Why It Mattered: Isyana’s genre blurring ‘Isyana”

Released in May of this year, “Isyana” is a genre-blurring, modern musical masterpiece.

SXSW Sydney 2023 is rolling into town, bringing a wave of musical talent to Australian shores. Among the lineup, one artist has tongues wagging in anticipation – Isyana.

She’s not your typical pop star; she’s an Indonesian-born, British-educated musician who’s been on an exciting journey from classical roots to pop sensation.


Isyana’s music journey is like a colourful kaleidoscope. She’s dropped four albums, each a delightful surprise package. From modern jazz to grunge, light pop to R&B-infused covers, she zigzags through genres, keeping fans and critics on their toes.

Heralded as one of Indonesia’s most influential female musicians, Isyana is producing music that is both compelling and deeply rewarding to listen to. In a musical landscape where genre lines are increasingly blurred, Isyana’s work is vital.


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Music today is all about breaking genre barriers, and Isyana’s doing just that. Her latest album is a culmination of her journey so far. It’s a snapshot of her artistic maturity and a testament to her ability to blend different sounds seamlessly. This album is a gem that’ll shine brightly in the music landscape of 2023 and beyond.

Before we delve into her latest album drop, let’s rewind a bit. Isyana kicked off her musical adventure with “EXPLORE” at 22. The album was a dance music extravaganza with piano riffs that could steal your heart. It’s like she had a secret master class with Babyface.

“Paradox” in 2017 was another twist. She stayed rooted in R&B but sprinkled in catchy synth riffs that paid homage to ’70s dance classics. It was like diving into a musical rabbit hole, moving from classical to groovy af pop in one go.

In 2019, “LEXICON” showcased a more theatrical side of Isyana, but it wasn’t overly dramatic. It’s here that she fully embraced her classical and opera roots. The title track, “LEXICON,” gave us a taste of what her future held – a mix of classical notes, dark pop, and soft metal, all wrapped in sweeping vocals that take you on a timeless journey.


Now, with her self-titled album “Isyana,” she’s found her groove. She’s ditched her R&B past for hard rock, soft metal, and crunchy guitars. The result is a captivating blend of pop and soft metal storytelling with an alternative ‘Evanescence’ edge.

The album opens with an invitation to a world of soft melodies, synths, and killer guitar riffs. “My Mystery” unveils her new sound – a pop and soft metal fusion that suits her like a glove.

“Mindblowing!” briefly brings back her R&B vibes, but it’s the chorus that showcases her growth. It’s a track that speaks to childhood, and all of the things that shaped us, and still perhaps resonate, a combination of innocence and the eternal optimist, that childlike place of wonder that we all return to.

“UNDER GODS PLAN” takes a poignant look at existence and our place in the grand scheme of things, offering a modern perspective on age-old questions about the divine. Much like the timeless tale of Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat, it weaves a narrative that touches on the concept of a higher power, not necessarily tied to any specific religious tradition but instead evoking a sense of a universal, grander scale.

With its theatrical elements, the song presents a modern and edgier interpretation of our relationship with the divine. It explores the idea of a profound journey, a spiritual odyssey that extends beyond conventional boundaries. It’s a spacious and electrifying exploration of the mysteries of the universe, inviting listeners to contemplate their own place within the grand scheme of things.

“UNLOCK THE KEY” reflects life’s ups and downs, the relentless pursuit of understanding, and the importance of self-expression. “Isyana” is a personal conversation we can all relate to.

“HOME,” featuring Ryahn Maditra, brings Disney-esque magic to the mix. It’s a timeless classic that tugs at the heartstrings. And if you crave some exquisite piano playing to counter the soft metal, there’s a stripped version that highlights Isyana’s delicate yet powerful vocals.

A standout track for its theatrical, pop/R&B quality reminiscent of timeless Disney duets, showcasing Isyana’s exquisite piano skills and delicate yet powerful vocals.

The album concludes with the electrifying electone version of “UNLOCK THE KEY,” leaving no doubt about its core sound and themes.

Isyana’s “Isyana” is a genre-blurring symphony, a modern musical masterpiece that invites listeners on a journey of self-discovery and artistic evolution.

As she turns 30, this album marks a departure from the innocence of youth and delves into the quest for deeper meaning, all set to the backdrop of Isyana’s uniquely crafted sound.

This album truly captures life’s ups and downs, its complexities, and those moments of pure, unfiltered optimism that remind us of the innocence we all carry within.

“In Isyana,” we discover a remarkable storyteller who beautifully encapsulates the essence of life itself.

She’s a musical genius who refuses to be confined by labels, inviting us all to venture into the uncharted territories of music.

And that’s why “Isyana” is an album that truly matters.

Keep your eyes and ears to ground for this, time and location TBA:  Touchdown Under showcase: October 19th and 20th, featuring the talents of Indonesian artists Isyana Sarasvati, GAC, Hindia, Nadin Amizah, and many more, this mega block party promises an unforgettable musical experience. Journey through the vibrant sounds of 12 artists hailing from the hottest corners of Asia, all coming together for an electrifying block party right in the heart of the SXSW Sydney® 2023 precinct.


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