- 01 Dec 20
Hotly tipped singer-songwriter Izo has built up a major following busking on the streets of Dublin.
Rising artist Izo has fast established herself as a serious talent through her extensive online content – clocking up thousands of views for her videos of covers and original songs. Her collaborations with the likes of Jacob Koopman, Cuan Durkin and Allie Sherlock have earned her deserved praise, and now Izo has taken her powerful vocals to the Hot Press Lockdown Sessions.
Kicking off her setlist with Melanie Martinez' version of Britney Spears' classic hit 'Toxic', Izo proves her strength when it comes to choosing the right songs for her vocal range. The slower tempo of the rendition allows for an injection of soul into the pop track, showing off her powerful lungs to perfection. Izo clearly has a sense of ease and comfort around performing acoustic tracks on account of her busking experience, but a livestream from your bedroom is an unusual environment to have to adapt to.
Following on from 'Toxic', a strong beginning, Izo offers the viewers an intensely personal song - 'If I was 15'. Touching on body image, self-esteem issues, confidence and loneliness, 'If I was 15' contains the type of frank vulnerability that a songwriter such as Izo needs to connect with her followers. Teenage girls especially could easily relate to the track, a refreshing slice of honesty in the superficiality of the social media realm which the youth are constantly plagued by. Moving on to 'Games', a favourite original song by Izo, the song explores the cat and mouse trap of relationships where the mental confusion is often not worth the connection to the person.
An ode to escaping her hometown of Dublin follows, with a track called 'This Town'. Speaking of the helplessness and feelings of entrapment that many of us are facing while locked down in our areas, Izo sings of how Dublin, "only lets me down". Given all that the city has faced, with the ongoing homelessness crisis, lack of opportunities for young people and creatives and the recession, it's hardly surprising that a Grafton Street busker has noticed the down-sides of trying to get by in Dublin. It's a fitting song for lockdown, no doubt. A short performance of 'Three Chances' comes next, written in April and taking on the theme of betrayal, and Izo's new Christmas track 'Will Christmas Be The Same?'.
The latter took the singer-songwriter a while to scribe, with Covid-19 remaining on the public's minds this year as we struggle to see our loved ones and vulnerable population. The nostalgic song yearns for seeing a special person in Izo's life, but last year was a different time. Concluding her set with a cover of Cher's iconic hit 'Believe', Izo once again slows down the tempo to show off her vocal skills while choosing perfect pop tracks for her audience to grasp. We can't wait to see Izo back on the busking trail, but she is also scheduled to perform another livestream on January 8, 2021 with High Plateau Productions. She is currently recording an EP which will be released in the new year, so it looks like this is only the beginning for the singer-songwriter.
Watch Izo's full Y&E Series livestream below:
Watch Limerick multi-instrumentalist Michelle Grimes tonight, December 1, as part of the Hot Press Lockdown Sessions' The Y&E Series, supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media – live on the Hot Press Instagram (@hotpressmagazine) at 7.30pm. With a R&B-influenced sound that's already been compared to the likes of Ariana Grande, Jessie J and Dua Lipa, the Irish star-in-the-making released her debut single 'Going Going Gone' in October.
Up next on the Y&E Series...
Wednesday, December 2: MATT MCGINN
Tipped as one of the Hot Press 'Hot For 2020' acts, Co. Down folk artist Matt McGinn has spent the last few years establishing himself as one of the most talented songsmiths in Ireland, with four acclaimed albums. Over lockdown, he kept himself busy recording a new album – releasing 'Annie (Many Moons Ago)', the first single from the project, in August.
Thursday, December 3: GEORGE HUTTON
Acclaimed Irish folksinger and lyric tenor George Hutton has shared stages with Glen Hansard, Phil Coulter, Hozier, Moya Brennan and more. He launched his solo career with the release of Chapter One in 2018, followed by Home earlier this year. George recently returned with an acclaimed new single, 'The Light'.
Friday, December 4: VERY SPECIAL GUEST!!!