Portugal's Very Own, Isabella Nobrega
Updated: Dec 24, 2018
Isabela Nóbrega is an independent artist from Portugal who self-released and produced her debut LP YOUNG earlier this year.
A seamless blend of indie and synth pop, her ethereal songwriting is paired with drum machines that dip into multiple genres and tie together the DIY musician's sound. Big 80's snare sounds and reverb-drenched vocals nod to the sounds of Cocteau Twins while staying very relevant to current trends in the synth pop universe. Tasteful delay on the guitars help melt the songs together, leaving a cohesive sound throughout the album.
The Lisbon-born Nóbrega composes, writes the lyrics, and performs all the instruments herself. Her art is deeply personal and is yet another example of an independent artist pushing their creativity and tools to the limit to pull off a debut LP.
Currently touring Portugal, she's set to release a new music video in the coming months. Hear her go into more depth about her creative process in our monthly SoundSplice artist interview.
What’s your listening background?
I've always listened to a bit of everything but I grew up listening to Jay Jay Johanson a lot, My Chemical Romance and Paramore. I can say I had a "emo" phase. Right now i'm listening to Still Corners, Wild Nothing, Porches and Taemin a lot
What did the schedule of making this album look like? What was the day to day routine?
I never planned a schedule for the album to be out. I had some previous ideas I wanted to use and I ended up consolidating them but I also brainstormed a lot. In the day to day routine I would always sit in front of the pc with a guitar or keyboard and just play a lot. Eventually the melodic lines were becoming into songs and this songs into the final "product".
So the single you had put out was “Oceans”. How did that song come about?
“Oceans” was actually the first song I was able to finish from the album. This is a love song, speaking about how love can break any kind of boundaries.
Oceans feels like a nicely constructed piece of work. Could you get into how you construct melodies and how you fit lyrical ideas into those them?
Thank you. I never have a specific way of composing. I remember that for oceans I started by recording the main guitars. As soon as I had the "specific" sound I wanted for the guitar, I started playing the drums. I added the bass, some other sound effects and the lyrics were the last piece of the puzzle.
Who did you end up working with on this album?
I composed and played all the instruments in my album, I also sang the vocals and wrote all the lyrics. My brother mixed and mastered the tracks.