Home Feature Zarah Calvert talks to UK songwriter Izzie Walsh ahead of her Hillside...

Zarah Calvert talks to UK songwriter Izzie Walsh ahead of her Hillside Festival debut

When I was asked to write something about up-and-coming singer-songwriter Izzie Walsh, I was over the moon. Simply because I knew she was from Manchester, England (the home of my mom, grandparents and great-grandparents), so I already knew I liked her. Her music studio is in the same small district as all my ancestors. She’s been getting attention not only at home, but internationally, touring the festival circuit and bringing her audiences honest insightful lyrics in a fusion of country, bluegrass, folk and Americana. These attributes, along with her powerful vocals have resulted in her garnering two BCMA Awards and an Indie Week UK Award, and she was spotlighted as a BBC Introducing Artist of the Week.
We’re looking forward to hearing her stuff this coming Hillside Festival.
I had the chance to meet and chat with the 27-year old songstress recently, and was enamoured with her Mancunium/Coronation Street accent, her warmth, and honest authenticity.

RMC: What are you looking forward to most about coming to play shows in Canada?

Izzie: Mostly getting to know a new audience who I can perform to and share my stories. It’s great to experience different cultures and meet new people, all of which gives me fresh perspectives and ideas about my songwriting and life.

RMC: Who are some of your favourite songwriters and biggest influences?

Izzie: It’s difficult to say as I love so many genres! Some of my recent favourites are Joe Pug, Margo Price and Bella White.

RMC:: Do you like Coronation Street as much as many of us Canadians?

Izzie: I didn’t know it was so popular in Canada! I have obviously seen it but I’m more of a murder-mystery girl. Maybe I like the dark side of things more.

RMC: What’s the best concert you’ve ever seen?

Izzie: My choice changes all the time; it’s hard to pick just one. I recently saw Band of Horses in Manchester, my home town, and it was such a cool gig. There were different age ranges from families with kids to 60-year-old rockers, and I thought, ‘That’s how I want my gigs to work: everyone enjoying themselves.'”

RMC: What’s the story behind your song “Take Me Back”?

Izzie: This song was written mainly about not regretting the things you wish you would have said and done, so in perspective, it’s about the longing to change moments in the past. I used to be shy, so there’s part of me that wants to go back and say, “You need more confidence! Say what you think!”

RMC: When did you start writing music?

Izzie: I went to college and studied songwriting in Manchester and mostly started with just lyrics. I had all these ideas and melodies in my head, so then I needed to learn the guitar. So, it took a bit to marry the two to actually write.

RMC: What’s your songwriting process in a nutshell? How do you get inspired?

Izzie: At the moment, I don’t have one. The older I get, the harder it gets to write. At home, I’m working as a waitress, then running across to the studio to record, so I’ve been focused on that. It’s hard to be all the parts at the same time. It’s like, “This is the time to write. This is the time to record. This is the time to serve tables.” Time constraints are so difficult, maybe Canada can give me some inspiration to break the cycle and get back to writing more.

I hope that Izzie can carve out some time while she’s here to get those insightful ideas into more of her honest heartfelt songs. The world will be better for it.


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