The artist I’ve been most surprised to see being tipped for the top in 2016 is Izzy Bizu, but with a nod from the Brits and the BBC panels, and as one of the poppiest artists on their lists, I feel it’s only right to include her in mine too. Izzy was previously part of teen-pop trio Soundgirl, and she’s the second of the girls to get a solo deal with Sony. The first was Little Nikki, while third member Liv has been working with Xenomania. Of the three, Izzy’s musical direction is the most different to Soundgirl, but I think the youthful, vibrant feel of her music videos isn’t so far from Don’t Know Why (a pop gem none of the girls have topped as yet).
Izzy’s sound and look positions her as a new Corinne Bailey Rae, or a more mainstream Lianne La Havas, which is a concept that certainly has the potential to succeed. If Izzy has a song of the standard of Put Your Records On or Like a Star, she could be played on Radio 1, Radio 2 and 1Xtra, and go on to sell a lot of albums. Her distinctive vocal style can seem affected, and she has terrible diction, but she has a nice tone, and songs such as Diamond and Adam & Eve show promise. Izzy and her team have done a good job of creating a clear, cohesive identity where the music and visuals are perfectly in tune. Her appearance on Later… with Jools Holland a few months ago was a sign that she is being embraced by a more mature audience, and taken seriously as the kind of artist she wants to be.
Click here to find out more about This Must Be Pop’s Stars of 2016 and come back on 18th December to vote for the artists you think, and hope, will be the biggest stars of 2016. The results will be announced in the Future Pop mailer on 4th January.