INTERVIEW: IZABELLE REFLECTS ON NEW SINGLE 'SELF-TALK SESSION,' HER ALBUM COLLABORATIONS, SELF-LOVE ADVOCACY + MORE

Photo by: Chloé Mc Neil
From her 16 years in international showbands to a career as a tour manager, Izabelle brings her industry experience to center stage.

The multi-faceted artist from Quebec, delivers upbeat bops in both English and French but regardless of the language in which they are sang, Izabelle's songs flawlessly blend together a lively mixture of funk, pop and soul. With a sound reminiscent of Prince, Bruno Mars and Jamiroquai, Izabelle exhibits talent and range that echoes throughout her debut album release.

Version 2.0 is inspired by her own experiences of not being taken seriously and being told to look a certain way. The verses on this album explore serious subjects such as domestic violence, self-acceptance, social pressure and women empowerment. Along with its lyrical messages, Version 2.0 is filled with uplifting anthems sure to make you dance while reminding you of your value and worthiness. Specifically with her latest single release "Self-Talk Session," Izabelle reflects on the importance of ignoring other people's perceptions: 

“[I wanted to write] a song to myself, to tell me to stop overthinking what people think, stop overworking, stop putting so much pressure on my physical appearance. I wanted to make a statement about it so that I could start to believe it.”


The album brings together some of the most prolific international and local musicians lead by musical director Alexandre Lapointe (The Brooks), as well as Gautier Marinof with the recording and mixing (Céline Dion, Simple Plan, Corey Hart), Pierre-Luc Rioux on guitar (Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry), Daniel Thouin on keyboards (Yann Perreau, Fred Fortin, Mara Tremblay), Maxime Bellavance on drums (Beat Market, Chiild , Ariane Moffat) and Alan Prater as vocal coach (Michael Jackson, The Brooks, Valaire). Whether it be physically or through her songs, these collaborations are a testament to the significance of connecting with others – one of Izabelle's main reasons for creating:

“For me, my music is a channel to express myself and connect with people. It's a huge part of who I am as an artist and the fact that I am fighting for something bigger than just to put my music in the spotlight helps me give a sense of what I am doing and who I am as an artist.”


Izabelle looks forward to touring when the pandemic passes and in the meantime is working on creating another constructive collection –  a second album set for release next Spring. You can see Izabelle perform tracks from Version 2.0 and snippets from her upcoming project, live from the WhiteBox Play on November 7th.

Q: What can you tell us about your new single “Self-Talk Session?”


This is the empowerment anthem of my album, a reminder for myself and others that we do not have to be perfect and fit in the standards that society projects. I wanted to take a stand and make a celebration about it. Celebrate who we are, with our differences and our strengths but also embrace our flaws.

Q: What inspired your album Version 2.0?


To make a long story short, a couple years ago, I went through a really rough patch: the band I was performing with for 10 years split up after losing a big record deal. I was suddenly back at being a solo artist, having to rebuild everything from scratch. I couldn't bear coming home to start over after touring the world for so long so I went to live in Asia for 2 years where I got stuck in a relationship where I experienced domestic violence. When I decided to come back to Canada...I was lost, broken, and realized I had become a shadow of myself...stuck behind all those walls I had built over the years to protect myself.

Career wise, I was no longer happy doing my plan B (singing other people's songs) while waiting for an opportunity to do my original material. I then started a journey towards finding myself and reconnecting with who I truly am. I figured out I had to stop waiting and that I had to create those opportunities myself. Songwriting helped me so much down this path and Version 2.0 was born out of this reconstruction – a new, improved version of myself in every aspect of my life.

Q: Through collaboration, Version 2.0 plays out as a sentiment of beautiful unity. How does it feel to be able to share the passion of music with so many notable names in the industry?


A dream come true! I am such a big fan of ''The Brooks'' and never could I have dared to imagine that they would participate and perform on my album one day, especially not the first one! It was so organic and natural to work with them... I still can't believe how smoothly it went. I clicked right away with Alexandre Lapointe, the producer. He really understood right away the direction I had in mind for the album. He helped me find the right sound I was looking for and then brought it to another level. Recording again with the talented Gautier Marinof but this time as a solo artist meant a lot to me and having Alan Prater as a vocal coach was a true gift. Don't forget, this man toured/played with great legends such as Michael Jackson and yet he made me understand that I deserve a place in the music industry. Everything with this whole team was just amazing...the fit was so great that we recorded the whole album in 3 days.

Q: Your music has showcased powerful lyricism with themes from domestic violence to self-acceptance and women empowerment. How important is it to use your platform to shed light on important topics?


For me, my music is a channel to express myself and connect with people. It's a huge part of who I am as an artist and the fact that I am fighting for something bigger than just to put my music in the spotlight helps me give a sense of what I am doing and who I am as an artist. It empowers me and I truly wish that it eventually empowers others as well.

Q: You're a self-love advocate and your message from “Self-Talk Session” promotes a narrative that is much-needed in today’s generation. What advice would you give to humans who feel pressured into looking a certain way?


What do YOU think of YOURSELF should be your only worry, always. Learning to love yourself, to embrace your flaws is a tough path but once you start to master it, you realize that it's one of the biggest strengths, the most beautiful gift you can give yourself because it sets you free.

Q: You have been touring the world for 16 years, was recently a CBC Searchlight finalist and “Self-Talk Sessions” is currently charting on Quebec radio. What can you attest your success to?


Perseverance and determination, no doubt. This is a business with so many ''no's'' and very few ''yesses''... you need to be patient, to keep working and most of all trust your gut, that's the only way. I know that now. And I would add: genuinely caring for the people you work with and the people that support you: you are a team and success is impossible without them.

Q: What words of optimism would you give to others during these unpreceded times?


I'm sure that if you think about it for a moment you'll realize that most great things that have happened to you in your life came from change or from stepping out of your comfort zone. Change is uncomfortable, rough patches are too, but most of the time they push us to surpass ourselves and to redefine who we are and what we want... and most times these reassessments help us get rid of what needs to get out of our lives so we can make room for something better. I really do hope that these unprecedented times aren't an exception to this principle. In the meantime, I think it's important to be kind to ourselves, to take care of ourselves and the ones we love, and to focus on what matters to us and what makes us happy in order to get through this.

Q: What’s next for Izabelle?


We are currently working on my second album which will be released in Spring 2021 and when this pandemic finally ends: we're going on tour! We are putting together an interactive show concept and it's gonna be A-MA-ZING! I just can't wait to get back on stage, where I belong!

Until then you can see me perform live from the WhiteBox Play on November 7th, where I'll be performing with my musicians, the songs from Version 2.0 AND give you a glimpse of the second album!




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