Interview: Isabela Moner
Thu, 27 Aug 2015 10:01:14
Young talent finds there is a rhythm for both music and acting.
Isabela Moner, star of Nickelodeon's 100 Things to Do Before High School, just unveiled her new single "Dream About Me." It's a lithe, lush, and light single that proves both immediately inimitable and irresistible. Armed with a ukulele and a transfixing delivery, she emerges with an artfully catchy take on pop music that's undeniable. We spoke to Isabela in this exclusive interview about "Dream About Me," acting's connection to music, and so much more.
What's the story behind "Dream About Me?" The song is great! How did it come together and what does it mean to you?
"Dream About Me" was one of the first songs I've written. I was 11 when I wrote it. Since then, I've written more but "Dream About Me" is my first song ever entirely produced. It's about one of my first crushes and how he liked someone else. I wrote about it in my diary and it turned into a song! I was just browsing through my diary and had just learnt to play the uke earlier that year, so I started putting a melody to what I had written, kind of venting my frustration about these feelings that were so new to me.
Up to that point, "Sugar and spice and everything nice" was all I knew then I met my first crush. There was one line in my diary that said "I had a dream about him liking me back.. I wonder if he dreams about me?" My dad heard me playing and helped me channel those feelings, find the words to what I was clearly confused about and was all new to me!
When did you first start playing the ukulele? What attracted you to the instrument?
I got my first ukulele, the same year that I wrote "Dream About Me," early 2013. From the moment I started playing it, I was obsessed with the way it sounded, so I incorporated some uke into the song. I love the vibes that come with the uke sounds. It reminds me of the beach and Hawaii. Hawaii is one of my favorite places in the world.
What artists shaped or impacted you the most musically and why?
When I was much younger, I was inspired by actresses like Shirley Temple and Judy Garland. I can't decide. So many artists from so many different eras have inspired me. And I'm sure so many that I would hear my dad play on the guitar growing up have inspired me, and I don't even know it. I do have great respect for singers from all decades, '60s, '70s, '80s from Frank Sinatra to The Beatles to Oasis to Bruno Mars. As Oasis was influenced by the Beatles, I'm influenced by both. I grew up loving the melody lines of Colbie Caillat to the super talented vocals of Whitney Houston. They have all had an impact on me. I think kids today would be opened to hearing all music from all decades if they were exposed to it too. More currently, I am now inspired by artists like Tori Kelly, Frank Ocean, and Ed Sheeran. I love Frank Ocean's style and I love the fact that Tori and Ed write their own songs and can play them live (sometimes their songs even sound better live!).
Hear "Dream About Me" from Isabela Moner: