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Interview with GSDS composer Isaiah Dreads

Acclaimed MC and rapper Isaiah Dreads talks about his music making for Green Space Dark Skies

Ahead of Green Space Dark Skies in Dorset AONB this Saturday 11 June, we caught up with acclaimed MC and rapper Isaiah Dreads, who has come up with a soundscape for the project.

“It has been a busy time, I’m thankful to be working on so many projects at the moment. I have a song releasing at the start of June also. I’ve never worked on a project like Green Space Dark Skies, creating the soundtrack and working on the event has been a sick opportunity. I have loved doing the music side of things in Dorset too.

“I began by heading out to local countryside spots to record sounds. Birds, rocks scraping together, waves and so on. Other musicians around the country did the same thing and we all shared the different sounds to make the tracks. From there it was just about creating something which I thought matched the scenery of the Dorset countryside. I wanted it to sound how it looked and did several interpretations.

“I grew up in Dorset so, naturally, I have a lot of love for the countryside. I talk about the South West and Dorset in my songs because it’s what I’m familiar with and have filmed loads of videos here over the years. My older brothers and sisters grew up in the city so they experienced a different kind of setting but when we moved I was always inspired by the music they were listening to.

“In 2006 when I started, Grime/Hip Hop music wasn’t popular in Dorchester at all, equally, I couldn’t relate to the early Grime MCs in the city or write about the things they were. So I switched the content so it was honest to me and also relatable to others from similar places. Cornwall, Devon, Somerset. A slogan I always say in my music and wear on merch is ‘SW TO THE WORLD’ which implies taking these peaceful country counties to a bigger place of recognition and respect within the UK music scene. 

“It was great working with everyone on the project. Subathra Subramaniam did the movements / choreography for the GSDS event – her ideas are refreshing and gave me a vision of what the film would be like and Zakiya McKenzie’s writing for the film is also really powerful. These things made it clear in which direction I wanted to go. This type of collaboration was quite different from my musical ones but it was a good experience. 

“I can give you five special places in Dorset. Durdle Door/Lulworth, Wareham Blue Pool, Maiden Castle, Osmington, Puddletown woods. I love the quiet country spots within these places that people don’t always know about. I often find locations no one else is visiting so I can write music.”

For more information on Green Space Dark Skies, visit this page.

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