Souless and NICE TAPES member Isaac is capable more than anyone else in his league of producing emotive, challenging music that works impressively both instrumentally and with the former collective’s array of dope rappers. We talked about the beginnings of his production career, the music that he’s most proud of making, and the stuff he has waiting to be released.
1. When did you start producing? Your crisp, lo-fi style sounds like the product of years of practice.
I actually started making beats in 2013, it was during my freshman year of college. I remember finding Garageband on my laptop one night and just messing around with it, then I went and found a torrent for Logic Pro X so I could work with a more serious program and really see what I could do.
I appreciate that compliment a lot. I definitely feel like I’ve progressed and gotten better in the amount of time that I’ve been doing this, but at the same time I feel like I still have a lot of room to grow and improve in order to truly solidify my sound, which is an exciting thing to think about.
2. Where are you from, and have you worked with any artists in your local area?
I grew up in Saratoga Springs, NY, which is a small town in Upstate New York. I currently live in Albany, however, and that’s about 30-40 minutes south of Saratoga.
I’ve worked with a few people from the area, but I honestly don’t really feel the need to try and be a part of the music scene around here. Rhakim Ali and I have some stuff in the works, definitely be on the lookout for that. We’ve worked on beats together but lately I’ve been more focused on making beats myself for him to rap on. One of my favorite people to make beats with is the homie no.pulp; he’s from Saratoga also, so I knew him before I even started making music. He was one of the first people from my town that I really saw making beats. I used to hit him up and ask him mad questions when I first started producing, so I gotta thank him for pointing me in the right direction early on.
3. You recently announced you were giving up the ‘sir isaac newton’ moniker and going by your real name. What was the reasoning behind this decision?
Honestly, the name change was something I’ve been wanting to do for a while. I just didn’t feel like sirisaacnewton accurately represented my music or my style overall, the only connection it had to me was my first name. It kind of just hit me out of nowhere one night and I ran with it; I think it will be easier to brand myself going by Isaac LaRue simply due to the fact that it’s my real name; I feel as if it’s also just the best way for me to represent myself as an artist, because everything I create is both fueled and influenced in some way or another by my daily life experiences and the emotions that come from those experiences, whether good or bad. Also, some of the homies hit me up and said to do it cause I had a fire name (lol) so that helped me to actually make a move on it and commit to it.
4. When did you become involved with Souless and have you been able to link up with anybody to work in person?
I think I became a part of Souless sometime in late 2016 or early 2017, I can’t even remember to be honest my memory is terrible. Alpine had linked me with Sekwence to talk about NICE TAPES, which is a small collective that I started a few years back. We kicked it off immediately and never once even talked about it, then he hit me after he had started putting Souless together and I was honored to be a part of it. I already knew ntvrme and revenxnt before Souless, because they’re both also members of NICE TAPES. I haven’t been able to link up with anybody in person yet, but I’m trying to get down to Alabama soon to link with Sek and Xface. There’s quite a few members based out of New Jersey (Barry, Kane, Ntvrme, Revenxnt), which is only a few hours from where I live, so that’s something else that I need to make happen.
5. You’ve collaborated on beats with Killer Kane, revenxnt, klsr and no.pulp, all with incredible results. Do you have any other co-produced songs or tapes on the way?
Thank you man, yeah anytime I work with those guys we come up with some crazy shit, they’re all incredibly talented. You’ll hear more collaboration with all the names you mentioned without a doubt; I’ve been making lots of beats with aptxcry and joel (lovekill) lately, so I’ll probably do a project of some sort with each one of them before the end of the year. Me and Xface been working a lot too, so expect to hear some co-production from us in the future as well. Aside from that I really just wanna work with all the other producers in Souless, and keep working on my own shit.
6. ‘Lunch Meat’ was a really cool song, is that going to be on the next comp tape? I’m looking forward to hearing lots of your production on there.
Appreciate that, I think that’s definitely one of the best songs I’ve produced thus far, shouts out to Kane on that. And yes, that’s the first single off of Comp 2! I’m not sure how many beats I’ve got on there so far but I’ve got a few joints I need to finish up that might be perfect for it.
7. The tracks you produced for Lärs that dropped recently were dope, your song with Larry was amazing, and I heard that you and Sek have something dropping soon. Who would you say you have the best rapper/producer chemistry with in Souless?
Man, dots always snaps on my beats. I was really happy with how that ep we did turned out. Larry went crazy on BOXBRAIDS, I didn’t even know what to say when I heard that shit cause the way I actually made that beat was so weird that I never even imagined someone rapping on it. Me and him got something very special in the works, that’s all I can say. And that is correct, Sekwence and I got a project coming that’ll probably drop in December. It’s hard to say who I have the best chemistry with as far as that goes; I guess I’d say Sek & Lärs simply because I have the most content with them, but honestly anyone in souless is gonna sound good on my beats if it’s the right beat.
8. Your ‘RAPFLIPS’ tape was real nice, I’d love to hear more of that from you. Any ideas down for the next one yet?
Yeah that tape actually got a really good response, better than I expected. I had a lot of fun with that one. I’m definitely gonna drop a RAPFLIPS VOL2, probably this year too. I have a bunch of unreleased joints already that I’ll probably use for it; I’ve got a couple crazy flips from like 2015-2017 that might end up on there. Who knows.
9. What’s next for you as an artist? You should definitely keep up those ‘untitled bumps’ tapes, they act as effectively as sound collages as they do as showcases for your warped beat selection.
Right now I mainly wanna focus on getting more rappers on my beats, and with that, produce full projects for a few different people. Some of those are already in the works. I plan on keeping those going for at least 2 more tapes I’d say, I like grouping projects together like that with a very vague name. The listener doesn’t really know what to expect when they press play, and I don’t feel like I need to stick to one style in the same way I would if the tape was more conceptual, so it’s a bit easier to put those together and provide a wide variety of different sounds.
10. Appreciate this interview bro, glad we locked it down. Any shoutouts you’d like to give?
Yeah man I am as well, thank you for the opportunity and all the support. Shit, shoutout to the whole Souless family, shoutout to my mom & dad & my sisters, and shoutout to UNC wherever he is right now