Multi-instrumentalist and songwriter ISKO, Isak Dennholt, had a chat with us at his music studio, located underground in Stockholm. At the studio, which was filled with some modern and some almost ancient musical equipment, he showed us snippets from his upcoming projects and gave us insights into his creative process. ISKO is raised in the suburb of Solna outside of Stockholm, where his interest in songwriting started. He has released multiple songs on streaming services and does not plan on stopping anytime soon.
How would your friends describe you?
Hmmm, I don’t want to pat myself on the back too much, but I think they would describe me as a good friend. I think they would say that I’m someone you can talk to and that I'm fun to be around, but that I sometimes don't think twice about the things I do.
What was the initial spark that made you passionate about music?
I learned quite early that I neither had the interest nor the talent for any sports or other activities that I tried, in order to fit in with the other guys at school. I felt like a real loser until I got my first guitar for Christmas in 2006. It was a really shitty J&D that I don’t even think you can find in stores anymore.
Around that time, I also got my first mp3-player that was filled with grunge and classic rock. I started to learn the riffs from that music and discovered that I picked them up quickly and understood music in a way that I didn’t understand anything else. Since then, I’ve been focusing on creating music for a living.
What’s the best thing that has happened to you this month?
I have appreciated my friends this month. The best thing is that I once again realized that I have the best friends imaginable. I've also restored a beautiful guitar of mine that I love to play.
What are your top inspirations right now?
That’s a hard one. I listen to music in different ways. Sometimes for inspiration to use for my own projects and sometimes just as a reference when I write music for others. I can find inspiration in songs that don’t even fit the style of music I create. For example, I can find motivation while listening to Jan Johansson’s melancholic jazz albums from the 60s and use that to write a modern-day Swedish pop song.
But if I were to list my top inspirations right now, I would have to say: Free Nationals, Anderson. Paak, Oskar Linnros, Daniela Rathana, Robert Glasper, and Cornelis Vreeswijk. Quite the spread.
Which artist or band would you say influenced your music the most?
Most definitely Nirvana, even though I don’t write music that sounds anything like their discography. Their raw creativity and honest approach towards their craft have inspired me to do what I want to do, even though my music is as far from grunge as it could possibly be.
How would you describe your attitude towards fashion?
My interest in fashion has grown from not caring at all when I was in my teens to something that I use to express myself daily. I’m not the guy that takes any bold actions in the way I dress, but I always think of what I’m wearing. It doesn’t matter if I’m just going to the studio alone or if I do something around people, it’s always nice to feel comfortable and good-looking in my outfits.
Although I must say I keep it both high and low, I’m still developing my style every day.
Is there anything you wish would come back into fashion?
I could be out of my depth with this one, but doesn’t it feel like outfits with only neutral notes are going out of fashion 2022? If so, that’s not good for me. Also, bring back the tiny hipster beanie.
Do you have a motto? If so, what is it?
Yeah, but it’s just something I think for myself: “Be the main character in your own movie” or in my case, your own sitcom.
ISKO is wearing 105 ReWool Camel