LEO ISLO is the moniker of Portland-based producer, singer, and multi-instrumentalist Matt Pahler.
Born in Santiago, Chile and raised in the small mountain city of Flagstaff, Arizona, LEO ISLO amassed an eclectic mix of art from the world around him, instilling a sense of wanderlust at a young age. By 17 and armed with a fake ID, he began touring as a drummer playing at a variety of venues across Arizona from local bars and clubs to casinos and popular lounges. It wasn’t long before his desire and self-motivation lead him to songwriting and learning guitar.
It was during a move from Los Angeles to Portland that LEO ISLO found himself drawn to the world of electronic music for the first time. Artists like Jai Paul, Neon Indian, Toro Y Moi, Caribou, Washed Out, and Grimes became early influences on his approach to production, fueling his propensity to create tracks with retro-soaked synths, ethereal pop vocals, warm guitar lines, and analog driven beats.
His first EP as LEO ISLO, Modern Fiction (2014), was conceptualized on a beach in Nicaragua and realized in his chilly garage studio through unrelenting DIY love, trial and error, and many sleepless nights, and garnered him a placement with MTV and the nod of approval from the indie music community.
2015 was a breakout year for LEO ISLO and saw a transition away from chillwave towards uptempo house-driven beats through a series of single releases. As music blogs took notice a small but devoted fanbase started to appear, leading to further internet accolades. ‘Oh Dystopia’ garnered placement on the Spotify Viral Charts (#13 USA / #12 Canada) while ‘Higher Living’ and ‘Coexist’ went on to place well on the Hype Machine Charts (#10 & #6 respectively).
In 2016, LEO ISLO continues to build on his unique brand of danceable and thought provoking electronic music with his latest release ‘Golden Grave.’ The EP focuses on themes of dark introspection, ephemeral mortality, and fleeting nostalgia shifting seamlessly between lo-fi pop, house, and indie rock. His sound continues to evolve as it incorporates aspects of each of these styles while progressing the realm of possibility within them. Relentless in his approach to creating the music he loves, LEO ISLO is patiently building the foundations of a promising career, note by note.
For Booking & General Questions: alex [at] solvethispuzl.com