Isabeau Waia'u Walker’s melodies are the type that get stuck in your head after the first time you hear them, with lyrics and one liners that ingrain themselves in your brain. Her voice exudes tranquility, which flows over into her infectious presence.
The Hawaiian native moved to the Portland area over a decade ago, but she's found comfort in music from an early age. It gave her an outlet to express her feelings more freely and clearly, as well as a way to break down the barrier of being shy and timid, and be more transparent and vulnerable with thoughts and ideas.
"I could persuade someone to [do] something, or tell them how I felt, or argue with them [through music]. If I did it through song, for some reason they were willing to listen to it, and hear me out, versus the panicked, ears getting hot and red, hands shaking if I tried to do it just through spoken word," she describes.
It seems that it is her ability to observe and listen to the life surrounding her that informs not only her songwriting but also her point of view as a high school teacher. It is the perspective gained through being an artist herself that helps her relate to and connect with her students, especially those who also find comfort through the expression of art.
Her desire to teach youth comes from a genuine place and has never been a backup plan to her art. But the more she immerses herself in the creation and performance of music, her struggle to identify as a musician seems to wither, and the weight and importance of her songwriting becomes more realized.
After You Leave
Where Do We Go?