Isabella Manfredi first came into the world of music back in 2010 with indie rockers The Preatures, but is now flying solo
Their 2013 track ‘Is This How You Feel’ shot them into the mainstream, but in the last few years, Manfredi parted ways with the group, and moved into the solo realm, with her upcoming 2022 album izzi her debut.
“I wanted to make something that didn’t necessarily sound like everything else,” Isabella says. “It’s got a lot of character and a lot of heart, it’s a very personal album.
“It’s the first time I felt really proud of a body of work that I’m putting out. I still love it. I put it on sometimes and have a little dance and remind myself one day people are going to hear this.”
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The sounds throughout izzi aren’t too far away from that of The Preatures, but there are some interesting spins and stylings that are unique to Manfredi.
“It’s not that dissimilar to The Preatures, and all I was looking to really do was what I did in the band but elevate it and refine it, and just have more creative control over actually what went into the process.
“It doesn’t feel like a huge departure to me, it feels essential to who I am as an artist. It was still drawing from a lot of the same reference points and influences as I did in the band.”
After years writing alongside The Preatures, Isabella has moved into co-writing with other artists in the industry, learning different things about herself and working with others.
“When I started working with other people, there was a bit of trepidation, because even though I was very used to being a co-writer, I had only known co-writing in terms of songwriting with the group.
“So, there was a period of coming out of my shell and reacquainting myself with being in a room with strangers. It’s actually a really funny process.”
While there was an opportunity for solo writing within Preatures’ releases, Isabella notes that there was something different about writing solo tracks throughout izzi.
“It was freeing, really freeing, it made me question why I hadn’t done it sooner”, Isabella adds. “I felt that I really found my voice, both as a singer, and the storyteller.
“I felt I had compromised and lost a bit of that quality in the band, which hadn’t happened consciously. But I was noticing it.
“I think there’s a certain level of safety and trust that you need. I certainly felt it. For me, I had to surround myself with people who were very encouraging, and who allowed me the space to be truthful about what was going on for me.
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“It’s funny saying it’s a personal album. All music is personal, is personal expression. To some degree, sometimes it’s an intellectual pursuit, or it’s a pursuit of craft, or it’s a creative exercise, and they’re all also valid.
“But it’s interesting when I think about the way I make music, it is very, incredibly personal. And it’s my way of working through moments and fears and feelings as they come up and holding space, giving them their own atoms to attach to so they can move on, and be out of me.”
izzi has come to life with a few different people, Isabella noting the similarities between that and speed dating.
“It’s like creative and artistic speed dating. And sometimes you hang out with people that are cool and that you have a lot of respect for.”
Much like dating, Isabella notes that the real connection can only come when things move to the next level.
“I think the proof’s in the pudding, it’s kind of like you only really know until you get in the bedroom with someone whether you can have good chemistry, you don’t know if it’s any good until you start to work together. Because that’s when the mask comes off, and you have to show your true self.”
The album has a bevy of different emotions spread throughout, there’s a lot to connect to for listeners, no matter who you are.
“I think it’s a very hopeful record. It’s obviously a breakup record. Although I have tried to frame it, not as a breakup record. But when I listen to it, I feel a sense of hope, and I feel comforted, like I’ve wrapped some of the music around me.
“I’ve protected myself and clothed myself and healed myself through making this album. So I hope some of that translates to people that listen to it.
“Because to me, it feels plain speaking in its purpose. It’s direct. It’s frank. It’s honest.”
izzi drops September 2, pre-order it here.