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Isabelle Simone At Ground Zero: Review

Tre Jessie |
March 3, 2015 | 12:00 a.m. PST

Staff Reporter

Isabelle Simone is a new face with a promising future (Photo courtesy of Alexandra Shokralla)
Isabelle Simone is a new face with a promising future (Photo courtesy of Alexandra Shokralla)
There was true talent on Monday night, in a quaint little coffee shop called Ground Zero. 

Ground Zero is located on USC's campus, behind Trojan Hall, and hosts an open mic event every Monday night. This well-known establishment brings in a crowd, and attracts various forms of local talent such as musicians, performers, and comedians. The atmosphere is laid back, but brings with it the feeling of an intimate concert. The room is dimly lit, filled with couches and tables for chatty students, and is completed with a stage where performers take turns showing he crowd their best material. Isabelle was the first performer of the night and, I must say, she set the bar quite high for those who were scheduled to follow her.

Isabelle Simone began to realize her love for singing when she was only 11 years old. It was her first performance, a rendition of the national anthem, that marked the beginning of a passionate pusuit to make a name for herself in the music industry. She would go on to do a series of shows including singing at charity galas and opening for local bands, before landing a gig at Ground Zero. Isabelle was accompanied by Sam McCrary, a singer and pianist, who performed with Beyoncé, John Legend, and Common at the Grammys this year. Isabelle's main influences in music are Demi Lovato and Taylor Swift. With a beautiful voice, a captivating stage presence, and a rich sound; this new artist has much to offer us. An interested reader should stream Isabelle Simone's song "Words"on soundcloud, and experience what real music sounds like.

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Isabelle performed two songs Monday night titled "Butterflies and Lies" and "Snow." They were both wonderfully sung, and showed the incredible amount of potential this newcomer has to make it big in a competitive industry. I got the chance to sit down with Isabelle after her performance and discuss these songs in greater detail. Not only is she a great singer, but Isabelle Simone is also very well spoken, and will be a gem for the press when her time comes.

"Butterflies and Lies" was written by Isabelle and co-written by Naz Tokio. She told me that one day they were on a rooftop, taking in the fresh air, and the idea for the song just came to them. The central theme of this song is the duality of a young relationship. It is the feeling of "liking" a person combined with the uncertainty of their emotions for you; the idea that maybe those butterflies in your stomach are lying to you, or perhaps they are genuine. "It took us about 30-45 minutes to write the song completely" she recalled. After that, it didn't take long for Isabelle to visit a home studio in the Hollywood Hills and record the track. "I wanted to make something upbeat and happy", Isabelle told me when comparing"Butterflies and Lies" to her other songs. This track is radio friendly and, with the right promation, could act as the first single for Isabelle Simone.

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"Snow" was written solely by Isabelle. It was during the wee hours of the morning that she got the inspiration for this song. "I'm a night writer", Isabelle joked, "That means I write best between the hours of midnight and 3 am." The message that she wanted to convey was one of acceptance; acceptance of emotional trauma. The song doesn't focus on the immediate anger that follows a break-up, but rather the struggle of trying to cope with the fact that it's over. "It's about letting go" she told me; a message that we all have needed to hear at some point in our lives. I personally loved this song! It really gave Isabelle a chance to showcase her phenomoenal voice and versatile range. Not even Simon Cowell would have a negative comment to say after hearing "Snow."

Currently, Isabelle is working on her first demo tape with the help of Sam McCrary and host of other musicians. At the moment, there is no expected release date, however, I did get a little bit of information about the project. She has a new song in the works called "Scene," and after hearing the perormance, I followed her on soundcloud and cannot wait to hear what she has in store.


Reach Staff Reporter Tre Jessie here.



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