Serena Isioma only started putting out music in 2019, but the 20-year-old Chicago-based artist’s songs — woozy indie tunes that fluidly blur sonic boundaries — feel like she’s been crafting for much longer. Her latest track “Stop Calling The Police On Me” is a soulful indie cut that nearly edges along punk in certain moments, and tackles an always-relevant social issue with refreshing directness. “Stop calling the police on me/ This is not the help I need no, you don't live the life I lead,” she demands on its echoey hook. The message isn’t a complex one, but her breezy and confident delivery makes the track shine like a compelling gloss of new paint.
Now, Isioma is exclusively sharing the equally empowering music video for "Stop Calling The Police On Me" with NYLON. It’s all in the lead up to her forthcoming sophomore EP, The Leo Sun Sets. Directed by Maia Pina and Leo Martinez, the sweet visual follows Isioma and a sunny band of her friends as they trek around the city — laughing, dancing, hugging —before spray-painting a, well, enviable mural in a garage together. You'll have to watch the video to see what it is, though Isioma's succinct description of the song might provide a hint: "It's basically the cute version of f*ck the police.” Watch the video below, and read on to learn a bit more about the young song-maker.
How did you get into making and writing music?
In high school I wanted to be a Soundcloud rapper so I’d freestyle to trap beats. A lot has changed since then.
Tell me a bit about "Stop Calling The Police On Me." What were you thinking about when you wrote it?
It’s basically the cute version of “f*ck the police.”
Is there a specific lyric or moment on the track that stands out to you? Which one and why?
I really meant “stop calling just leave me alone or i’ll hit you with this dial tone.” I don’t do drama.
What's the last book you read that made a big impression on you, and what did you learn from it?
I honestly haven’t read a book for personal enjoyment in years. School has kind of messed up my relationship with reading. I like magazines though. The FADER is cool. Same with I-D.
Who’s your favorite TikTok-er and why?
Any black TikTok-er is my favorite because black people are awesome. Especially the alternative ones.