your previous musical style. How do you perceive collaborations with avant-Pop Electronic musicians like Ninajirachi, and can we expect more similar collaborations in the future?

I wouldn’t say departure from my previous music style, but rather an extension of the ISOxo sound. I’ve always loved pop music and the new age avant-Pop and I feel like Ninajirachi is one of the pioneers of artists thats blending that style of music with dance music. I’ve been a fan of her work for a long time so getting to work with her and pick her brain about producing was so sick. I definitely want to expand upon that side of my palette 

The diversity of styles is a characteristic of your new album. In which music genres do you usually draw inspiration, and which musicians have influenced your music production career?

I:正如我之前提到的,我确实从前卫流行音乐(Avant-pop/Hyperpop)中获得了很多灵感,但最近嘻哈对我的音乐产生了巨大的影响,尤其是新时代的地下嘻哈音乐。像Ken Carson、Destroy Lonely和Bladee这样的艺术家一直是我tracklist中的常客; 而像f1lthy、Starboy、Art Dealer、White Armor等制作人在这个领域都是天才。我特别喜欢在嘻哈制作中融入电子舞曲风格的合成器。
Like I mentioned earlier I do take a lot of inspiration from avant-pop, but recently hip hop has been a huge inspiration on my sound, especially the new age underground of hip hop. Artists like Ken Carson, Destroy Lonely, and Bladee have been on rotation for me for a while. Producers like f1lthy, Starboy, Art Dealer, White Armor, etc are geniuses in that lane. I just love the incorporation of EDM style synths in hip hop production.

How to keep your music consistently fresh and avoid homogeneous?

Honestly, I try not to think too hard about that. Of course I want to be innovative and fresh but I feel like having that mindset blocks a lot of creativity. What helps me the most is just freely making music out of pure fun. I feel like the magic of creativity lies in the passion, not heavily calculating what will sound the most different.

△ ISOxo能让你重拾真实的RAVE氛围

You’ve described yourself as a wizard casting spells when performing as a DJ, and I imagine many DJs who emphasize individuality and creativity resonate with your metaphor. So do you believe that the role of a DJ has undergone significant changes with the evolution of the times?

I:那是我当时突发奇想的一种对我来说很形象的描述,看到其他人对此也有共鸣的感觉很棒。我正在阅读Rick Ruben的有关创意的书,他提到艺术和思想来源于超自然,就像魔法一样。我觉得这说得很有道理,这样思考很有趣。如今DJ这一角色属性的确正在发生着显著的变化。
It’s funny you mention that because that was just a random thought I had that made a lot of sense for me, it’s cool to see others feel the same way. I was reading Rick Ruben’s book about creativity and he mentions that art and ideas are derived from the supernatural, like magic. And I think that makes so much sense, it’s cool to think about.
I could honestly write a whole essay about that question, but yes I do think that the role of a DJ is definitely changing.

In the short-term future, will DJs have a stronger influence on the trends and direction of the music scene?

100% yes, especially with the exponential rise of social media. That could relate back to the previous question, I could write a whole essay about it hahaha.

M:怎么想到 NIGHTREALM 这个巡演名称的,它代表什么意思?
How did you come up with the tour name NIGHTREALM, and what does it signify?

I:Nightrealm was the name of my first EP and at that time I was really inspired by escapism and fantasy, and I feel like the word “Nightrealm” encapsulates that feeling.

M:《kidsgonemad!》是你与 88rising 合作的第一张专辑,这个专注亚裔音乐人的厂牌在东亚和东南亚有着巨大影响力,有没有认识的中国电子音乐人呢?
<kidsgonemad!> is your first collab with 88rising, this label focuses on Asian musicians and has a significant influence in East Asia and Southeast Asia. It includes artists from China, such as Akini Jing and LimboLimbs. Have you been paying attention to electronic musicians from China?

I’m pretty sure I know a handful of artists that are Chinese, but off the top of my head I can’t name any right now. But please put me on to more Chinese artists.

M:电子音乐方面,比如朱婧汐和LimboLimbs 就是同样签约于88rising的华人音乐人哦~未来会尝试和中国的艺术家们一起合作吗?
Will you consider collaborating with artists from China in the future?

Of course, as long as I have a genuine connection with the other person.

M:今年 Madeon 和 San Holo共同来到中国演出,并在中国本土电音节VAC第二天的B2B中,打出多首来自你的作品,这事儿你知道吗?有什么感想?(其实中国应该有很多你的潜在受众)
Did you know that Madeon and San Holo played several of your tracks during their B2B performance on Day 2 of the VAC electronic music festival this year? What are your thoughts on this? (We guess there should be many potential fans of yours in China, actually.)

Oh sick! I saw that they did that but I didn’t know they played my music, that’s so cool. I’ve looked up to both of them a lot when I was a teenager and it’s so cool to see the support, it feels surreal.

△ Madeon & San Holo @VAC

The following are questions that Mixmag collected from two die-hard ISOxo
fans in China. :

@魔法猫咪: 2023年对全球电子音乐可能是具有意义特殊的一年,可以从你个人角度推荐几张最能打动你的专辑吗?

In 2023, it could be a particularly significant year for global electronic
music scene. From your personal perspective, can you recommend
several albums that have impressed you the most?


Caroline Polachek – Desire, I Want To Turn Into You
Skrillex – Quest For Fire

Ken Carson – A Great Chaos
Troye Sivan – Something To Give Each Other

@魔法猫咪: 你觉得目前哪些艺人暂时被严重低估了 (指实力远大于名气)?
Which artists do you think are currently seriously underrated? (which
means their skill level surpasses their level of fame)

I gotta put on my boys RemK, Frosttop, Aleko, and Dryden. They’re paving their own lanes with their music and have their own unique sounds. I learn a lot from them too and I really wouldn’t be there without their friendship.

@柳夜幸音: 给 Skrillex 的歌做母带工程这桩合作体验如何?
How was the experience of mastering Skrillex’s song ‘Good Space’?

I:说实话,一开始接到《Good Space》这首歌的合作确实具有挑战性,因为我怎么可能让一首Skrillex的歌听起来比Skrillex自己的版本更好呢?他发给我的未经母带处理的版本已经听起来令人难以置信了。在我进行母带的过程中,他告诉我要按照我自己制作音乐的方式来混音和母带处理这首歌。这让我充满信心,毕竟他找我合作母带肯定是看重我自己的混母方式和风格。
Honestly, at first it was pretty challenging at first because how was I supposed to make a Skrillex song sound better than Skrillex himself. The version he sent me that wasn’t mastered sounded incredible already. And as I was working on it we had and he told me to mix and master the song how I would do my own music. That gave me a lot of confidence in working on the mix, I mean after all he did approach me to master the song, it would make sense for him wanting me to mix and master Good Space in my own style.