Ending up our “Rock Without Borders” theme this week – another artist who gives further evidence the French Rock scene is alive and well and kicking ass. Izia (Higelin), daughter of the late and legendary Jacques Higelin and sister of Arthur H. (who I ran a gig from earlier this week), she has certainly made a name for herself while maintaining the legacy of one of French Pop music’s great families.
At the ripe old age of 28 (come September 24th) Izia is a seasoned veteran as well as actor with three studio albums under her belt and seven feature films to her credit; three of which have been awarded or nominated for prestigious awards, including a César award for Most Promising Actress in 2012 for her debut in Mauvaise Fille (Bad Girl).
Needless to say, she’s a multi-talent and has been on rapid-rise to the top of her profession since she got started. And for good reason – she kills just about every performance she is involved with. I have run concerts by Izia before, and have seen numerous appearances on TV and in festivals – she gives way beyond 110% in the area of sheer energy, while retaining one of the most expressive and lyrical voices in contemporary Rock music. You get exhausted just watching her, while at the same time stunned that she maintains a consistent degree of spot-on vocals, with an almost operatic range – never wavering, cracking or losing breath. Pretty amazing.
Plus there’s the sheer emotion she brings to a song – a close resemblance to Max Bastard, who I ran last night. These French, they do know how to tear you up with their singing – and frankly, it’s refreshing. No Auto-tune for this bunch – they got the chops and they know how to use them.
This is why I love posting these concerts and recognizing these artists – they are important ingredients in sustaining Rock as an important and vital art form – we can learn a lot from them, because the bottom-line to all of this, as it always has been, is the exchange of points of view and ideas. To some, the current state of music is boring and dead beyond belief. I beg to differ, only in the sense that Mainstream music has allowed itself to become victim to diminishing results – it has fed on itself too much to be relevant. Like everything, Music needs to explore, go on a journey of discovery and come back with some new licks and visions – it’s always been that way and it can’t stop now.
Izia is only one of a wave of talent sweeping through Europe and making inroads into the U.S. and English-speaking markets right now. You have to go the extra distance to make yourself aware and you have to have an open mind in order to take it all in. I swear, there are benefits to it.
Hit Play, crank it up and give it a listen.