Captivating Journeys of Music: Roxanne Izzo’s Free-Flowing Musical Diary
Singer Songwriter Rocks You Into a Universe of Poetic Suburban Emo Pop
Roxanne Izzo is a 22 year old singer/songwriter and third year student at Concordia University majoring in Communications.
Izzo is self-managed and self-taught on the guitar. Her repertoire includes playing, writing, singing, and crafting catchy melodies that encapsulate the storytelling of an angsty human experience.
The diary-like experience in which Roxanne Izzo's music is rooted stems from her desire to foster the feeling of being outcast. Herpersonal experience of feeling like an outsider serves as a means to connect with her listeners and to let them know that they're not alone.
Her songs aim to provide a sense of belonging to those who feel lost or disconnected. Notably, her experience of not fitting in inspired Izzo to pursue music and use her talent to make a positive impact on others.
With songs as explosive as they are vulnerable, Izzo’s unique sound is drawn from pop punk, emo, post-punk, indie and literature.
“I'll be inspired by anything I'm feeling. For me, it's more about being influenced to make music as a whole, and not to adhere to strict genre constraints”, Izzo explained.
Struggles with unrequited love, being out of place and feeling alienated are discussed throughout her four released singles: “Block Party,” “Watching Stars,” “Sometimes is Never Enough,” and “Go Now.” Izzo explained that the essence of her creativity is all about nurturing genuine human emotions.
Growing up in a musical household, Izzo's passion for songwriting ignited at a tender age. As early as ten, she strummed her first guitar chords, setting in motion a more dedicated approach to her craft. With each passing year, her songwriting process matured, taking on a newfound seriousness. Embracing basic instrumentation, she found a solid framework to complement her vocals, moving beyond acapella performances.
As she explains the journey of her development as a songwriter, she underlines that she still sings songs today that she wrote at the endearing age of eight.
Izzo said that since she was just writing songs with her acoustic guitar, she paid no mind to genre or to a concise songwriting process. The way she approaches song-writing and music creation involves delving into the archives of forgotten songs, reviving them from the past, and skillfully assembling them into captivating new compositions, piecing old songs from the dead back together.
“There was a point in my life when every song I’ve written didn’t exist, and they came with just living. That’s how music is born, that’s where your best ideas come from. They come from life. They come from the worst of times. They come from sheer nothingness. They come from banality,” she says. — Roxanne Izzo
“I'll take a chorus from something and a bridge. Sometimes I will just dig up a whole old song. I was writing songs in the exact same way I do now. I feel like I draw inspiration from a little bit of everything,”said Izzo. “I listen to everything from my roots, which are bands like Fall Out Boy, Taking Back Sunday, The Academia [and] stuff like that. When I was in high school, that kind of evolved more to bands like Title Fights and The Story so Far and more like the 2010s emo sound.”
Izzo, hailing from the suburbs of Laval, developed a passion for hybrid punk and pop rock songwriting, which led to their current interest in making suburban emo pop music. She approaches her journey intuitively, with a focus on visual and cinematic elements.
Genre is more about evoking a particular mood for Izzo. She draws inspiration from personal experiences to create music that is distinctively her own as she aims to avoid replicating existing sounds.
“For me, it'll happen every once in a blue moon where I’ll basically be playing guitar, and something will come up magically and it will be the best feeling ever,” said Izzo. “But that's rare. I'll get inspiration at the most random times at the most random places and I'll go months being a dry well.”
Izzo collaborates with her two brothers, Max and Alex Izzo, for the arrangement and production of her songs. Both multi-instrumentalists, Alex Izzo’s primary instrument is drums, and Max Izzo’s plays guitar and bass.
The three of them share a musical synergy according to Izzo.
“Roxanne comes to us with a finished song and arrangement. Our job is just to make sure we bring it to life,” said Max Izzo. “It usually starts with Alex finalizing the drum part and then my job is just to record everything, and then mixing and mastering is a collaborative process.”
Alex Izzo explained that he and his brother started playing with their sister when she showed them some songs she had written on her own. She wanted to develop those songs in the studio with full-band arrangements, and that’s when they hopped in.
“It usually starts with Alex finalizing the drum part and then my job is just to record everything, and then mixing and mastering is a collaborative process. All the songs Roxanne has released so far have been fully recorded, mixed, and mastered at our parents house,” said Max Izzo.
Both brothers have projects of their own. Alex Izzo’s band, Fear the Dean, which his brother also plays in, are working on their next album. Max Izzo’s solo project Maple Treeway also has new music on the way.
Roxanne Izzo occasionally performs live with her siblings as her backing band. Her most recent show was on March tenth at the Diving Bell socia club. Her favorite pastime when she is not performing is attending shows, which she explained is excellent research for her own performances.
“Studying different crowds really enriches my live performance. With live performances, you have to almost connect and detach at the same time,” said Izzo. “You have to basically feed off of the audience’s energy, but also just have as much fun as possible. And if you're having fun on stage, everyone else is going to have fun.”
Roxanne uses music as a means to connect with her childhood experiences. Her aim is to take her listeners on a journey that explores the interconnected experiences of rekindling their innate creativity. Her art expresses whatever she’s internalizing in the form of a song–just like a diary.
“It’s a stream of consciousness […] If you knew exactly what my songs were about, it would be more self-indulgent and less about the emotions evoked within them. As much as there's a lot of me in my songs, it isn't about me. It's about helping people,’ said Izzo.“I’m not the only one who has ever experienced the woes I sing about, nor am I the first to sing about them. My inclination to be a songwriter translates more as a means to help people.”
On that note, Izzo doesn’t have a fixed creative process; her process is essentially just living. Despite acknowledging the frivolous nature of the music industry, she knows her songwriting is something she’ll keep doing because it’s something she does primarily out of need.
“There was a point in my life when every song I’ve written didn’t exist, and they came with just living. That’s how music is born, that's where your best ideas come from. They come from life. They come from the worst of times. They come from sheer nothingness. They come from banality,” she says.
Izzo performed live on April 14th at the Blue Dog with Lucy’s Delirium and Jetsam. She recounted the night being filled with electrifying performances and a vibrant atmosphere. She has been hard at work on her upcoming music, set to be released soon. This summer, she will treat audiences to new music and captivating live shows, showcasing her talent and unwavering passion.