Featured Interview: BIRN Visual Media Director Isabel Kret

Isabel Kret is the visual media director at the BIRN, and in her last semester at Berklee. She is from Washington, D.C., and majors in MP&E and Professional Music, with focuses in music technology and songwriting, and minors in commercial record production. She has been surrounded by musicians and artists her whole life and comes from an extremely artistic family. Her mother used to tell her that she literally “breathed music” when she was little. At just six years old Isabel began playing classical piano and then continued to expand her musical interests in the guitar, flute, Celtic flute, and penny whistle. She grew an interest in writing pop and rock music after she wrote her first song at ten years old.

In high school, she also became really interested in heavy metal guitar, and started working at a studio and recording her songs. Working in the studio struck up her interest for production, and from then on she has had a passion for producing and engineering. In addition to her many musical talents, Isabel also has a strong passion for photography and design, and she started working in a dark room in high school, and then went on to be the editor of her high school literary art magazine.

Isabel discovered Berklee at only 13 years old, and from then on was hooked. She was impressed by the production courses they offered. Although she knew Berklee would be the place she ended up at, her college experience started with visual arts. Berklee is actually her second college, as she attended Towson University to receive her first degree in graphic design.

I asked Isabel about her main influences, whether they be musicians, graphic designers, or producers, and she told me about Arca, a producer, Sevdaliza, a musician, and Michael Brauer, an engineer and mixer. She expressed how Arca’s production is “unique, weird, lush, and experimental,” all things Isabel loves to do herself when producing. His style is uniquely his own, yet this is exactly what has made him successful and led to collaborations with mainstream artists. Sevdaliza is an artist that has similar qualities in her work as Arca, and Isabel admires her writing, production, and visual aesthetic as well. Michael Brauer is a grammy award winning mix engineer known for his elaborate studio set up with millions of dollars in outboard gear. She recently attempted to emulate his mix style for a sound alike project in her major. 

Isabel described her design style to me, and expressed how she loves using “texture, watercolors, florals, clean and minimal colors, and bold and plant-based patterns.” She has been influenced by designers such as Jade Purple Brown, Stefan Sagmeister, and Adrian Frutiger, among others.

A quote Isabel lives by: “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming ‘wow what a ride!’” -Hunter S. Thompson.

Post-grad for Isabel will hopefully consist of taking an internship right out of Berklee and working in a studio to further her engineering skills. She would like to work as a freelancer for both production and mixing, as well as for her own music. After that, she ultimately wants to move back to Spain to get her MBA from IE Business School in Madrid.

I asked Isabel if her post-Berklee goals and plans are different than they were her first semester. Although she knew entering Berklee that she wanted to be involved in production and own her artist development company, at one point she became interested in pursuing songwriting or developing an artist persona. She said she realized that’s not in line with what she wants to do and has always noticed herself gravitating to be more behind the scenes and wanting to be in charge of how things flow, rather than be a player.

In 10 years, Isabel sees herself “on a yacht floating off the Amalfi coast.” Realistically, she said she wants to be fully fluent in Spanish and definitely living somewhere in Europe. She wants to be leading a company in an upper-level position or leading one of her own in a way that combines all her areas of interest.