Stripped-back yet explosive in nature, singer-songwriter IZZA is turning to the duality of romantic emotions for her new track “Silence”. Fusing the sweet sounds of pop with grungey rock sensibilities in an Olivia Rodrigo-esque manner, the track instantly exudes a moody rawness. Laced with longing, the artist’s vocals carry introspective lyrics forward as listeners are invited to explore the inner battles that ensue when embroiled in a romance as the track moves towards an overwhelming crescendo filled with harmonised backing vocals and thudding drums. And, with the artist also calling on her long-time collaborator Zach Said to pen the emotional lyrics and compose the production, the skilful nature of the track makes all the more sense.
“We wanted to make an emotional and quite stripped back song that shows the contradiction of the way we can feel sometimes,” explains IZZA when speaking on the new track. “The lyrics of the chorus are quite vulnerable and we wanted to show this in the production too – so it’s basically just the vocal without much instrumentation. But at 2:19 minutes it all changes, and it goes big. I wanted almost like a rocky vibe – a release of all these vulnerable emotions.
With her track newly released, IZZA sat down with us to discuss the challenges of the pandemic, her plans for the future and all things “Silence”.
Check out our interview with IZZA below…
Hi IZZA, how have you been?
Hi I’m good thank you and thanks for having me! Could be a bit more sunny if you ask me, but hey – that’s the British summer I guess.
Talk us through your experiences during the pandemic. What did you find most challenging about the last year?
I’ve definitely described 2020 as an emotional rollercoaster before. The fact that the live music industry stopped, was and still is really hard. I miss making music with people, being on stage and performing, feeling the energy of an audience, seeing the smiles on peoples faces while they’re dancing and singing and having a good time. And although things are slowly coming back, I’m really looking forward to a time when we don’t need restrictions anymore, and you can be crammed in a sweaty room full of strangers. But first of all let’s make sure we sort out this virus and be mindful and kind to each other. The nice thing, in a way, about this difficult time is that we’re all in it together. So in a weird way, I feel like I have been more connected to other people in the world than I have before because we’re going through the same problem at the same time. It’s nice to know you’re not alone. Also, I have definitely learned a lot about myself, and what the things are that are really important to me.
When did you first start to realise you wanted to have a career in music?
I think I always knew. The first music memory is me being in the garden of my childhood home and making up songs about butterflies when I was like six years old. My mum used to play the piano in the house, so quite soon I would sit at the piano for hours too and just play and write. I then started having singing and piano lessons when I was nine years old. Also, my dad is really into music and he’d always show me the best new music videos. He also plays the guitar, so we’d often play music together with my sister. When I went to music college in London is when I took it to the next level and knew that I wanted to do nothing else. I’ve tried other things along the way, but they only made me realise that the only thing I want to do is to make music.
You are a fan of the likes of London Grammar and HAIM. What is it about their work that you love and do you take inspiration from them for your own work?
Yes, both of those bands are amazing and I’m a big fan of their songwriting. I love the vulnerability of Hannah’s vocals and I love HAIMS harmonies.
Congratulations on your new track “Silence”, can you talk us through the production process?
We wanted to make an emotional and quite stripped back song that shows the contradiction of the way we can feel sometimes. The lyrics of the chorus are quite vulnerable and we wanted to show this in the production too – so it’s basically just the vocal without much instrumentation. But at 2:19 minutes it all changes, and it goes big. I wanted almost like a rocky vibe – a release of all these vulnerable emotions. Letting go of all the thoughts and just accept that emotions can be messy and that’s okay. The drums come in and added guitar together with three-part harmonies and layered vocals lines. I absolutely love harmonies and we felt the counter melodies represented the contradiction of thoughts and emotions really well.