London-based songwriter IZZA creates her own unique of dark-soul pop. With an incredible talent for writing infectious pop tunes with killer production, IZZA is an artist to keep on your radar. We recently spoke to IZZA about her new single “Lows”, how to keep positive and the importance of building a good team around you.
Hey Izza, how’s life treating you at the moment?
Hey! Life is good. I’ve just released music for the first time in a while and it feels so nice – although times are obviously very strange at the moment. It’s been hard to adapt to the big corona life changes but it also gave me more time for other things. Like preparing the release of ‘Lows’ for example.
Tell us all about your new single! We’re really loving the dark pop undertones of “Lows”.
‘Lows’ came about when Amy McKnight, who’s an amazing writer and producer, and I were writing together in her studio in Shepherds Bush. I had a dark couple of days before that. I was anxious and not sure if I was on the right path. I wanted to write something that would pick me up. And it did.
Back then I had no idea how relevant this song was gonna be on its release day. Covid has affected me a lot (like so many of us). I miss performing and recording & songwriting sessions so much. The very thing that made me fall in love with London – the music scene, the buzz, the intimate hot sweaty gigs you can go to every day of the week, the inspiring people you can meet unexpectedly – everything is on hold. I feel the lows everyday. And that’s okay. Crying is okay. And feeling shit is okay. But I also know things will change and we should never forget that belly laughs can still happen in the weirdest of times. ‘Lows’ reminds me that even if something might feel like the end of the world, it isn’t! I hope this song makes people feel happy, sending positive vibes and helping to overcome the low moments, like it did for me.
It’s got a really positive message that I can imagine will resonate with a lot of people right now. What kind of things help you to stay so positive?
Music haha. Like for many musicians and artists I think music is almost like therapy. It takes me to a different time and space – I love it. I also started reading again, to avoid spending too much time in front of a screen (especially during lockdown). I feel reading helps me to calm my mind, and it also helps me go to sleep. Going for walks is another great thing and just putting the phone away and having some time breathing and being in nature. I find that nature (especially looking up in the sky night or day) helps me to look at my worries from a different perspective – suddenly big problems feel much smaller. Also a nice meal and good movie is great. Surround yourself with people who don’t suck out your energy but give you positive vibes.
You’ve worked alongside some great producers, is it important to have a good team around you when creating new music?
Definitely – a good team is so important. When you write/make music with other people you often share really intimate and personal moments/experiences and it can get quite deep quite quickly. It’s so important to be on the same wavelength and click with the people in the room. Have some trust and also feel like you can have a laugh and be yourself around the people you create with. If I don’t have a connection with someone, I probably won’t make good music with that person.
The video for the single is also really cool. What was it like filming those visuals?
Filming was great because I got to work with the amazing Sam and James from Daisy Chain Video and a wonderful team. Again teamwork and the atmosphere is so important, and it was just a great group of people to work with. However it wasn’t easy – because we had to change the concept of the video to conform to Covid-19 rules. The original video supposed to be shot in March but that obviously all got put on hold. But despite the difficulties we made it work and I’m so happy about the result! We want to send a message with this video that “it’s okay to have your demons. You can live with them. Invite them to a party and make them dance!”
Do you have a video narrative in mind when you’re writing a track?
Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t – it depends on the song. But I really love brainstorming with people about it, bouncing off ideas and collaborating with other creatives and see what other ideas we can come up with.
Well were really loving this track and can’t wait to share it with everyone – do you feel nervous on release day when the track finally goes live?
Thank you so much and thanks for your support! Of course it’s always quite an exciting and nerve racking time releasing new music. But i love sharing the music with the people and letting the song out in the wide world haha.
Finally, what’s the one thing you want to do in 2021?
Play a packed gig again and hug people – I miss it!
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