Meet Isabella Erardi
With over 1 million views on her first-ever release with a $0 marketing budget, and hundreds of thousands of combined views/streams that translated over to her own platforms, Isabella Erardi has just scratched the surface of a new path she is forging: fusing modern pop with the sometimes subtle, sometimes not-so-subtle message of the Gospel, lyrically designed for secular and Christian audiences alike.
A spirit-filled, painfully honest, empathy-driven writer, Isabella’s music has the doors to her listener’s hearts unlocked often from the very first verse. Her writing has earned her two finalizations in Songwriting University’s nationwide songwriting competition, co-writes with songwriters like Rita Springer and Jesse Reeves, as well as thousands of testimonials from her music:
“I was drowning in one of my worst days…I was feeling totally unworthy of life and love… every day I fight to love myself and believe I'm beautiful and good enough and, actually, I was winning the fight. I was starting to feel... enough until today… Inside, I just wanted to die, when I found your song, and it was everything I needed to hear. I'm not really good at explaining things, but, what I can say is that I felt loved, especially in that part "don't think for a second that you don't matter", I could feel that I matter to God. He loves me and this is what I need to survive. Thank you so much for your beautiful song! God bless You!”
“In my room, again, asking God for help, [feeling] enslaved by [my] own mind... Earlier I said to God, ‘I can’t stand to live anymore… I prefer to die’ ...Then in my room, kneeling praying once more to God, and with a confused heart, I went on YouTube and started scrolling. I asked, ‘God, send me a song, please’ ...And this song comes, saying exactly what I go through and that he loves me, that I am the work of his hands, so [now] I do not think things that I have thought, and [I know] that he cares ...I do not deserve this love, GLORY TO GOD”
“Wow ... I don't even know what to say about it, this song touched my heart, I cried a lot, I'm going through such difficult things, every day I wake up hoping that the day will end at once because it's so difficult to fight for life, I can't take it anymore, This song made me reflect so much about life and the Lord Jesus, I don't understand how he can love me so much, I love him so much”
-Fan responses to Isabella’s music
Isabella decided on her music career at 6 years old and hasn’t wavered from her decision since.
At 14, she and her family made the move from her hometown of Hot Springs, Arkansas, to Southern California to be better connected to the music industry and to attend the highly sought-after Orange County School of Performing Arts. She flourished at OCSA, earning showcases and solo performances normally reserved for upperclassmen. At 14 she was discovered by an agent and auditioned for Capitol Records. From there she was sent to an artist development company where she was asked if she had ever thought about doing Christian music.
As Isabella put it:
“The only Christian music I had been exposed to was repetitive and vague. I didn’t see Christian music that addressed deep issues people were struggling with; I didn’t hear anything that would appeal to a secular audience. It seemed like there was only Christian music for people who either wanted a feel-good escape from life or could wholeheartedly worship the Lord- and don’t get me wrong, there’s value in that. But what about people who hate God? What about people who would never turn on a Christian station because they don’t think God is for them? What about people who have been burned by Christians and are triggered by Christian language? There’s an unmet market opportunity to meet more people where they’re at.”
Isabella’s talent caught the attention of Grammy award-winning producer Phil Allen and they started making music. In late 2019, she released God Made You By Hand with no marketing other than social media posts. Soon after, she released her first EP, Throne Room, in March of 2020. A week later, the world shut down.
Despite the terrible timing and nonexistent budget, God Made You By Hand went viral on YouTube. The video topped 500,000 views before the channel that reposted it mysteriously wiped all of its content. Then the song went viral on TikTok via an influencer she’d never met, adding another half a million views to the song’s track record. Covers of her music, even some translated into foreign languages, started pouring in across social media. The vast amount of reposting and recreation left many confused on who the original artist was, but those that did find her own platforms gave Isabella a strong beginning a fiercely loyal and supportive fan base. She was flooded with thousands of comments on how her music was literally being used to save lives.
In the Summer of 2021, she finished her first tour with the Extreme Tour, an organization that takes uplifting concerts to poverty and crime-ridden areas around the US.
The success of her music in the midst of unbeatable odds goes to show that her lyrics, her sound, her mission- it works. The question isn’t if she’s marketable to a grand audience; the question is when the opportunity will come, and who wants to come with her.