Charlotte Pearson catches up with Izzy Bizu who is fast becoming the singer on everyone’s playlists.
Summer and festivals go hand in hand and even if we don’t always have the weather for it here in the UK, you can’t beat listening to a number of great bands in a field with your friends.
“I love festivals,” smiles singer Izzy Bizu.
“I love the relaxed vibe and how it showcases a range of different people in an outdoor setting.
“I have a couple I am doing this year and I really hope after I have performed, I will get to see some acts.”
Alongside her own tour starting this month (June) over the summer, Izzy will be playing at Lovebox in London, Secret Garden Party in Huntington, Victorious Festival in Portsmouth and Wild Life at Brighton City airport, which takes place on June 11 and 12.
“I’m really excited about going out and performing,” she says.
“My dad lives in Bexhill so just along the coast from Brighton. I love it down there. It is nice to get out of London and do a windy coastal walk.
“The album is out in the next couple of months so I can’t wait to see how people react to the music.”
Her debut album A Moment of Madness has been nearly two years in the making.
“The thing is I feel it isn’t finished. If it were up to me I would still be working on it now but I know my management wouldn’t let me,” she laughs.
“My work is a slow work in progress. When I released the EP it wasn’t that I wasn’t bothered how it did, but I thought if it doesn’t go to plan, I’m new at this and just finding my feet.
“But with the album there is some pressure as it is showing people what I can do.”
And while previous singles White Tiger, Mad Behaviour and Someone That Loves You are sure to get people on the dancefloor, Izzy says some might be surprised by the rest of the album.
“In the studio we improvised a lot so we would just jam,” she explains. “This way the songs would grow, it was very organic.
“Some of the songs sound really happy but if you listen to the lyrics, it can be quite dark and emotional.
“But there are slow jams and a lot to groove to, I would say there are a few good grooves.”
Born to an Ethiopian mother and English father, who met on a charity walk, it was his career in civil engineering that saw Izzy and her older brother living in the Middle East for four years, spending their free days playing rugby and cricket before settling in south London, the place the family still call home.
Starting young, the 22-year-old admits she started her career singing in her room and writing poems which would later become songs.
“I have been doing music properly for about two or three years behind closed doors really,” she adds. “Although I have had an EP before, it is nice to start getting recognition which means I must be doing something right.”
This recognition saw her being featured in the BBC’s Sound of 2016 list and coming Brits 2016 Critic’s Choice award runner-up – both were won by Jack Garratt.
“The Brits was an amazing experience,” the singer recalls. “Being able to see people like Adele, Justin Bieber and Rihanna perform live.
“I also performed a song at the after party on ITV2, which was really interesting.
“It was only one song but everyone had been drinking for quite a while so it was very different watching people dancing about.”
While this year the singer has been on a number of TV shows, she admits it is completely different to a live gig.
“I get quite nervous about performing on television,” Izzy admits. “I remember when we were first on Jools Holland we did a couple of songs but I was so nervous as I love that show.
“Other than rehearsing, you can’t really prepare for it, before I just had a couple of hours’ sleep, did my warm up and performed.
“I am really lucky as my band are such a great support network. I know they have my back and I have theirs and we are always there for one another.”
With a lot of festivals lined up and more sure to be added, this is one singer you will regret not catching live.
For more information about Izzy, visit izzybizu.com Izzy’s debut album
A Moment of Madness is out on Epic/ Sony on September 2.
Event takes place: Saturday, June 11 and June 12, 2016.
Tickets available from: www.ticketmaster.co.uk
For more information, visit www.wildlifefestival.com
May 25, 2016 Culture and Events