Issa: Norwegian Powerhouse on Her Picks for 5 Most Underrated Singers
She first hit the national spotlight in her homeland when she won a singing competition with a song called "Fade Away" which was written by former Dimmu Borgir keyboardist Stian Aarstad. But that's where the musical black metal connections end.
Issa specializes in melodic rock of the highest order and her new album for the Frontiers Records label, Can't Stop, finds the singer covering cuts from underrated AOR greats like Tangier, 21 Guns and Aviator.
Keeping with the spirit of her new album, Noisecreep asked Issa for some singers she felt have been underrated for far too long.
"She is one half or Roxette from Sweden. I'm not sure she's underrated, but maybe she is in the rock scene. I love her voice and the power and tone she has. When she sings along with Per Gessle (the other singer), their voices work beautifully together. To me, she is a real inspiration, especially in my younger singing days."
Larry Saltis (Tower City)
"Larry is the lead singer and guitarist of American rock band Tower City. I have recently gotten into this band and I love Larry's voice, again he is underrated and unknown to a lot of people, but he has the Bryan Adams thing going on with the gruff. But his voice also has clarity and honesty to it, which I love. If you listen to the original version of 'I Wont Surrender,' one of his songs I covered on my new record, you can hear how honest is voice is."
"Even though Robin is famous and respected in the melodic rock scene, she never really got the fame and plaudits she deserves compared to other female singers that also got their start around in '80s. She has a way better voice than Cher and Belinda Carlisle, but they probably sold millions more. Maybe their success comes from having more regular hit writers, i'm not really sure, but that would be my guess. Either way, Robin is a powerhouse of a vocalist for such a small girl. I say that because I met her recently at Firefest and she was lovely."
Jan Werner Danielsen
"Jan is a classical and rock singer from Norway. He was very respected in Norway for his voice. I had the pleasure of hearing him sing live and even duetting with him on stage. He started by winning talent competitions and appearing in the Eurovision contest. If you ever get the chance to listen to him on YouTube you will be blown away by the power and range of his voice. He can hit notes men shouldn't be allowed to reach. Sadly, he died in 2006."
Marcie Free (born Mark Free)
"Marcie is an American rock vocalist and was the singer in King Kobra, Signal and Unruly Child. She has to be up their with the greatest vocalists of all time for technical ability. Just listening to her is like a masterclass, but he has all of the other things that you just can't teach people like feeling, phrasing and star quality. The two songs that really show of his voice the best to me are on the songs, 'When Love Is Gone' off the self-titled Unruly Child album and, 'Liar' off the Signal album."
Issa's new album, Can't Stop, is out now via Frontiers Records and available on iTunes and Amazon.