Izzy Bizu (born Isobel Beardshaw; 28 April 1994) is a British singer-songwriter, signed to Epic Records. Bizu has garnered mainstream radio support from BBC Radio 1's Annie Mac and Phil Taggart and BBC Radio 1Xtra's Trevor Nelson. She has supported Sam Smith, Rudimental, and Foxes on their latest UK tours. In November 2015, Bizu was shortlisted for a Brit Critics' Choice award and longlisted for BBC's Sound of... 2016. On 25 June 2016, Bizu performed on the Park Stage at the Glastonbury Festival.
Bizu is from South West London. Born to an Ethiopian mother and English father, she grew up listening to Ella Fitzgerald, Bettye Swann and James Brown, and draws on these influences alongside newer influences such as Amy Winehouse and Adele to create a fusion of soul, funk, jazz and pop.
After the girl group SoundGirl split, Bizu won an open mic night competition in February 2013 winning over the crowd, which included Emeli Sande and Naughty Boy, who were in attendance. She released her first independent EP, Coolbeanz, in September 2013, which debuted at number 3 on the iTunes Soul and RnB Chart and has sold 50,000 copies. The EP's lead single, "White Tiger", was also chosen as Zane Lowe's 'Next Hype'. In October 2013, she supported Sam Smith on his UK tour, and in November Jamie Cullum handpicked her to open for him at The Roundhouse in London.
2014–16: A Moment of Madness
In June 2014, Bizu was selected by BBC Introducing to perform at the Glastonbury Festival. In July 2014, she signed to Epic Records UK. A year later, she released the first singles from her debut album, "Adam & Eve" and "Diamond", which enjoyed support from BBC Radio 1, Radio 2 and 1Xtra, and performed at Glastonbury for the second time. In September 2015, following the release of her single "Give Me Love", she also made her TV debut on Later... with Jools Holland. Bizu supported both Rudimental and Foxes on their UK headline tours. In November 2015, Bizu was shortlisted for a Brit Critics' Choice award. Her debut album, A Moment of Madness, was released on 2 September 2016.
In April 2016, Bizu recorded (with the BBC Concert Orchestra) an uptempo, updated version of the Edith Piaf 1957 hit "La Foule" as the theme music for the BBC's coverage of the Euro 2016 Football Tournament.
Bizu has described herself as a fan of jazz-fusion mixes and a lover of squat parties and warehouse raves. She grew up listening to Ella Fitzgerald, Bettye Swann and James Brown and draws on these influences alongside newer influences such as Amy Winehouse and Adele to create a fusion of soul, funk, jazz and pop. She lists The Black Keys, Diana Ross, Grammatics and Sam Cooke among her other influences.