‘He said he liked one of my songs, so I said, “I like all of your songs!”’ exclaims soulful songstress and star of our skincare shoot, Izzy Bizu, casually mentioning her last chat with Sam Smith. Well they did tour together. 21, a stunning mix of half-Ethiopian, half British heritage and with a Critics Choice Brit Award nom and two sold out headline shows in the bag, Bizu is having a pretty good year. Clad in scarlet Stella McCartney and her own scruffy skater shoes, we talked Ex On The Beach, Audrey Tautou and falling asleep in makeup…
How did you find our ‘emotional’ skincare shoot?
When someone asks me to look mad, all I want to do is smile! I do it even when I’m upset, but everyone can always tell something’s up. I think it’s like that with a lot of people, you can see what’s actually going on in their eyes. For me, people who have personality in their faces, some sort of vulnerability and charm are the most beautiful. I love Audrey Tautou; she’s just got so much charm. Unlike me, I take the worst mug shots so it was very, ‘Chin up Izzy’.
Do you have an epic skin regime?
I do now, but I used to be pretty lazy. I love Kiehls so, so much. I always use their over night masque which is good for when you’re really hungover! I’ve started trying to take my makeup off before I go to bed, but normally I’m a fall-a-sleeper. If I’m really knackered, it’s just not a priority.
Tell us your on-tour secret to good skin…
Every time I go on tour I have to throw away half my beauty bag because I never remember to use those little plastic bags at the airport. It’s so annoying! I end up nicking argan oil off my drummer and I’ll go to my tour manager to steal his moisturiser.
Your hair has kind of become your signature, is it copyrighted yet?
Not yet but I did dye it brown recently and important people freaked out and said, ‘What have you done?!’ I just got bored, that’s all. I convinced myself it looked really cool but then I saw a photo and thought, ‘I look so pale!’ so I dyed it blonde again.
How would you describe your music?
It’s quite soulful, quite truthful. It’s all about experiences and ups and downs, it’s quite emotional! I’m always listening to Marvin Gaye, Amy Winehouse, The Kooks and James Blake for inspiration. And I like Chance The Rapper and Sia a lot - they’re both so poetic.
Would you say you’re an Instagram obsessive?
Honestly, I’m a bit of an old soul so Instagram doesn’t come naturally. But I like doing funny videos instead of just pouting. At one point I had three selfies in a row and I just thought, ‘This is so boring!’
Are you a big Summer party person?
I always used to go to Paris to party, just to get out of London. Thankfully I didn’t have to throw any New Year's parties in my studio flat with my Yorkie Poo, Teddy. My mum always says ‘If you start the year with a smile, you’ll end it with a smile’. But it’s hard to do that when you’re hungover, right?
We hear you’re sort of a skater girl…
My ex taught me to penny board when we were in Paris. It took me so long to learn! The first time I tried it I totally stacked it and hit my head.
Any other hidden talents?
I’m alright at impressions. I did a gig in Newcastle and sort of adopted the accent. I’m definitely a Geordie Shore and Ex On The Beach fan and let’s just say I used to watch a lot of Bo Selecta…
Get your hands on Izzy Bizu’s awesome debut album ‘Moment Of Madness’, out now!