Gregory Alan Isakov has been described as a strong, subtle lyrical genius. Born in South Africa, he now resides in Colorado when he is not on tour. His songs hone a masterful quality beyond his years and tell a story of miles and landscapes, and the search for a sense of place. Isakov has played numerous music festivals and venues across the U.S., Canada, and Europe. When he is not on the road or writing, he is usually in his garden. He has a degree in horticulture which might seem contradictory to a life spent in motion, but Isakov finds balance in the quiet concentration of the work, creating roots that keep him connected to home. His newest album, The Weatherman will be released on July 7th . Isakov's third full-length album was written in the cozy mountain town of Nederland, Colorado. The songs were tracked on analog gear and mixed to tape, resulting in a record that evokes the vintage sounds of its creator’s influences. Take that, digital! The first song, “Saint Valentine” dropped on May 3rd.
CincyMusic.com: Does your degree in horticulture play a part in the way that you tour?
Gregory Alan Isakov: Yeah, you know I like to work mostly on my gardens in the summer but it looks like this summer I will be on the road with the new record, so we are going to be traveling around a lot.
CM: How did you get started as a musician?
GAI: I always played music. It was something that I always had for myself and did everyday. I started playing out in high school and I had a lot of bands. Then I went to college and played here and there but never thought I would be doing this all the time. It took a lot of time and attention to really to see it through. More of in a songwriting stance but also logistically and touring. Selling records and all that stuff.
CM: What inspires you to write?
GAI: I go through different phases of kind of curiosities, I guess. I write allot more of out of practice. Almost every day and what makes it into a song is …well I kind of never know what happens with that, they just happen. I do keep a pretty good writing practice, mostly prose and poems. Some of that will make it into a song but a lot of it doesn’t.
CM: What has been your biggest moment so far?
GAI: I have that allot. I’ll be at a show and I can feel the whole room get quiet and it kind of feels like everyone in the room disappears. Or someone writing me and telling me that a song I wrote meant something to them or that it was with them at a hard time in their lives. I always feel really blown away that I get to be a part of someone’s life that I don’t even know. It’s pretty cool.
CM: Any advice for artist just starting out?
GAI: Yeah, people write me allot with similar questions. It changes from time to time but for me, I think there is a lot of pressure to get your career started by using all of the social media outlets. But I think it’s better to spend time on your songs, your writing and listening rather to spend time on those. Just spend more time on your songs than trying to promote whatever it is you are trying to promote. Because I think that good songs will always find a way to people. Even if it has to be a little bit slower because you don’t have a Twitter or Facebook page. The quality will come through.