Meet Isaac Aesili, an integral member of many bands including Recloose Live, Solaa and Open Souls and deemed by Benji B to be one of the most exciting soul talents to emerge from the South Pacific. He is now part of Funkommunity (with Rachel Fraser) and Karlmarx (with brother Mark McNeill). The producer, multi-instrumentalist and DJ will be performing live alongside Singapore's Kiat this Saturday at Velvet Underground-Dance.
You are really busy, what are some of the projects you're involved in now?
My main project is Funkommunity with Rachel Fraser, this year we released our debut album Chequered Thoughts worldwide. We just finished a 3 month tour of Europe and we are also doing a small tour of Japan. Alongside this I make music with my brother Mark McNeill as Karlmarx and I make solo music as Isaac Aesili as well as collaborating with different artists around the world.
How do you find the time to do everything?
I don't like to rush music so with everything I do i make sure that I can take my time and plan schedules carefully. Im a full time musician so I'm able to work on music every day when I'm not touring. I recently just got a manager which should also help me have more time for music making and performing.
Where are you based now in the world and why?
I was based in Hamburg and Berlin in Germany for the last 6 months and I'm in transition on my way to being based back home in Auckland New Zealand.
Do you find yourself more comfortable as a Musician, DJ or Producer?
Producer is what I'm most comfortable with, then Musician and then DJ.
Could you give us your 5 favourite tracks?
Visions - Stevie Wonder
Africa - D'Angelo
Telephone - Erykah Badu
Blue in Green - Miles Davis
Hood Pass Intact - Dam Funk
One seminal album you would recommend to everyone and anyone?
Songs in the Key of Life - Stevie Wonder
Song you would play at sunset…and sunrise?
Roo (A Dedication) - Dimlite
So how did you and Kiat start collaborating?
I visited Singapore in 2010 and went to Syndicate with my friend Debbie Chia whom I met at Red Bull Music Academy Seattle in 2005. She introduced me to Kiat and then the next day he called me up realizing that he had my album which he bought during a previous visit to New Zealand. We decided to collaborate on a track and it ended up working out really well so we kept working together.
Which are your favorite tracks off Kiat's The Inner Galaxy album?
Method, In the Galactic Dance and Lower Depths.
You mentioned you don't really find yourself as a vocalist, any reason?
Singing is hard, I have massive respect for specialist vocalists, I developed nodules about 5 years ago so my singing ability is limited but i still enjoy singing. I wouldn't call myself a vocalist because it's not my speciality.
Looking forward, what's next for you?
Downtime in New Zealand, then Im going to try to make 3 separate albums (Isaac Aesili, Karlmarx and Funkommunity). Its time to take my production to the next level and hopefully i will be able to tour more internationally as well.
What can we expect for the Midnight Shift 3rd Year Anniversary gig?
I'm really excited about Midnight Shift's 3rd Year Anniversary gig, it will be the first time I've performed live with Kiat and actually my first gig as a musician in Singapore so I'm going to try and bring the best of vibes and get people in the zone, it's going to be a great party.