Isis is Coming: From Long Beach to Music City, Isis Christopher steps out as outlier onto Nashville music scene

By MIKE PATTON | Nashville Voice

Nashville is more than just country music. Artists around here sing all kinds of music and are very talented. One artist that sticks out with her talent is Isis Christopher.

The music industry, however, isn’t exactly the easiest to maneuver here in Music City, especially when the city is known as a country music town, but Christopher said she takes it all in stride.

She said, “Nashville can be a little cliquish. I’ve never really been the one to stick to one group. I’ve always been the divergent person, so that’s never really applied to me, but I just overcome most of those potential pitfalls by creating my own lane on things.”

At the end of 2018, the R&B artist recently dropped a visual for her single, “Colors.” She has also been making her rounds on the Nashville music scene with performances here and there in local venues.

“I started out doing open mics and have had a good number of opportunities that have really just been guiding my path in a sense because every opportunity has been challenging me and I keep building on my skills and my everything as a musician,” Christopher said. “Longer sets, numbers of songs, things like that. It’s been fun.”

Christopher may be pretty new to the music scene, but she is an immensely-talented artist that can arrange and write her own music as well as play instruments.

On her latest effort — a mixtape titled, “14:14” — she wrote, arranged, performed background vocals and produced the entire seven-song effort, which can be streamed online via SoundCloud

For those not familiar with Christopher’s sound, she described her music as “like a fountain in Nashville’s Bicentennial Mall: it’s ever-evolving, refreshing, honest, bare, sweet and attractive.”

But what really makes her tick and how did she become who she is now?

“I’ve always been around music growing up,” she explained. “My dad played the piano at church and me and my sisters sang in the choir, so naturally, the house would be blasting gospel music like Kirk Franklin. I’ve always been around music and instruments.”

Born in Long Beach, California and raised in Cerritos, California, Christopher made her way Nashville from the West Coast as a student at historically Black college, Fisk University.

“I found myself in Nashville because Fisk University recruited me and I received a tuition scholarship and I also have family out here in Tennessee,” she said. “My mom is from here.”

While coming to school was the plan when she came to Nashville, Christopher admitted that she never really thought music was in the cards.

After all, she was a biochemistry major from California just enjoying life as a college student.

But, then, one event changed the trajectory of it all.

“What really sparked (my decision to practice music) was a breakup,” she said. “It was pretty vicious. I just naturally turned to music as that therapy and that’s just kind of when I really started opening more into music and understanding its elements.”

As college was ending, this new journey was opening up for Christopher, as she began to really consider a career in music.

“I grew up a lot on Aaliyah. I had her albums and the DVD that had all the videos on it. I wanted to be her. I feel like she’s a big influence on my overall package as an artist,” Christopher said about who inspired her sound. “And Torrey Kelly is a pretty big influence also, especially when crafting my live shows and actually playing instruments and singing.”

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