“Rise” is Intended to be About Using One’s Voice for Positive Change
By JENNIKA INGRAM | Reporter
Palisadian Isolde Fair is making strides with her music: Her new song, “Rise,” has been nominated for a Hollywood Music in Media Award—with the show slated to take place in early 2021.
The 17-year-old explained that the song is about using one’s voice for positive change and the power that each person possesses to allow their voice to be heard against injustice, as well as the unstoppable drive to never give up.
“‘Rise’ came to me on a grey day,” Isolde shared in a statement. “I started to wonder what the world would be like with no anticipation of any injustice. I was thinking about a world with no flaws.”
It’s intended to be a message for people of all ages, especially young people, the statement continued.
Isolde was assisted by her parents, who joined for the project, which debuted through streaming services on June 12. Her mother, pianist and composer Starr Parodi, co-wrote “Rise” and Isolde, Parodi and her father, Jeff Eden Fair, produced it together.
An accompanying music video for the song was released on YouTube on June 19, directed by Sara Nesson, an Oscar-nominated director and editor, and Emmy-winner Bonnie Story.
“When I first heard this song, I was so inspired,” Story shared in the statement. “I loved creating to it and I loved what it was about: to know that we can rise and get through tough times. This song says it all, and Isolde Fair is beyond her years.”
Isolde explained that she wanted to make sure the music video contained the element of dance—so they recruited Palisadian Suzie Lonergan and Bayli Baker to be the choreographers. Nesson suggested the location the team filmed at.
“[The music video] was shot in a small, quaint, cottage-like house on a ranch in La Tuna Canyon,” Isolde said to the Palisadian-Post—the site of a tragic love story.
“The reason why the house looked so rundown and unapproachable was because of a fire,” Isolde continued. “A beautiful couple from the family who lived in it built a life in there as well.”
Isolde said that a few weeks before the fire occurred, the couple had watched “The Notebook” together, which prompted thoughts of dying together. And when the fire took place, that came true.
“Knowing that this place came from someone’s feelings of love and unity really allowed the story of ‘Rise’ for me to unfold,” Isolde said in the statement. “It was more real than any set we could have ever built. We really could feel the intensity while we were filming there.”
Isolde explained that visually, the dancers represent a suppressed society that was longing for change but was trapped within themselves metaphorically, by walls that were surrounding them.
Isolde wanted to express the anxiety in the song, show an oppressed state, and then lift it up and bring it into a great world to live in at the end, she explained.
“I feel like dance released that energy and brought something new,” Isolde said.
“I shared this idea with the super-talented and amazing choreographers Lonergan and Baker,” Isolde continued, “and they came up with a perfect choreography that completely represented the visual I had in my mind of how the dancers would be dancing in the story playing in my head.”
Rising senior at Palisades Charter High School Milly Hopkins completed the cover picture for the video.
Isolde, who has a background performing, has played the piano and violin all of her life. In September 2019, Isolde had an opportunity to premiere a piece with her mother at the Orchestra Modern NYC, conducted by Amy Andersson, at Lincoln Center.
“That was insane, so unbelievable [to be] at Lincoln Center in general,” Isolde recounted. “I was surrounded by empowered women who were composers who were showing their music.”
Isolde shared that Andersson made everything happier and the whole room lit up.
“It’s really so brilliant and beautiful,” she recalled.
Another performance that Isolde shared was playing solo on violin with members of Cirque du Soleil.
“The violin is practically the love of my life,” Isolde said, adding that she really likes to incorporate the violin into the songs she creates.
Isolde studies music at the Colburn School, which she has attended for two years. She also studies violin with a teacher who lives in Korea through Zoom.
Isolde grew up in the Palisades and Santa Monica—attending Seven Arrows Elementary School from kindergarten to fourth grade and Marquez Charter Elementary School for fifth grade. Then she attended Lincoln Middle School in Santa Monica.
When she was only 13 years old, Isolde gained recognition for her composition and recording “To All The Little Girls”—a song that came about from a class music assignment her teacher recognized had merit.
The lyrics focus on a portion of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 concession speech, which was dedicated to young women.
“I’ve grown a lot since writing that song,” Isolde said in the statement, “and although both songs have messages of encouragement, ‘Rise’ is about empowering yourself and pulling through any dark situation, especially with what is going on in the world right now.”
Isolde referred to her mother as her biggest inspiration, and said she is making the world a better place.
“I don’t know what I’d do without her,” Isolde shared.
Isolde added that she wants to keep writing with political themes in mind, and have a say for injustices and about feminism, although not all her music is about that.
Isolde attended the LA County for the Arts in the music program in 2018-19 for her freshman year of high school. She then completed her sophomore year in the Virtual Academy at Pali High and is now a rising junior.
“The teachers [at Pali] are great … they really understand the students, and they really care and let you feel like you’re independent so they give you time to plan,” Isolde said to the Post.
Although Isolde shared that she considers her life focused on music—she is currently working on a new song and an EP—she still makes time to exercise, dance, and get take-out at her favorite Palisades restaurant Cafe Vida, as well as Cathay Palisades and Moku Sushi.
She hangs out at the bluffs and hikes at Will Rogers and Temescal. Isolde added that she has really enjoyed Chloe Ting’s workouts online throughout the pandemic.
“I love dancing,” Isolde said. “It really brings a different eye and perspective. When I have anxiety, it lets me go into a different world that’s active and takes me out of what I was thinking before.”
Isolde shared that she wants to keep performing and communicating.
“I like being around people,” she concluded. “I’m a people person and with COVID-19, it’s hard for that. If it wasn’t happening, I would like to go around the world and perform for people.”
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