It’s just a small step from the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA) to a record deal, and Louis De Roo (26) takes it with ease. Now he can fully focus on writing songs, making a debut album and working hard for his predestined big breakthrough, under his nom de plume Isaac Roux.
If LIPA doesn’t ring a bell, then ‘Paul McCartney’s music academy’ certainly will. In 2015 De Roo was one of the lucky 100 applicants that were admitted to study there for four years, even having the chance to work on some songs with Sir Paul himself. His English has also made great strides forward, which was, in his own words, one of the most important reasons to go to England in the first place: with a perfect accent he puts his emotions and soul in his songs, wrapped in guitars that build up at the right moment. Think: Bon Iver, Ben Howard, Perfume Genius and My Morning Jacket or, closer to home, Novastar.
‘White Rose’ is one of those songs, heavenly indie folk with just the right amount of edge, a full sound, not slick, and the warm glow of De Roo’s characteristic voice. It was White Rose that brought him victory in ‘De Nieuwe Lichting’ (‘The New Class’), a steppingstone to a thriving career, following in the footsteps of fellow label artists The Haunted Youth and Mooneye. Radio stations in Belgium and The Netherlands were head over heels, and Spotify didn’t hesitate to provide full support. Live the combination of warm indie folk and alternative rock works even better, if possible, and Isaac Roux never fails to leave a crowd open-mouthed. No wonder he’s already supported acts like The Haunted Youth, Mooneye, Marble Sounds, Portland and The Bony King of Nowhere.
With all that in mind, every normal person would start to swoon, but not Louis De Roo. With the experience he already has and his feet firmly on the ground, he has what it takes to fulfil the promise, without rushing things. Isaac Roux has a lot more beautiful stuff in store for us, and in the distance, somewhere in 2024, a sensational debut album is already peeking.