28 March 2024

Positively uplifting: Isaac Staines' music striking a chord with people of Wagga

| Jarryd Rowley
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man playing guitar while recording a song in a studio

Isaac Staines has built a solid following in the Riverina with his expressive storytelling and creative songwriting. Photo: Isaac Staines/Facebook.

Music is such an interesting medium of storytelling for many musicians.

Some use it as a means to reflect an emotion they are feeling, while others often use it as a representation of who they are.

For Wagga’s Isaac Staines, it’s a platform that allows him to connect with others through lyrics and melodies.

“Whatever a person does, I think it’s important to show a level of care for other people,” he said.

“Sometimes that can be a hard thing to do. For me, I found that I can connect to people musically. I often sit down and write a song with others and try to help them connect with their own story in a way they wouldn’t normally think of.”

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Isaac said he had always had a talent for music. For as long as he can remember, he’s been able to play instruments and perform, but it wasn’t until he was 13 that he began to write his own songs.

“It was about 13, 14 that I began taking songwriting really seriously,” he said.

“For me, I’ve always dealt with things going on in my life by writing songs. It’s a creative and emotional outlet for me that I use to tell my stories.

“When I write songs, I think of a story and how I felt in the moment when that story took place. I don’t think there is just one emotion or feeling that links all of my songs.

“They’re all unique in that sense. I’ve written songs where I’m feeling upbeat and on top and others where I’m down in the dumps. There’s not [just] one emotion present in every single song and that’s something I think is quite special about songwriting – not everything is the same.”

Over the past couple of years, Isaac has built a solid reputation in the Riverina music scene, performing at some of the biggest pubs and clubs across the region.

singer with man in main street of a town

Isaac has a social media series called ”Songwriting with Strangers” where he performs with random people on the street. Photo: Isaac Staines/Facebook.

“Everyone in Wagga is putting effort into getting a good music scene going in Wagga,” he said.

“Artists like Nathan Lamont play locally and have tried their best to get a good music scene going. There has been an intentional and noticeable push to make Wagga a bit of a regional music hub.”

Despite performing on some of Wagga’s biggest stages, Isaac said the thing he enjoyed most was meeting new characters on the street and writing songs with new people, some of which you can see on his Instagram account @isaacstaines._

“I think it’s important to be able to get positivity out of a negative situation,” he said.

“A lot of people I meet on the streets, their situations can be quite traumatic. By sitting with them and writing a song, it can bring clarity and positivity to a difficult situation.

“I think that’s something that is really important.”

One of Isaac’s most popular videos involves him writing a song with well-known local larrikin Larry.

“Everyone in Wagga knows Larry, he’s just a classic,” he said.

“I was doing a Songwriting with Strangers video and I saw him on the main street. I thought it would be kinda cool to get him involved in a video.

“A fair few people saw it and seemed to have loved it. I know Larry really enjoyed doing it too.”

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The new year has brought several new and exciting challenges for Isaac and his music. In January he moved to Melbourne to continue his musical growth, and later this year he is looking to release an album.

“I’ve recorded 10 songs since moving, with my newest song, Self Sabotage, releasing last week,” he said.

“The new album, called ”Embers to Ash”, should release within a month or so. It was a really awesome experience to be able to record that, and I can’t wait for people to hear it.”

Isaac’s latest music ventures can be followed on Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube at Isaac Staines.

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