We are ecstatic to present the wonderful Izat Ibrahim, the star of this month’s Spinnup Introducing series.
The R&B/pop singer from Singapore has released tracks with Spinnup ranging from ballads, pop, R&B and even a fun track for the Raya season. Not only did he wow us with his spectacular voice and artistry, but also with his glitz and glam which complements his music so fittingly.
He takes his latest Spinnup release “tak perlu tahu” to new heights with its refreshing pop sound and nostalgic hints of 80s disco. You can count on this as a feel-good track that makes you want to dance like there’s no tomorrow – something we could all use in these trying times.
His experience in singing professionally at live venues and releasing original music has established him as an unforgettable performer and independent artist in Singapore’s music industry. Get up close and personal with Izat as he shares all about his journey in music, lessons learned and more.
How did your journey in music begin?
Back in 2014, a friend of mine showed me a Facebook post of someone looking for a male vocalist to sing for a live band in clubs. I reached out through DMs and got myself an audition that same night – that was the start of my dreams slowly coming true. I performed at bars, clubs and music festivals from 2014 until 2020, and I’ve met amazing musicians that have become so dear to me.
Who are some of your biggest influences?
Definitely singers like JoJo, JP Cooper and Guy Sebastian. Their voices are gold, and their runs?! Do not get me started on that. As you can tell I’m drawn to R&B, especially old school R&B. However, my playlist has been a mix of genres lately because I’m heavily influenced by lyrics and melodies.
Take us through the story of “Battles”, which was also followed by a Malay version, “Gelita”.
2017 was a difficult time for my family, especially for my sister. She was pregnant with triplets, but unfortunately she had to say goodbye to her three babies who were born prematurely.
I wrote the first half of “Battles” during my taxi ride back from one of my visits to the hospital. I wanted to do this song not to just remind her of the losses, but to also tell her that “hey, you’re not going through this alone because we are all here for you”.
Watch the music video for “Battles”
Your latest single, “tak perlu tahu” is a bop. We love the old school, nostalgic disco vibes in that one. It also takes a different course from your previous singles; what inspired the change and what’s the story behind it?
For “Tak Perlu Tahu”, it was a “That’s dope, I love it!” type of situation. There wasn’t any specific “Ok I want this track to sound like…”
I recorded an A cappella demo track and sent it to my producer, Jimmy_thegoat and let him work his magic. When the draft was sent to me, my mind went off and I was bobbing my head in the train!
I found “Tak Perlu Tahu” on my friend and also the songwriter, Razil MN’s Facebook because he posts demo tracks and I immediately told him “I want this!”. The original tempo was much more chilled, so we made it upbeat to give it more “UMPF”.
Your vocals are out of this world, and it’s proven even more so by your experience in singing at live shows. Can you share more with us about that?
I’m humbly grateful for that compliment. Throughout my singing career, especially singing 6 nights a week, you discover what your voice is capable of doing. I’m still learning so much from listening to other singers sing, and I’m so lucky that people vibe with it.
I’m blessed and grateful for the opportunities I’ve come across, and more so to the ones that believed in me. That’s what drives you to give your best – when you see the audience reacting to you with smiles on their faces, cheering for you and singing along with you, it’s priceless and it’s my happy place.
You probably get this a lot, but we can’t get enough of your style, flair, aesthetic and how it all feeds into your music. Tell us a little bit about that.
It’s all thanks to the late night Pinterest binge and music videos. I’m drawn to styles and looks that are unique, and I mostly style myself. If I don’t see people pulling it off, then I’m going to be the one to do it.
I started experimenting with my looks when I started singing in the nightlife scene because our appearance on stage matters a lot as a performer. With a lot of mix and matches, hair colours and pushing my own confidence, I’m happy that people remember certain styles that I had throughout.
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You have 4 songs released with Spinnup, what was that process like for you?
It’s been such a pleasant process releasing through Spinnup. It’s awesome that we get the support we need with a playlist, and I feel a personal connection through social media. The best part is that I get to find more local artists through Spinnup’s playlist. It definitely feels like we have a place to branch out our music.
What are some lessons learned throughout your years in music?
Stage presence was one lesson I worked hard on. I’ve learned to push barriers and do something fresh and new. It sometimes makes me uncomfortable because it’s out of my comfort zone and I tend to overthink. That’s where the people you work with come in, we have to carefully find the same wavelength when we’re doing music together or even rehearsing together because if you’re giving 100% and they’re not, then it’s not gonna work out.
What’s next for you?
I’m looking forward to more releases, and definitely new projects and collaborations that elevates and showcases me as an artiste.
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