Isaiah Grass is a singer/songwriter based in Chicago. As a popular music influencer, Isaiah has worked with companies such as: Macy’s, Cheez-It crackers, Bud Light, McDonalds, among others on their social media campaigns, as well as their music events. Most recently, Isaiah performed the National Anthem for the opening of the Monster Jam Show at BMO Harris Bank Center in Rockford, Illinois. Aside from being a singer, Isaiah is also a fashion model and has been featured in a variety of ad campaigns and magazine editorials. Isaiah’s fan base reaches a wide demographic, which enables him to promote a wide variety of products across social media. You can learn more about Isaiah and view a full list of his social profiles at IsaiahGrass.com.
Can you tell us a little bit about your singer/songwriting background?
Okay so my background is when I was seven years old I actually used to sing in church choir, I graduated from a performing arts high school, and I got scouted by modeling agencies in New York and I really wanted to do music and that was my passion. So since I was a little boy, you know, I’ve always wanted to do music and I’ve just been able to find a team of people that have believed in me enough, kind of helped me to develop that, [and] to where I am right now talking to you guys.
What was the moment you knew that influencer marketing was a viable revenue stream?
That is a great question. I had Bud Light contact me and I was on Twitter one day and I got a message and it was Bud Light and they asked me if I would be a promotion person. So I took a photo of something and I’d never been an influencer before and then I got paid for it so I was like “wow” and then I had a radio station contact me and they asked me to come backstage and do like VIP treatment so I was at a huge concert front row [and] backstage. So my experience started like really quickly and it was on Twitter and then from Twitter I started having people contact me on Instagram and then from Instagram people were contacting me on Facebook and then people were going to my website and contacting my agent so yeah it happens all the time and I’m really grateful for it to everyone.
We saw the cash loan commercial you did and it was hilarious!
That was a lot of fun. I wanted to actually upload the footage because they gave us like fifteen minutes to do like say “three thousand, four thousand, five thousand dollars!” like I went crazy with it and it was a lot of fun. I’m really grateful that, you know, they asked me to be a part of that but again that has to do with social media. I have so many people who will contact me based on social media.
I’ve been asked by TV stations to go on and perform my own music, I’ve been asked to go in to commercials, you know, even like a situation where I have my CD’s that I have of my own and people would want to collaborate with me, or I’ve had people ask me to be on the cover of magazines. So, you know, it’s something that social media has really helped me a lot to build a brand, to get paid endorsements from people, get free jewelry from companies so social media and being an influencer has been really impactful and I’m grateful for everyone out there that is watching this right now, you know, because it’s a new opportunity and I always welcome working with new people.
What has been your favorite brand partnership to-date?
So I’ve worked with Cheeze-It Crackers, I’ve work with McDonald’s, [and] I’ve worked with Bud Light. I’ve also worked with CTA transit so when I did that they actually took one photo of me and they used it on buses, they used it on Billboards, they used it on train advertisements so I have a list of people that I’ve worked with [and] I’ve also worked with charities. Salvation Army, Leary’s Children’s Hospital, the Human Growth Foundation, the Chicago Food Depository, you know, there’s so many people that I’ve worked with and I do a lot of stuff for charity because I really believe in giving back.
For example there’s a necklace right here it’s called Raise Awareness and it was a company that contacted me and, you know, the guy promotes just people who have illnesses. And so mine was because my mom has had cancer many times and people in my family have died from cancer so to me that was a cause I really wanted to be involved with. So for me it’s no so much about how great the brand is but really the story behind it.
Are you someone that helps influence other people to be a better self, do you encourage people to be healthy, do you encourage people to love themselves, [and] do you encourage people to believe in what they do. I feel like a lot of times people get so caught up with the brand itself more than the story behind it and I feel like where being a brand and an artist as myself I really try to focus on what I feel would make me project to others that I care.
As a singer/songwriter and model, what is your favorite social media platform?
I would say Instagram because I just post random stuff to be honest like the magazine cover I just showed you. I wrote this song and it’s called Christmas With You [and] I donate all the proceeds to [the] Salvation Army. I’ve performed it on different tv stations and they’ve actually played it on the radio before so it’s a big blessing and for me Instagram has been able to get people to find me.
Again as new artist that’s still trying to get my name out there when companies each out to me again I’m just so grateful for it and with Instagram you can use hashtags @Isaiahgrass or I can get tagged in companies. Like I just did a campaign for a hair campaign and they used me for a video ad and then I just did a campaign for another company and they put me on the side of the bus and it’s like if you guys go through my story you guys can see all the different stuff I’ve done. And I’m not the type of person like “look at me” but your Instagram is your portfolio, your Instagram is your resume for new clients and I know that’ how photographers have contacted me and music executives and different commercial clients just because they see everything that I’ve done.
I don’t think it’s so much about having, you know, having follower is great but it’s really about the content, it’s really about how can you look in a photo, [and] how can you really make someone feel like what you’re doing is important enough to make some like – I’ve had people send me like shorts and necklaces, I’ve had people send me shirts. Like I’m actually going to be posing a shirt from a charity that’s in India. So for every shirt that you wear that has a smile on it it actually gives back and they do give a sleeping bag to a child in another country. So I’m all about giving back to people that’s really where my heart is Is being able to give back to the community. And yeah I welcome working with companies like my favorite candy is Jolly Ranchers, Starburst, and Skittles and wouldn’t that be amazing if they contacted me. Yeah, of course but, you know, I’m all about giving back and I believe that when you give back great things will come back to you as well and so that’s how I live my philosophy.
You just posted on Instagram about your Palm Springs show where you mention your new song to be released early next year. Can you tell us a little bit about the new song?
Yes! So the song is called “This Is Not A Love Song” and we already have a remix made for it and so it’s going to be coming out next year. When I first released an album it was in 2013 and I wanted to kinda slowly release some music but I’ve been working on really cool stuff and, you know, I feel like when singers who have the creative edge to be able to do what they want you build you story as it is. And for me I wanted to take my time and live through more experiences in my life, you know, really be able to adapt to things that people are going through in their life.
I can just write something just to write it or I could write something because it’s actually coming from my heart or it’s coming from a personal experience experience so when people heat “This Is Not A Love Song” it comes from a very personal experience of like being involved with people in my life who tried to lead me in one direction when it really was the toxic way. like it wasn’t good for me and I know so many people out there can relate to that. There’s someone either that you love, there’s someone that you work with that you butt heads with and this is why I say “This Is Not A Love Song” because it’s not happy.
It’s really calling people out like I get it you’re wrong I’m right, let’s go back and forth about this like let’s just stop, let’s let it go but it’s a really upbeat fast paced song and I’m so excited to let people hear it. When I sang at Palm Springs they loved it like I was wanting to share it with them then. I was going to release it on Spotify in November but I was like no I’m going to release it next year to build the anticipation of everything. I will also be releasing more song song as well at that time frame.
So I’m [Sammi] really into music and have an eclectic taste and I know older music will come back into the present day as well as a lot of artists are influenced by older artists. So who are some of the artists who have influenced your sound?
That is a great question. So I would say Elvis recently has been changing the way that I’ve been singing, I really respect Adam Lambert and I really like the tone of George Michael, Josh Groban, you know, I would say Josh Groban really has been the focus because when I was younger I had a vocal teacher who was graduated and also a professor from Julliard. So he was teaching me a lot of the operatic side of music and that’s actually what you guys are going to hear in “This Is Not A Love Song” like my agent is always like I can’t that’s you. I just wanted to really share with people something and now it’s like my music taste is really changing like I’m listening to a lot of rock, I’ve been listening to Queen. I’m working on making cover songs of that right now like I did in Palm Spring.
So I did Elvis “Can’t Help Falling In Love”, you know, I’m doing Black Keys. I recently just got asked to sing “eye of the Tiger” so my taste of music is changing so much so I can’t wait to share with everyone the new side of of me and this is a great opportunity because what is crazy is I’ve been to see monster trucks before but to be in the stadium to like sing at it it’s crazy cool. So for me my music taste is changing so much that I don’t like to say I’m specifically like identifying with one artist because I feel like when you try to adapt too much to one thing you don’t really make your own sound. When I first started I did the whole high thing and people were like “oh you’re trying to copy Adam Lambert” no I just thought in the sound specifically like that high sound worked with it and I feel like a lot of times artist they listen to someone and it influences them to the point where they become that artist.
For me I want people to just know me for Isaiah Grass like that’s Isaiah Grass’s voice, that’s Isaiah Grass’s tone, that’s Isaiah Grass’s, you know, the way he writes, this Isaiah Grass’s face because everything changes all the time with me as a model. Like here’s me with jet black hair [and] here’s me with blonde hair like, you know, it’s completely different and so it’s something that for me as an artist, for me a singer, for me as a model, for me as an influencer I’m all about changing my self. I’m all about branding myself in something different as long as it’s something I feel we will both mutually benefit and we can both help do something positive.