INTERVIEW: London Pop Singer-Songwriter Izzy Staden

Hi Izzy, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Heya, I have been good thank-you! I have been pretty bored having to stay home because of the recent government restrictions, though I have a developed a really rock n roll hobby of doing puzzles!

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Addiction”?

Yes, I’m very excited to release it! I wrote it about two years ago so I’m very glad to finally get it out there. I wanted to create something fun that I would enjoy listening to and I’m really pleased with how the song came together.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

So about 2 years ago I was in a day patient centre for people with mental health issues after I had been through a very difficult period and tried to commit suicide. I basically went In everyday and they would check up on me and I would have group therapy with the other patients. I met a guy there and we quickly became really close and after a few months we actually started dating, looking back a psychiatric ward probably isn’t the best place to meet someone but I just ignored that detail and kept going! He was a lovely guy but he had some substance abuse issues which made it incredibly difficult to be in a relationship with him. I would ask him over and over again to please try to stop and he would make a lot of promises but ultimately his actions never changed. However I found myself reliant on being around him to distract myself from my own issues which mirrored what he was doing. He would drink too much to forget his problems whereas I would spend every second I could with him to forget mine. The core of the song is really about how I am a hypocrite by expecting him to change when I won’t either.

How does your personal mental health actually influences your approach to music?

I suffer with an illness known as Borderline Personality Disorder or Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder which can result in really intense waves of emotion. Though it’s very difficult to deal with at the time, it is helpful in regards to songwriting as I find feeling the emotion so intensely makes it easier to write about. I have been in a lot of psychiatric wards and hospital environments due to my mental health struggles which are particularly unusual places to be but my new motto when anything goes a bit wrong has become ‘it will be good songwriting material’. I can pretty much make the best of the worst situation with the hope I can get a catchy tune out of it! I think all that I have been through has made me more introspective, I have had more therapy than you can imagine and have spent years reflecting on my feelings and emotions and why I react to things in certain ways etc. This has allowed me to now look back on situations and write about them with a better understanding of what was really going on. I have also had a lot of group therapy that has made me become quite observant about how other peoples brains process things. One situation can be interpreted completely differently by two different people and I find that fascinating, whenever I am writing a song I think about how other people may interpret the songs message based on their own personal experiences.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

Yes! Unfortunately the day I was going to film it has been pushed back because we are in lockdown but as soon as that’s over I am so excited to get it done! My photographer/ videographer Josh Cameron is really fun to work with and he always manages to make me seem a lot cooler than I really am! I do have a lyric video coming out as well in the meantime.

How was the recording and writing process

I wrote the basis of the song (chords, lyrics, melody) in less than an hour. I started with the line ‘do you ever stay sober for a day?’a After I had talked to the guy I was dating and realised I couldn’t remember when I had last seen him sober. I then wrote the rest of the lyrics and left the song for a while as I didn’t want to mess with it too much. When I came back to it I realised I wanted a really strong bass line in the chorus. I played around with bass lines, I recorded the rhythm I wanted and then moved the notes up and down the scale until I thought it fit well with the melody. After I had done that I had a pretty clear Idea of how I wanted the rest of the song to go. I then contacted my producer Ed Stokes and told him how I wanted the song to be structured, the general vibe and production style and he took the song and added some really cool elements and made it even better. We then met to do the recording and it was loads of fun, I was a bit nervous going into it but it turned out to be a really fun day.

What role does London play in your music?

I have lived in London my whole life, I think it’s a really unique city and there’s so much going on you can never run out of things to do. It provides me with a lot more opportunities, I study songwriting at university here, there’s loads of studios and other people to collaborate with too. I need a lot of stimulation to write a song, if I’m bored at home the only thing I can write about it is being bored at home so London is a great place to trigger my creativity.

How has Anne Marie and Charlie Puth influenced your writing?

I like how their songs generally focus around the melody and everything else is aimed to enhance that. I was inspired by Charlie Puths song ‘Attention’ for this single as he also has a strong bass line In his chorus and I loved the way that the song built up to that. Their songs are also so catchy which I love in music, though it can be irritating I think it’s amazing the way a melody can be ingrained in your mind for a few days!

Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?

Yes, I am currently working on 5 other singles that I will be releasing over the coming months. I am hoping to release 10 songs by the end of the year but there are always unpredictable things that pop up (like being in lockdown!) so I will see how I go. I’m really excited to see what songs people gravitate towards and what everyone thinks of them.

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

So the next song I am releasing will be called ‘I’m not that Crazy’ followed by a song called ‘Lying to yourself’, I was hoping to release one of them by the end of May but it depends how long the Government restrictions are in place. I still need to do a few adjustments to them but I think it’s coming along really well, I thoroughly enjoy the process of creating a song I am passionate about.

Any plans to hit the road?

Not just yet, I am really focusing on creating as much music as I can for the time being. I do love performing though so hopefully someday! I have a dream of being able to take my dogs on tour with me but I think they might just have to be given to my mum to look after. Luckily they love her!

What else is happening next in Izzy Staden’s world?

Well I’m in my final year of my Songwriting degree so I am trying to write my dissertation and finish all my assessments that are going on in May! Me and my boyfriend also just rescued a new dog called Bear who is absolutely lovely, he is a Tamaskan which is a kind of Husky – German Shepard cross. We already have a Bichon Frisé named Tilly who is definitely showing him who’s boss despite being one tenth of the size of him. I also passed my driving test a few months ago so I am spending most of my time trying not stall while on hills!

LISTEN HERE

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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