Isaiah Firebrace rose to national prominence after taking out the top spot on The X Factor Australia in 2016. The following year, he broke onto the global stage representing Australia in the Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final with his single “Don’t Come Easy”, placing ninth.
At just 20-years-old, this certified-Platinum singer has accomplishments under his belt that would usually come with decades of industry success, including holding the title as the highest-streamed First Nations artist in the world. His latest single “Know Me Better” undoubtedly validates these successes. Produced and written with award-winning Sydney-based duo DNA (Jessica Mauboy, The Veronicas, Delta Goodrem, Mitch James), Isaiah plays with a dreamy pop-synth production under his message of moving into an era of self-assurance in his music.
Isaiah let us in on which five songs have influenced his musicality and defined his already dizzying career. Check out which songs he had to recommend below!
“I Give You My Heart” by Darlene Zschech
This song was one of the first really strong influences in my musical life. Growing up in a small town in a Christian household this was a song that my Dad played a lot. I used to sing along to it and remember being really young and listening to it playing in our house. It reminds me so much of my childhood and the importance of faith which I have taken with me through my career so far. It’s something that keeps me grounded. I have it in my playlist and it comes up occasionally in my car when I’m driving and always takes me back to being a little kid.
“Blue Boy” by John Fogerty
In my early years my Dad, Wayne, was a huge musical influence and we even had a family band where my Dad would be on the guitar, my brother on drums and I would be singing or playing keys. Dad is a huge fan of John Fogerty and Creedence Clearwater Revival so the music was a constant throughout my early years and my first introduction to the Blues and Rock’n’ Roll. The song ‘Blue Boy’ is so important to me as I taught myself to harmonise because of the backing vocals on this track. I would sit there listening to the backing vocals and then copy them until I learned what they were doing. I didn’t really know what it was called at the time but has gone with me into adult life and I have a deep love of vocal harmonies.
“Hero” by Mariah Carey
Like so many people around the world, this was a song that inspired me and made me believe that I was capable of achieving anything I put my mind to if I believed. There have been many times in my life when I have had to “look inside myself”, be strong and to persevere with some of the struggles that I went through. I still rely on this song when things are hard. I sing it in the shower and it is always a good solid rock for me to go to. On a lighter note, it was also the first song that I sang at a singing competition; I won the competition – so maybe it kick-started everything for me!
“When I Was Your Man” by Bruno Mars
The first time I heard this song I became an immediate Bruno Mars fan. The style of his vocal really resonated with me and he was probably one of my first R&B influences. I don’t think I had ever heard a more connected song and lyric – Bruno brings so much soul to his performances and it’s something that I strive to emulate. It’s one of the most beautiful songs ever written and has had a huge influence on how I try to connect to lyric and my audience.
“Halo” by Beyonce
Having a strict upbringing I didn’t really get to hear a lot of different music when I was growing up. We all listened to Dad’s music and he believed that current R&B and pop music wasn’t ‘real’ music. One of my sisters came to live with us when I was about 9 and she was a huge Beyonce fan. I had never heard of Beyonce so when my sister asked me to come to the music room and sing ‘Halo’ with her it changed my life and I fell in love with her voice. It was one of the first times I had heard anything like it. It was a full-circle moment for me when I performed this song on television when I was 16. I couldn’t believe that it was me and that I was performing this song.
Listen to Isaiah Firebrace‘s latest single “Know Me Better” on your choice of music service.
Stay up to date with his work on his official website.