At just 17 you might think that Izala Rose hasn’t got enough worldly experience to write songs that will captivate audiences and have listeners on the edge of their seats waiting for more. Her track ‘I Felt The Need‘ makes for very pleasant listening indeed and, as soon as I heard it, I asked Izala to answer a few questions so that you can gain an insight into her musical world;
For those who haven’t had time to check you out for themselves, who are you and what do you do?
I am Izala Rose and I am a singer/songwriter and producer.
When did you first take an interest in music? Who was your first great inspiration?
I’ve always been interested in music from a young age as my parents were often playing music around the home and introduced me to new artists. One of my first inspirations was Nina Simone, I remember listening to her when I was younger and was amazed by her unique and powerful voice. Also as a child I liked listening to Norah Jones, so she also largely inspired me. Even though you could say both women are very different to my style now I feel Norah’s jazzy tones have stayed with me.
How would you describe your sound? Who would you liken yourself too? (Go on, you don’t have to be modest!)
I would describe my sound as ambient, alternative and haunting. Ive often been told my voice has a air of mystery and eeriness which funnily enough scared me at first but have embraced that now. That’s a hard question because I don’t like to liken myself to anyone else but could definitely say my sound is influenced by artists such as Youth Lagoon, Pond, King Krule, Sea of Beas and others.
What do you make of the Surrey scene at the moment? Are there any particular artists that are getting you excited?
I think the Surrey scene is blowing up at the moment if you look you can find some great artists. Everyone should be getting excited about some friends of mine called Vinyl Staircase, an awesome 4 piece from around my area, they’ve just released a new track called ‘Aquarelle’. You’ve got The Tones, they are also friends of mine actually, who are blowing up and went on tour with The Specials last year. Then you’ve got The Bulletproof Bomb (SO GOOD! – C) and Annabel Allum who are starting to really make their mark on the industry so the Surrey scene is definitely growing and advancing for sure.
You started writing songs aged just 11. Looking back, how much has your songwriting improved since then? Do you ever still play any of the first tracks you wrote?
My song writing has improved by like a million times. I wouldn’t be performing any of my old songs, I’m sure you could imagine what year six songs would sound like. I think life experience is what has made my writing stronger. Since 11 I’ve been through and seen a lot which has driven me to write out of a release and a need rather than just like ‘oh I’m going to write a song about a boy I love who I don’t even know’ kind of thing. As you get older you gain a better understanding of the structure of writing music and writing styles. I often use the bible as inspiration, people definitely underestimate the beauty and complexity of it’s writing and how you can use other text as inspiration.
How important has the BRIT school been for developing your talents?
Being at the BRIT School has inspired me as you are surrounded by creative and often like-minded people. Being in that environment helps you want to be the best and forces you to be more confident. In terms of music, BRIT hasn’t necessarily been key in developing me as I don’t study music I’ve kind of grown on my own, learning from spending time in the studio and listening to artists.
Being young I feel hasn’t been a hindrance but more of postive factor because I have the room to change and develop. I’m excited by the fact that I have more years of experience that I can write about and different sounds to explore. Being young has allowed me to gain more interest and support from the industry and friends.
How important is having complete control over your music? Do you feel that it affords you greater creative freedom?
For me recently I have learnt that producing my own stuff is something which is so important to me. Personally I feel when I work with others they create a sound that doesn’t feel solely yours, whereas when you produce your own stuff you can create the exact sound you want in the time you want. This gives me complete creative control which works better for me. Of course I’m not the best producer and this would never stop me from working with others in the future, I am still learning but I like the challenge I love that I am learning new skills all the time.
Where should we be looking to find new artists?
Today we have so much access online to new artists so for me I think Spotify, YouTube and Soundcloud are great. There’s also other websites like the Old Vinyl Factory Sessions which support up and coming artists. And ultimately gigs too, we should be looking everywhere!
What are you hoping to achieve with your music?
I would hope to have success in some form, that doesn’t mean money, just the opportunity for people across the country to have access to my music. I want people to be able to listen and relate to my music, I think thats whats most important to me. I also just want enjoy the process and the journey rather than focus too much on the destination.
Why do you think we care so much about music?
I think we care so much because music has always empowered both the artist and the listener for generations. Music can make us feel good, it can evoke emotions and it can be a medium for change. Music has always played a huge role in everyones lives, I think that is why people care so much.
What can we expect to hear from you in 2015? Where can we see you live?
I’m hoping to produce my own EP which should be coming out before the end of this year. At the moment I am in the process of getting a manager and a band together so I will be getting gigging this year too. Writing is my main focus at the moment.
Anything you’d like to add?
Thank you for having me here on We Close Tonight!
Find out more about Izala Rose on Facebook and Soundcloud.