Photo: Nathan Sam Long

Interview: Talking with IZZA about Her New EP – ‘Thinking In The Dark’

London-based alt-pop artist IZZA just released her debut EP, Thinking In The Dark, co-written and produced by Zach Said.

Encompassing seven tracks, highlights on Thinking In The Dark include “Apocalypse,” “Lows,” “Drowning,” “That Song,” and “Only Truth.” Stylistically, the EP blends flavors of alt-pop, trap rhythms, R&B, and aromas of gospel, resulting in a delicious collection of innovative music.

Born and raised in a musical family, where her grandmother’s motto was “every house should have a piano,” IZZA grew up inspired by an eclectic array of artists, ranging from Amy Winehouse to Bill Withs and Disclosure.

CelebMix spoke with IZZA to discover more about the person behind the music, the inspiration for Thinking In The Dark, and her songwriting process.

What three things can’t you live without?

Sunglasses, lip balm, and ice cream, apart from music of course.

What inspired your new EP, Thinking In The Dark?

The last two years have really shaped the EP. It’s been inspired by all the different emotions that I’ve been feeling through this time, which is also the reason why there’s quite a mix of upbeat and sad songs on there.  Really, it’s an EP about relationships. More specifically the relationships we have with ourselves, with other people, and with the world.  I tend to think a lot about this stuff and most of my thoughts, ideas, and song inspirations come to me in the dark. ’Thinking In The Dark’ is also a line from my first single release ‘Lows,’ so it felt like the perfect title for this EP. 

What do you want people to take away from the EP?

I wanted to create something that people can relate to, something that makes them feel like they are not alone with their thoughts because we all have ups and downs and so often, we overthink everything.

Did your sound evolve naturally, or did you push it deliberately in a certain direction?

I’ve been doing a lot of different sessions and collaborations over the years, so I would say my sound has definitely evolved naturally. Some of the best experiences were actually the ones that didn’t work out because that makes you think ‘okay I definitely don’t want to do that again,’ so you focus on the things that work. 

What got you into music?

Music has been there since the beginning. I remember being six years old and singing in the garden of my childhood home, making up lyrics about butterflies. Then I started school choir and ended up having private singing lessons from the age of nine and it all just went from there. My mum and dad are both into music too, so I was lucky to have that support from the beginning. 

Which artists/musicians had the most impact on your sound?

I find this question always difficult because I think I have so many influences, but I don’t sound anything like them. Vocally I absolutely love Amy Winehouse though. She and an artist called Joy Denalane have also inspired me to stay true to myself, no matter what other people say.

Which artists in your opinion are killing it right now?

I definitely have to shout out my collaborators Zach Said and edbl, both talented artists doing amazing things at the moment. I also love what Little Simz, Arlo Parks, Sam Fender, and Nova Twins are doing right now.

What inspires your writing? Do you draw inspiration from poems, music, TV, or other media?

My writing is mostly inspired by personal experience, my environment, and what goes on in the world.

Which comes first, the lyrics or the music?

Usually, chords or a melody come to me first, and then the lyrics. But sometimes I have a lyrical idea that I know I want to use and build a song around that. 

What can your fans expect over the next six months? New material? Live gigs? 

Yes, definitely gigs. I can’t wait to play live more in 2022. Covid put such a hold on everything, so I’m ready for it. And of course, there will be new music.

Follow IZZA Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify

Written by Randy

Randy Radic is a Left Coast author and writer. Author of numerous true crime books written under the pen-name of John Lee Brook. Former music contributor at Huff Post.