17-year-old emcee Isaiah Hamilton AKA Little Dreads from Dorset grew up in a household surrounded by music which had a heavy influence on him writing and producing his own music today. At the age of six he wrote his first song, made his first recording aged nine. He’s performed at three of UK’s most popular music festivals. Glastonbury, B Festival and Camp Bestival. His recognition has come from artists across the globe including Nikki Minaj who found one of Isaiah’s videos on YouTube, raved about his music and dreadlocks which then led to a rapid amount of friend requests on his Facebook site within no time.
After recently releasing his debut mixtape ‘Nothin But A Mix Tape’ Isaiah received very positive feedback including Radio 1 DJ, Zane Lowe who made his track ‘U See Me’ his ‘next hype’ and BBC 1Xtra DJ Mistajam made it his ‘Radio Ripper.’ Dj Cameo invited Isaiah to his show on 1Xtra to spit a freestyle on his ‘Gimme Grime’ show and has released a free track as part of Annie Mac’s Music Monday…
So, on the back of all that! I decided to catch up with Mr Isaiah Dreads to get some insight into what the fuss is all about…
Congratulations on your debut mixtape ‘Nothing But A Mixtape’, How do you feel about the positive response?
Yeah I’m really happy with it just because I didn’t find it hard to do. I can’t really explain it but I just didn’t find it a hard thing to do. The mixtape was just songs I wanted to make to sound fun.
DJ Cameo invited to 1Xtra to spit a freestyle on his ‘Gimme Grime’ show, how easy do you find freestyling?
I write lyrics everyday so it was just literally one of those things where I got out all those lyrics at once. It was like ten to twelve minutes so that was just really fun to do. That was the first time being on 1Xtra so when I got in there I was just really hyped up ready to go. I really enjoyed it.
Do you get nervous before performing?
I think I’m nervous deep down, but more than anything I’m just really excited to do things. If I know something big is happening and it’s like two weeks away I’ll be really nervous but I’ll be excited for it to happen at the same time, I can’t explain but I think I’m more excited than anything.
How old were you when you started out?
I wrote my first track when I was six or seven. I started young, it wasn’t really anything back then, it was kind of like nonsense but that’s when I first did it.
Did you have any influence from anyone in your family or friends that inspired you to go forward in the music industry?
My brother raps. One day he was like I’ll help you out with a track and he just sat with me and we put a track together, after that I wrote a track a week later on my own. Ever since then I kept practicing.
Which artist inspired you back then?
JME, Wiley and Dizzee. JME’s ‘Serious’ track; I remember my brother playing it to me and it was so different to anything else I had ever heard. I’d only heard American raps till that point so to hear this cool grime song it was just like wow. I found it really inspiring, like even now if I listen to it I think it’s inspiring.
In school did you study music, if yes did it help inspire you or encourage you in any way?
Yeah I did I study music. It definitely encouraged me, I enjoyed my music lessons because they were really creative. I always got to rap in my music lessons which I liked.
Can you play any instruments?
I can play the piano, the guitar and a tiny bit of bass.
Do the same artists influence you with your work now?
I listen to so much different stuff. I listen to a lot of American rap, a lot of Grime, I listen to Stormzy, Novelist. I listen to so many artists, I listen to a lot of Reggae….
Do you think by listening to a lot of different artists and different types of music its helps you to create your own music style?
Yeah definitely because I think if I was to only listen to say Grime mostly I might only make one type of sound but lets say if I listen to Hip Hop, Grime, Reggae, Soul and Jazz there’s different bits of inspiration from each song and artist so I think it’s definitely a good thing.
Where do you get your inspiration from and what methods do you use to be inspired?
To be honest the mixtape was just random ideas. I randomly thought I want to do that today or I’d randomly rhyme a lyric in my head and record it… I’ve just got ideas in my head.
What do you do in your spare time?
I live in the countryside in Dorset so there’s not much to do like living in London. When I was younger I always went to the beach. But mostly I’m just listening to music and writing.
What are some of your future goals?
I don’t have certain goals, like I want to do this, I want do that, I just want more people to hear my music, appreciate it, relate to it and enjoy it because there will definitely be loads and loads of music coming out.
Are we going to see and hear more of you for the summer?
I’m literally writing everyday recording making loads of tracks I’ll be working on mixtape two. I’ve written most of it down I would say, but I’ve just got to record…
For more information about Isaiah Dreads go to: