Rising singer-songwriter Isabella is looking to make pop-free classic country music for a new generation | Photo Provided

Rising singer-songwriter and recent Wando graduate Isabella Ullo, known on stage simply as Isabella, is looking to make country music for a new generation. 

“My goal is to keep my music country, I’m never going to do pop country, that’s not who I am,” she said. “But I want to define a sound for this era.” 

Isabella comes by her love of music honestly: her grandparents were musicians, and her mother turned down a record deal in Nashville to focus on raising her family. Isabella learned to play the guitar when she was 7. 

“From a very young age, I just had that initial passion and fire for performing — I just always wanted to be on a stage,” she said. 

At 15, she put on her first-ever live performance at the Honky Tonk Saloon in Ladson, S.C. Within seven months she found herself playing her own three-hour sets and opening for bigger artists from Nashville, but the low-key yet rowdy atmosphere of Honky Tonk Saloon remains a favorite. 

To more fervently pursue her musical career, Isabella graduated early when she finished her studies in December 2021. She’s now working on recording her first single in Nashville. 

The song, “Me and Hank,” is an exploration of Isabella’s personality and a reference to country music giant Hank Williams. 

“If you want me, you gotta like me and Hank,” Isabella explained. “So Hank is kind of like a personality feature — he’s my country side, the fun, rowdy side. If you don’t know who Hank is, you definitely don’t know the real me.” 

The new track is set to be released early this summer, and in the meantime, Isabella plans to continue booking shows in Charleston and in Nashville. She’s also been nominated for best female vocalist in City Paper’s Best of Charleston, a feat she hopes will continue to bring new fans to her music. 

“I’m very blessed and very grateful,” she said. “This is what I love to do, and this is my hometown. And I’m very grateful to God for everything, whatever his plan is, I’m working hard to pursue what he put in my heart. And my mother and my brother, I could not do this without them. They do everything to support my music.”

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