After signing to Sony’s Epic records, London-based singer-songwriter Izzy Bizu has enjoyed a whirlwind 2016
Thrust into the limelight by the likes of Annie Mac and Trevor Nelson on BBC Radio 1, Bizu made the shortlist for both the BBC Sound of 2016 and BRIT Critics’ Choice awards. She has since supported the likes of Sam Smith and Rudimental and performed at this year’s Glastonbury Festival.
Daniel Jeakins sat down with her backstage at T in the Park to talk about her upcoming debut album, and the industry buzz surrounding her.
Hi Izzy! Tell me a bit about yourself and where you’re from.
“I’m from South West London – I’m living in Hammersmith at the moment though. I’m really enjoying it so far!”
Your album is out in September – what inspired it?
“I guess it was inspired by my first love. I wrote it while in the relationship but I suppose I was pre-empting the break-up.
“It’s a bit weird – there are some things that are very optimistic on it and some stuff that’s very dark. It’s all about falling in love and the insecurities that come with it as a boy or a girl.
“It’s also about that feeling when you’ve just fallen in love for the first time and you never thought it was going to happen. So a lot of things really.”
You were given a great start to your career by influential taste-makers, and nominated for awards. Was there a moment when you realised you were making waves in the industry, and what was it like to be surrounded by that kind of buzz?
“I was very scared. I was of course very happy as well but it was a little overwhelming.
“To be honest it was probably less of an overnight thing than it looks from the outside looking in. I spent a long time working on music, but the schedule just got busier and we were doing more and more gigs.
“I thought ‘woah, this is amazing’, but I never really had time to take it in until about a month ago. All the people I’ve written songs with, as well as my producer, are all good friends of mine. We’re all really happy that it’s taking off.”
What would you like to achieve with this first album?
“I do have ambitions, but I also love the journey so I’m letting it be whatever it becomes. I don’t like to force things, I just really enjoyed writing the album.”
Your song ‘La Foule’ was heard throughout the summer as the BBC’s EURO 2016 theme. How did that opportunity arise?
“They’ve been absolutely incredible to me. The BBC have supported me from the beginning – I put ‘White Tiger’ in the BBC introducing website and they put it out there.
“It’s awesome how they support artists – they’re all really nice people and give everyone a chance. They ask me to try out for the EURO 2016 song and thankfully they went for it”.
What’s next for you once the album drops?
“Holiday! I’m going to try and go to Hawaii. Obviously I’ll be touring as well – I guess we’ll see how well the album does and that will decide how long for.”
Izzy Bizu’s debut album ‘A Moment Of Madness’ is out on September 2nd
See her live at the following festivals and dates:
August 12: Cooper’s Field, Cardiff
August 17: Victorious Festival, Portsmouth
September 8-11: Bestival, Isle Of Wight
September 14: KOKO, London