Get to Know King Isis and Their Futuristic R&B
King Isis proudly define themselves as "the queer, Black genre-bending afrofuture you don't want to miss". In their new single "Sparkly" King Isis alternate between sensual vocals and energetic rapping, soundtracked by a warped alt-R&B beat. Watch the video for "Sparkly" and read our interview with the rising star.
— Your new music video for "Sparkly" is mesmerizingly beautiful. What vision did you have for the video? What was the creative process like?
— First of all, thank you! I definitely wanted to explore duality in the video, finding a peace with your "light" and "dark." The song explores these concepts a little, focusing on a relationship that both expands and confines. I also really enjoy exploring the idea of fantasy in my videos and enjoy having some fantastical element in them. I knew I wanted to be representing a process of releasing yourself from a repressed state. The room was my own mental prison, where I was stuck in a box of my own bullshit, where the beach was a sense of escape. The dress, worn in both scenes, was meant to represent the baggage and burden that I hold onto, moments and memories I allow to weigh me down. I wear it in both scenes, because it's always with me, but release myself from its prison at the end of the beach scene, where I end okay to sit with all pieces of me.
— The video seems to be filled with cultural symbols often found in art — for example, snake, mirror, bare feet. Do any of these have a particular meaning in the video's artistic universe?
— Hey yes! The snake and serpent imagery is something I reference a lot both in my visuals and in my lyrics. I am definitely influenced by Gloria Anzaldua's work, specifically the Borderlands. She talks a lot about duality and about the power the serpent encompasses.

The mirror definitely speaks to perspective, how I perceive myself and others in different spaces. The bare feet for me is a practice of grounding.
— "Sparkly" is the first single from your upcoming genre-bending EP. Can you talk about the topics it touches on, its style and sound? What to expect?
— Yes! Sparkly is the lead single off my debut EP, #1. #1 will definitely lean towards a more RnB, alt hip hop sound. #1 is the first off a 3 part EP series that flows across rnb, alt rock, to indie pop. The EP follows a journey of accepting freedom in fluidity and embodies a moment of the ongoing process of finding yourself — through different sounds and spaces. #1 focuses on the beginning of the journey, using others to hide from yourself, clouding your own issues with relationships.
— You were born and raised in Oakland. What was the music scene in the city like when you first started getting into music and how has it changed now? Can you recommend a couple under-the-radar artists from Oakland to our readers?
— I love the Bay Area music scene, i think it's a really important cultural hub of creativity. the Bay is known for the hyphy movement and it's very distinct Bay Area rap, but I think we're also getting a lot of cool new sounds that expand across so many genres. There's a dope punk scene and electronic scene here that definitely has an impact on the culture. Some of my favorite artists from Oakland right now are Stari, Stoney Creation, Hello Yello and ASTU.
— Thank you for the interview!