Forget a mid-life crisis. Isabel Dumaa is navigating the transitional dilemma about 20 years prematurely on her new single “Quarter Life Crisis.”
Following a move from San Fransisco to LA to pursue music, Isabel struggled to find where she fit in music and her new home, sparking a quarter-life crisis, and the inspiration for the track.
Since then, fellow quarter-lifers on TikTok found truth in her resonating lyrics. Her debut “Call My Bluff” and follow-up “Freshman Year” drew comparisons to high-caliber artists, including Clairo, Remi Wolf, and Maggie Rogers.
We caught up with Isabel Dumaa about the single and finding her way.
What is the inspiration behind your new single “Quarter Life Crisis”?
I moved to LA when I was 18, shortly after graduating high school. I knew practically no one, but I knew I just had to go for it. Not to anyone’s surprise, this move came with its fair share of obstacles and pitfalls, all of which contributed to the birth of the “Quarter Life Crisis.” For me, “Quarter Life Crisis” is about the universal feelings of loneliness and self-discovery that we all encounter in one way or another as we learn who we are as adults. I was feeling overwhelmed figuring out who I was, not only as a person but also as an artist. I think 18-24 is a really weird time for people because it is this limbo period between childhood and adulthood that no one really warns you about. I knew I wasn’t alone in what I was feeling, so I sat down to write a song about it and out came “Quarter Life Crisis”!
How did you get connected with Drew Polovick from ‘Friday Pilots Club’ and songwriter Olivia “LIIV” Cargile, and what was it like working with them on the track?
LIIV, Drew, and I were all essentially randomly connected. Drew was told that LIIV and I knew each other, LIIV had been told that Drew and I knew each other, and I was under the impression that the two of them knew each other. So it was a funny beginning when we all realized we were actually strangers. We all connected pretty immediately, and the creative juices started flowing. I feel so lucky I got to work with the two of them on this track, and I couldn’t be happier with the final product.
How did you come up with the concept for the video, and what was it like working with Stephanie Silas to bring it to life?
“Quarter Life Crisis” talks a lot about the parts of California I’m not too fond of, but at the end of the day I feel so lucky to get to live here and wanted to highlight the more beautiful part of California. I knew I wanted to have this somewhat retro aspect and find a way to meld that with modernity. I threw together a Pinterest board with my vision, then I passed it off to Stephanie Silas, and she did the most incredible job of bringing it to life.
Do you have a favorite memory from filming the video?
We decided to rent a 1969 Impala shoot which everyone was really excited about, but that ended up almost being our undoing. The car broke down not one, not two, but FIVE times throughout the day. We had plans to bring it up into the canyon but decided it was too risky. My favorite memory would have to be the car giving out about halfway through a 3-point turn across a single-lane road, so Stephanie, a kind stranger, and I had to push it up the hill.
If you could set listeners up in the perfect environment to listen to the single, what do you imagine it looking like?
In my mind, the perfect environment to listen to “Quarter Life Crisis” would be driving away from your life for a vacation or something, listening to it with the windows down.
How do you hope those listeners feel, especially those that are not quite where they want to be in life yet?
I really hope people can just feel heard, understood, and a little less alone. I wrote Quarter Life Crisis because I was feeling so alone in that era of my life, but now seeing the response, I know so many people feel the same. Life can be so isolating at times, especially when you are a young adult, and I just hope anyone who is struggling can listen to “Quarter Life Crisis” and feel a little less alone.
What can fans expect from your upcoming EP?
The EP will be a little piece of my heart. I am really trying to make an EP that encapsulates me as an artist and as a person. I put my whole heart and soul into my music, and I want that to show in my EP. It’s got a little bit of everything. You can expect to cry, dance, laugh, scream, and everything in between.
What can fans look forward to next?
Lots more music and shows! I am trying my best to put out as much music as I can and to put more shows together in the future.
What is one quote that you have heard or that you go by that you want to ECHO out to the world?
It’s hard to pin down just one. Depending on where I am in my life, different quotes resonate with me. When I was writing “Quarter Life Crisis” though, the one that stood out to me the most was, “What if I fall?” “Oh but my darling, what if you fly?”. That was one of my favorite quotes growing up, and although one could argue it is cheesy, it is one that I will always hold near to my heart. I think everyone could benefit from that quote a little more!