Undeniably current and an old soul at once, Izzy Bizu is a pop-oriented R&B artist whose material has combined and switched between contemporary and retro sounds. The singer and songwriter made her recorded debut in 2011 as a member of the short-lived SoundGirl, and upon the group's breakup began her solo activity with Coolbeanz (2013), an EP that led to a nomination in the BBC Sound of 2016 poll. Bizu has since recorded for major-label Epic, where she made her full-length debut with the Top 25 hit A Moment of Madness (2016) and continued with an EP titled Glita (2019).
A native of South West London, Bizu (born Isobel Beardshaw) began her music career as one third of SoundGirl, a group that narrowly missed the U.K. Top 40 with the 2011 single "Don't Know Why." The trio split the following year. Bizu promptly began her solo career and made her debut in 2013 with Coolbeanz, an independently released EP. Supported by the BBC's Trevor Nelson and Zane Lowe, among other DJs, it sold over 50,000 copies. By the end of that year, Bizu's fan base grew as she opened for Sam Smith and Jamie Cullum. The following year, she performed at Glastonbury Festival and signed to the U.K. wing of major-label Epic. A handful of singles were issued in 2015 and ranged from the dusty retro-soul of "Diamond" to the peppy disco-funk of "White Tiger," the latter of which went to number 90 on the U.K. pop chart. These progressions led to a long-list nomination in BBC's Sound of 2016 poll. A Moment of Madness, Bizu's debut album, followed in September 2016 and peaked at number 23 in the U.K. Its final single, "Talking to You" -- one of four songs made with Paul Herman and Justin Broad -- fared best commercially, topping out at number 56. The Glita EP followed in April 2019, led by the comparatively sleek "Lights On." ~ Andy Kellman