When I first heard ‘All About You,’ I knew there was something a little bit unique and special about Izzii Grace. The melting of genres infused with her incredible vocal performance was a breath of fresh air and, ever since, I haven’t been able to stop playing the track. The London based, self-produced artist will be releasing her debut EP, Just So Unluckily Me, next month and we at Indie Top 39 cannot wait to hear the full thing. Sitting in the hot chair today, telling us all about the many meals she’s missed whilst “in the zone,” and which particular Queen song she wishes she could steal, is none other than the incredibly talented musician Izzii Grace.
The whole team at Indie Top 39 is still loving your latest single, ‘All About You,’ but can you take us back in time to when your musical journey began and what led you to ‘All About You’?
Wow, thank you so much! I am so glad you’re still loving it! I am so proud of this track. I didn’t know where I was going with this song, it was a song I guess that I didn’t plan to write. I just went with it! So, to be honest, ‘All About You’ stemmed from the line ‘who wants to cry real tears anyways?’
I am inspired a lot by my mental health and being honest about where I’m at in my own head.IZZIi grace
I was talking to a friend about how I focused too much on the negatives and I couldn’t look at the bigger picture as that was daunting. That’s what I guess the focus of most of my songs are – I take the bad parts of my life and twist it to see more pros than cons. With ‘All About You,’ it was recorded in a few days back home in my family’s cellar (where I spent most of the lockdown) and I just never stopped working on it. Really wasted that good weather haha!
What first drew me to ‘All About You’ was its incredible genre-blending qualities. It’s a hard track to put in a box which I always believe is a great attribute. Can we expect more of the same going forward?
That’s so lush to hear, I love that! Thank you. I definitely think you can expect more of that going forward – a lot of my EP kinda floats between pop and whatever I fancy adding to the track. I don’t really go into a song with too much in mind, I like to improvise and see what happens! A lot of my favourite songs I listen to take you on a journey and you never know what to expect, so that’s the next step for me with my sound.
I know that you have an upcoming EP, Just So Unluckily Me, scheduled for release on the 13th August. How do you feel about releasing it to the world?
Yes yes yes. I am so so excited! I worked unbelievably hard on this EP and there’s a few songs that are a little livelier than other songs I’ve released. The EP covers a few aspects of my life, especially a personal favourite that talks about the pressures of body image, as that’s something that has affected me a lot, as I’m sure it has lots of other people as well. I still have a track that plays on my lack of love life though, so expect a relatable anti-love song as always. But I won’t lie, I am scared, as it’s a 5 track EP entirely made by me, which feels incredibly daunting. I just know I am so proud of it and ready for the world to hear it.
You wrote, recorded and produced all the tracks yourself for Just So Unluckily Me. Firstly, where did you learn to do all this? And secondly, how important was it for you to be in full control of the EP?
Ahhh yes yes I did! So, I learnt how to record and produce during my time at university. I had no clue it would be something that I would enjoy as I guess when something is new to you, you’re so aware of how much you don’t know.
I decided to keep going with production when I saw how much scope there was for creativity.izzii graCE
The first song of mine that I mixed was ‘When I’m Lonely’ and I loved it so much. I remember mixing for hours and it’s now my favourite thing! It’s not the best mix and if I could re-do it there’s definitely stuff I would change, but I am proud of myself for doing it. Since then I swore to myself to be as involved as possible with my future tracks.
With my EP it was very important to have the control that I had! I did send mix after mix to my lovely friends Lauren and Ewan – they must have had enough of me haha. I think the main reason I wanted to have the EP be 100% me was to prove to myself that I can do it. Being within the industry, there’s a lot of pressure and judgement which can cause a lot of self-doubt and insecurities. This made it hard at times, but I remembered that at the end of the day, I will be able to listen and share this EP knowing that I put my blood, sweat and tears into every second of it. It taught me a lot about production and made me more creative and a lot more confident. Then finally, it was important to me as well as for women in music. I think every single woman in the industry has been talked down to, told they’re not good enough, and had it assumed that they surely can’t actually be working in the music industry!
Women make up 21.7% of artists, 12.3% of songwriters, and 2.1% of producers. I’d love to be a part of the change in these stats and help inspire more women.
With every artist being different and unique when it comes to their creative process, or processes, can you tell us a bit about yours?
Of course! My creative process varies a lot of the time. My process can start with barely audible voice note recordings from 1am, walking around a shop or on the train to work. Then also there’s a few times where I just play around with chords and see what melody I come up with. Sometimes it can stem from a random song idea that I wanna write about. Most of the time it’s the voice note. I have so many on my phone, I’d need a month off work to go through them all and filter out my favourites! Once I get an idea I tend to go into recording the song straight away just to get it down, and then I will play around with different synths and vocal ideas as the original melody isn’t always the best. A lot of my songs I write I get so involved with and can work on them for hours. The number of meals I’ve missed a day because I am in the zone haha!
I read that you studied Commercial Music at the University of Chichester. I did a little snooping at their music department’s facilities and it looks like an unbelievable place to study. How was that experience for you?
Yes, I did! It was a really unique experience. I didn’t study at a big university as I was on the Isle of Wight but the opportunities I got were great. Having the chance to perform at the Isle of Wight festival and tour Amsterdam was unlike anything else. I learnt a lot from being there and definitely wouldn’t be where I am without a lot of what I learnt!
You’ve said that your music will appeal to fans of Billie Eilish, Tayla Parx, Mahalia, Dua Lipa and Will Jay. Who else would you credit for shaping your overall sound throughout the years?
Ooo this is always a tough question as I don’t overly know what box my style fits into, but I am definitely inspired by a few current artists and actually a lot of Kpop artists too. Growing up I listened to music so far from the style I create now that it would be hard to say! I listened to Paramore, ABBA, Shania Twain and Panic! At The Disco to name a few. I’d say they inspired me to delve into music and do what I love.
I was compared to Portishead once though, and that was unexpected but very flattering haha!izzii grace
What are your thoughts on the current state of the music industry and, if you could, what one thing would you change about it?
I like to think the current music industry is constantly growing and improving in areas. There’s a lot more women in the forefront than before. I think the main thing I would change about the industry is finding a more consistent and effective way for unsigned artists to get heard, seen and gain experience within the industry. At times it can seem very guarded and exclusive. I know insanely talented and incredible musicians but sadly that doesn’t seem to cut it. They do say it’s all about who you know and not what you know haha.
If I grabbed your cell phone and opened Spotify, who are some of the artists I would see under your recently played section?
You’d be in for a treat because honestly, I believe I listen to a lot of absolute bangers. My top tunes at the moment are Lavish by Carly Gilbert, La Di Da by Everglow, Fan Behaviour by Isaac Dunbar and Missing Piece by Honey Butter. All a little different but my playlists are a mashup of a lot of genres.
Success is such a broad term with such different meanings for everyone. What would “being successful” in the music business look like to you?
In the music industry being successful to me would be simply being able to have my life with music being at the forefront, leading the way. Having all the time in the world to be creative! Success to me would also be hearing my songs sung back to me by the crowd at a gig! That is truly and honestly heavenly to me. It gives me goosebumps!
Is there any song in the world that you love that you wish you had written?
I won’t lie, one song I really wish, even a smidge of a chance, to have written would be Bohemian Rhapsody. It’s probably one of the best songs to ever exist in my opinion. I think the unpredictability of Bohemian Rhapsody really sums up my music taste too haha.
German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche said that, “Without music, life would be a mistake.” What would your life be like without music?
Not to be dramatic but I think life would be hell.
Music pretty much plays 24/7 in my life.izzii grace
I don’t go a day without it – I’m listening to music right now!
There’s a song perfect for the best and worst days of my life. Just imagine watching a film or TV without the music and imagine never experiencing that moment where a lyric puts your exact feelings into words. I’d hate to live without it!
If you were allowed to collaborate with any musician or band, who would you choose?
Well, this is so difficult to choose. I know you want one but I’ve got two! Either Bjork or Will Jay, two artists that I feel are very experimental and I believe it would be so fun to write and collaborate with them! Imagine the chaos and journey these artists would take me on, mentally and musically. Life changing!
Apart from your upcoming EP, in a bigger sense, what does the future hold for you musically?
The future definitely holds lots and lots of more music from me! There are a few ideas in my mind already – can’t be stopped haha! Also, plenty of gigs – with 3 gigs in the near future! And just before my EP releases on the 13th August, there’s a listening party being shown on Hotvox the day before. I’ll be performing tracks from my EP and a few of my favourite releases! There’s also a page on Hotvox to purchase merchandise! I’m definitely just getting started and the future holds a lot of possibilities so keep your eyes peeled!
Make sure to connect with Izzii Grace on Instagram
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