The Rockford teen has started to turn heads, packing Grand Rapids’ Midtown recently to celebrate release of her new album, “Genuine.” The Local Spins Artist Spotlight.
SCROLL DOWN TO LISTEN TO A TRACK FROM ‘GENUINE’
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At 16-years-old, Izubel already is a seasoned performer.
The Rockford songwriter performs regularly, has collaborated with top-tier musicians and recently released her sophomore album, “Genuine,” to a full house at Midtown GR.
“I really think I have some things to say. I like being able to write songs and then for other people to hear them and tell me that I articulated something that they didn’t even really think about before, just making people feel seen,” Izubel says.
“It’s been really fun. I love the local community, and everybody’s been really supportive. And that’s definitely one of my favorite parts about it is just getting to hear what everybody’s doing.”
Using songwriting as a “vessel of exploration and navigation,” Izubel picked up her first guitar in the sixth grade, quickly devoting her time to the craft of songwriting.
Her recent collaborators have included drummer Daine Hamerlee, guitarist Justin Dore and multi-instrumentalist Max Lockwood, who also serves as her guitar instructor and producer.
“I love teaching young people, especially when they are as hardworking as Izubel and actually practice and demonstrate a desire to learn and improve,” says Lockwood.
“As she started writing songs, it just so happened that I very genuinely loved what she was doing artistically, so working on helping her produce her recordings was a no-brainer, and in fact, I feel distinctly honored to be involved and invited into her creative process in that way.”
‘A SIMPLE LOVE OF MUSIC AND SONGS’
Her influences include Fiona Apple, Amy Winehouse and Phoebe Bridgers, prolific writers known for their unfiltered honesty. Her love of songs could be attributed to her grandmother, Julie Humphrey, a singer and recording artist herself. Izubel vividly recalls sitting in the backseat of the car while her grandmother would duet with the radio.
“She’s the sweetest grandmother that I love so dearly. And she was really supportive. She was the first person to ever see something in me,” Izubel says.
Izubel’s new record carefully examines the world as it moves around her. The songs shift from delicate, acoustic numbers to soundscapes that are dreamy and layered to indie-rock. When Izubel sings, it feels like a conversation – as if she’s sitting across the table from you, casually telling a story over coffee.
Recorded and engineered at Hettinga Studios by Joe Hettinga, the colorful indie-rock album features performances by Justin Dore on electric guitar, Michael Shimmin on drums, Hettinga on keyboard, Cole Hansen on backing vocals and Lockwood on bass and guitar. The record was produced by Izubel, Lockwood and Hettinga, and mastered by Lawrence McKay.
“Izubel has grown into a prolific and talented songwriter who tackles deep concepts and complexities of the human condition with an incisive mind and a real gift for songcraft, with catchy melodies and unique phrasing,” says Lockwood.
“We’ve been working together since she was 12 and I have been consistently blown away by her growth as a musician and person, and much of it is owed to her diligence and work ethic and desire to continually improve. Not to mention a simple love of music and songs.”
LISTEN: Izubel, “You’re Not Like Me” (Song from “Genuine”)
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