Following in the footsteps of Jack Garratt and Catfish and The Battlement, IZZY BIZU has been named as this year’s BBC Introducing Artist of the Year. For the uninitiated, her sunny, soulful brand of pop is a wonderful blend of influences from Amy Winehouse to Ella Fitzgerald, leading her to become one of 2016s most exciting new singer-songwriters.
Before the dizzying highs of the announcement, nerves – which may be surprising considering her gleeful confidence and awesome talent – stunted her early career. Until a fateful open mic night in Camden (the same one Ed Sheeran and Jessie J cut their teeth on), she wouldn’t sing in public for years, instead choosing to write songs for others. Luckily, she did that night, and with an audience including Naughty Boy, Emili Sandé and other industry professionals, the first steps of her career were taken.
After limited success with her Justin Bieber supporting pop trio SoundGirl, she dropped solo EP The CoolBeanz in 2014 and truly came into her own, finding and cultivating her jazzier sound. Since then she’s been nominated for the BRITs Critics Choice Award, a MOBO, got herself on the BBC Sound of 2016 longlist and even sang the Euro 2016 theme.
Her debut album A Moment Of Madness showcased her seemingly endless talent for simple, but brilliantly catchy songs, taking every opportunity to demonstrates her free spirited and eccentric positivity, which was probably most clearly stated when she reassured The Guardian that “it’s OK to be a space chicken”.
She’s quirky, talented and is responsible for some of the most smile inducing songs of the year. If you’re not a fan yet, what are you waiting for?