Isabella Manfredi is finally in charge and she’s loving it.
Calling the shots has opened up a new sense of autonomy, artistry and authenticity for the former frontwoman of The Preatures.
And while her status may have changed, her intentions and ideals have not.
Manfredi wants her songs to be joyful and inclusive. She wants people to wrap themselves up in her music and feel transcendent.
Her artistic intentions aren’t complicated, she says, and they haven’t been for quite some time.
“It’s always been the same thing for me,” she explains. “When I was in high school, I was doing my Year 12 major work for art, and I did this intricate city based on Utopia. It was all colourful and kaleidoscopic, a sort of technicolour world. And they asked me to do the artist statement. And my artist statement was ‘I want people to see my work and feel happy and move on’. And they said, ‘That’s not an artist statement and you won’t get good marks for that’.”
Despite the ‘feedback’, the statement — as well as those kaleidoscopes of colour — remain her guiding light.
“I’ve always thought about my music as kaleidoscopic and there’s this sort of technicolour wonderland to it. It’s always seemed like it’s branched off in all kinds of different directions, and I’ve never been able to quite bridle it.”
So what does a kaleidoscope of colour and sound and joy and inclusiveness and freedom actually sound like?
“I’ve always said that the directive for this record was Bruce Springsteen if he was in an all-girl group in the early 2000s,” she says, citing an alternative universe we likely all want to visit.
“[This record] encompasses all the plethora of music that I loved when I was growing up. But I think what’s unique about this record is that there’s a return to storytelling for me, and that it’s more personal and lyrical than Preatures ever was.”
Stream: Isabella Manfredi, Izzi
This interview features in the September 2022 issue of Rolling Stone AU/NZ. If you’re eager to get your hands on it, then now is the time to sign up for a subscription.
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