A Chat With: Izzy Bizu
The London based singer-songwriter Izzy Bizu may have toured and collaborated with some of your favorite bands, but one listen to her songs like "White Tiger" or "Lost Paradise" and there's no doubt she's got the vocal chops and the writing talent to stand out completely on her own. Influenced by a broad range of artists, from James Brown to Amy Winehouse, Bizu fuses together soulful pop music with a touch of the blues and funk to craft fresh and irresistible tunes. Bizu has continuously picked up steam and gained a following after supporting artists such as Sam Smith and Rudimental, some hype from Zane Lowe and Annie Mac, and performances at festivals like Glastonbury. Bizu also sings on the duet "Someone That Loves You" with HONNE, which has racked up over six million Spotify streams.
Before she hits the road with Coldplay for their massive stadium tour next month, Bizu took some time to talk about her plans for the tour, from stage set ups to skateboarding, as well as new music, from her writing process to her collaborations. Find out all that and more in our chat with Izzy Bizu!
ANCHR Magazine: I last saw you when you toured with Spring King and Sundara Karma in the States and played The Bottom Lounge. It was a really cool show, and I liked how it kind of mixed the different genres. So what were some highlights for you from that tour?
Izzy Bizu: I loved New York so much! Where did we end up? We ended up in Chicago! That was really fun. We had a really fun night. We actually got to know the bands really properly and really personally. We sort of went out together and had a bit of a dance, and that was really funny. That was really cool. It was so long ago!
AM: Yeah, it was ages ago now!
IB: It was a really cool experience, and I loved the music as well.
AM: Nice! So now you’re gearing up to tour with Coldplay on a massive stadium tour! What are you looking forward to on this tour coming up?
IB: I’m looking forward to meeting them all first of all! I’m looking forward to just getting to know everyone on tour. Just having the most amazing time onstage and losing ourselves. I’m really nervous as well. It’s such a big audience, but I think it’ll be okay.
AM: I’m sure you’ll do great!
IB: Yeah, hope so! I think it’ll be fine. It’s definitely going to be a new experience for me, but I think that everyone on the tour seems very loving and kind. I’ve got a few nice texts from people that are going and it’s really like chilled me out. I’m really looking forward to that!
AM: Are you planning any changes in your production then to fill such a big stage? Any new additions to the set? Or will it be just your same incredible show that you always put on?
IB: Thank you! That's so sweet! It’s actually gonna be a lot different. It’s gonna be smaller because the slot that we were given was an acoustic set. It’s gonna be quite electronic. It’s gonna be semi-acoustic and semi-electronic. I’ve got somebody doing beats and bass, and I’ve got my guitarist. I’m singing and sometimes I’ll be playing piano, and we swap around the instruments. It’s a little different, but it’s cool because I’ve been doing it the same for a couple years. It’s gonna be really exciting to do it in a different way. The songs have got a new spin on them now, which could be interesting.
AM: Oh that’ll be fun to see! It’s cool that you’ll be mixing electronic and acoustic settings. Are there any cities in particular that you’re looking forward to seeing? I’m sure there’s a lot more dates on this run than the tour last year in America [with Spring King and Sundara Karma].
IB: Yeah, absolutely! I can’t wait to go to obviously-- I can’t wait for New York! Canada! Oh my god, I can’t wait for that. I’ve never been to Canada in my life, ever. Miami should be funny. Where else? We’re going to Minneapolis as well. I haven’t really been to half these places so I don’t really know what to look forward to.
AM: New York you’re actually headlining your own show there. What’s the setup for that show then, and do you have anything special planned?
IB: That’s the same as well! There’s just three of us on stage. If you come, I guess you’ll see the setup, but it’ll be cool!
AM: Well I also heard that you love to skateboard in your free time whenever you have any. When did you get into that?
IB: I got into that when I was 17. Then I haven’t really stopped since. Me and my guitarist both skate, and we’re going to go in New York. The roads are so much better than our roads--our roads are so shit!
AM: Cool, so you’ll skate on tour. Anything else you do to stay entertained on the road?
IB: Probably read a book, play cards, make some music!
AM: So are you writing for the next record then already?
IB: Yeah, certainly finding some new sounds, that sort of thing.
AM: So for the new material do you have any plans to release anything soon?
IB: Not soon. Probably next year! Early next year. I’m gonna get back in September and sort of chill out and start writing before Christmas. That’s my plan.
AM: Nice! Well speaking of new music, I know you recently did that new collaboration with Milky Chance and I also love your collaboration with HONNE. Do you have any plans to collaborate with anybody else soon, or anyone else on your bucket list to work with?
AM: Manifest it into reality, right? Just keep talking about it and maybe one day it’ll happen!
IB: Yeah, maybe!
AM: Then you actually performed the collaboration with Milky Chance live at a festival, so how was that experience?
IB: That was super fun! I had the weekend off and they were like do you want to come? I was like yep! As simple as that. Yeah, it was really sweet. They’re so fun to hang out with. I’ve known them for a few years now. I met them four years ago. I supported them on one of their headlines randomly. Then we kept in contact and we started writing together...They’re really, really sweet.
AM: Very cool! So what new music have you been listening to lately that you can recommend to your fans?
IB: I just listened to Mahalia. She’s great. I’ve just listened to... oh I love Glass Animals! They’re so good! I saw them live, and I was like AHHH why haven’t I heard this before? I love them so much! I also love Tyler, The Creator. He dropped his new album, it’s brilliant!
AM: Anything else you’re looking forward to this year, besides the tour with Coldplay?
IB: I’m looking forward to writing new music. I’m moving soon and I can’t wait to be in a cocoon and write some new music. I’m traveling abroad for some other shows. We’re going to Thailand, which I’m so excited about! It’s gonna be a fun period of writing and doing some gigs abroad.