RSVP to Isaac Dunbar's Party

RSVP to Isaac Dunbar's Party

By Erica CampbellJan 26, 2024

Isaac Dunbar is throwing the best party of the year and it's only January. In his new electric, funk-laden track "Apartment A," the disco time traveler sweetly croons, "I want to go to Paris/ I want to go to Spain/ I want to lose my wallet and kiss the bitch who stole it!" and we can't think of a better manifesto. When PAPER asks Dunbar if these gorgeous lines are inspired by real events, he answers succinctly: "Yes, very much so."

"Apartment A" marks a fresh era of music from Dunbar and is his first new track since 2022's critically acclaimed Banish The Banshee. The visuals of the track mirror the lyrics perfectly, pulling you into a sleazy, sweaty, eccentric party filled with glitter and well-dressed revelers. "The whole song is about my first experiences with nightlife; to be specific, in the West Village of New York," Dunbar tells PAPER. "The song is an ode to the incredible friends I made in the city, all of us chasing fame within the walls of our (very, very small) apartments. One story that was inspired directly to the song has to do with a night out a gay club. Unfortunately one of my friends lost her wallet. Well, she actually got it stolen. It was terrible."

But not everything in the track has happened... yet. "In regards to me traveling, I definitely was traveling during the time of recording this song... but not to Paris nor Spain as I say in the song," he says. "I definitely have never cooked eggs and bacon for a man. I hyperbolized."

Below, Dunbar invites us to his party and tells PAPER what we can expect from his new era of music.

You’ve been described as “theatrical, bombastic, larger-than-life.” Do you feel like those are appropriate descriptors?

As a child, all the artists I listened to were theatrical, bombastic and larger-than-life. On the outside looking in, I guess those are appropriate ways to describe me. I just care a lot, and I want the world to see that. Whether it be through the lens of meeting me one-on-one, or through the lens of how I appear to the world and to pop culture.

“Apartment A” sounds and feels like a party, sonically. How did you make that happen?

I have no idea how that happened, but after listening to the song and taking in your comment, I totally hear it! I guess a loose answer is the energy in the room. I made the song in Los Angeles, and at the time was living in New York. I guess I brought that New York to the studio and gave the girls what was necessary.

There’s something very timeless about the “Apartment A” video and track. Were there any eras of music or other artists that inspired the visuals of the song?

My exposure to New York was so inspiring. I feel like this video and song are an amalgamation of all my previous work. Going out, dancing and meeting new people from all sorts of paths were very much a part of the vision. Socialites, locals, transplants, people I saw on the street and club kids, too.

How did you bring the vision for “Apartment A” to life?

Well, in my calendar, I had a session set up. The session consisted of Matias Mora, Cary Singer and Sizzy Rocket. It was the first time we had all met, and we clicked really well. We had started a song that day and collectively were not feeling it... but then we started a new track. Matias opened a new project in Ableton, then Cary grabbed a bass and made the bassline we know and love. Then he laid down a drum pattern on an acoustic drum set in the same garage we recorded the song in. Sizzy and I sat on the floor conceptualizing and thinking. In my head I heard "Apartment A" so I wrote it down in the shared note her and I were writing on. She would write a bar, and I would write a bar. Everything she wrote inspired me, and everything I wrote, inspired her. In my book, we wrote a hit; all four of us.

What do you hope viewers and listeners will feel and take away once they’ve seen the “Apartment A” video?

I want you to feel inspired, like you can create fame within the walls of your room. As Lady Gaga said, "I've felt famous my whole life." As you explore who you are, and your identity, you will feel free. All the cool kids you knew in school with all of their "glory" (or anyone who made you feel less than) cannot compare to you now. You are you, so just dance. Love your body and love who you are. I feel like I haven't shown myself to the world in this way as I have in the “Apartment A” music video. I want you to dance.

What can fans expect from your next era of music?

Expect the unexpected. I love you all. Thank you for having me, PAPER.

Photography: Lindsay Ellary