Getting to Know: Izzy Bizu
Can you remember the last time you heard a song by an artist you never heard of and it immediately became your favorite song?
It happened to me when I heard Izzy Bizu’s “White Tiger”. When I first heard UK Native Izzy Bizu come through my ear buds it was an immediate blast of freshness. Five seconds was all it took for me to be hooked on this song. By the end of the 2:55 runtime I couldn’t help but smile.
It’s moments like this that make me love discovering new music.
Whenever I hear a new artist I have an immediate connection with, I have to dig deeper into his/her discography. When this happens you end up finding even more musical gems.
After listening to Izzy Bizu’s growing catalog I hear a voice that is fresh, upbeat, and incredibly versatile. On ballads like “Mad Behaviour” or upbeat songs like “White Tiger”, Izzy showcases some real start qualities.
Izzy is moving fast too. She just released the video of her new single “Mad Behavior” and is prepping for a big summer with the release of her debut album A Moment of Madness. To give you a better idea of Izzy’s musical influences, rise to prominence in the UK music scene, and her creative process for her upcoming album A Moment of Madness check out our conversation below.
Get to know her sound with an 11-track “Starter Pack” playlist to introduce you to her fresh sound. Track 6 in the playlist “Sam Smith, J Dilla, Portishead Medley” is absolutely a song you will listen to on repeat.
Sonic Selects: What songs did you listen to growing up and how has your musical taste changed? Was there an artist who specifically inspired you to pursue music?
Izzy Bizu: I would listen to Marvin Gaye if I ever felt blue, his melodies are euphoric and lyrics seem to comfort me. Amy Winehouse when I wanted to be on a cloud reminiscing and drifting into my own world. James Brown when I wanted to be silly and dance round the house, and to be fair I still listen to them now have also grown to be fond of indie/ bluesy/ rock music like The Black Keys, The Antlers, Tame Impala and the Alabama Shakes. What they all have in common is attitude, soul and great lyrics that tell a story!
SS: Being Zane Lowe’s Next Hype back in 2013 must have been a huge moment for you, what was the moment you realized that you were making an impact with your music?
Izzy: Yeah, that was so lovely to find out he liked my song! When people started to notice “Mad Behaviour” on the Later with…Jools Holland show, I was glad that people could relate to what I was singing about, it’s the most honest song I’ve written.
SS: How has the UK music scene supported you since the release of your CoolBeanz EP and leading up to the release of your upcoming album?
Izzy: The UK music scene have been lovely to me, sometimes at gigs people still want me to play Fools Gold off the EP lol! But yeah it’s been a great journey and can’t wait to take you guys through to the album as a lot has happened since the EP!
SS: What was your creative process like when creating your EP? How has your process evolved when creating A Moment of Madness?
Izzy: Well the EP was like summer jams in the park, recording at Jay’s (engineer) studio in Sutton (South West London). He fitted a basketball hoop on the wall next to his studio where we would play at lunchtime LOL, but all the songs started in a bedroom in a flat in Kennington (London). We (me and co-writer on the EP and majority of the album) were lazy, happy and not thinking… Writing A Moment of Madness was slightly different; we were introduced to a couple of producers, who are now very good friends of ours. All family men, who took time to understand who I was and purely just had joy making music so sometimes we jammed with a guitar, piano, bass with vocals and there was a song!
SS: “White Tiger” was released in 2013 – fast-forward to 2016 your debut album is set to release. What experiences did you pull from to create this album? What were you listening to?
Izzy: It was all life experience, moving out, relationships I had, and quite frankly being confused LOL. I guess everyone has been there right? So all of the above, Amy Winehouse, Ray Charles, Marvin Gaye, The Black Keys & The Kooks.
SS: You have made some incredible visuals for “White Tiger” and “Give Me Love”. These videos really match the vibe of each track. How does your approach to visuals differ from your approach to songwriting?
Izzy: Well I think I’m probably more qualified to write songs then a video if I’m honest, so we got in touch with directors and I would explain the song to them and we combined our ideas together, for now we have gone for simplicity.
SS: What are 3 jams that you a rocking with at the moment?