At the age of 19, pop artist Izzy Malik has already shared the stage with superstars like Drake Bell, Cody Simpson, and many more. However, she’s not ready to stop there.
Pop can have substance and be totally blissful. It’s a rare feat for a pop artist, of course, but an artist as inspiring and uplifting as Izzy Malik doesn’t come around very often. Izzy moved to America from Pakistan at the tender age of three. Determined as a kindergartener to channel her profound story, and bring positive messaging, euphoric pop hooks, and a dazzling performance style to touch people, Izzy prioritized her life around her dream. Now, 19, she releases her invigorating debut EP, Izzy Malik, and boldly announces her arrival on the international pop scene.
Her journey to being the pop artist she is today began as a kindergartener when she saw Britney Spears on TV. “That was the most meaningful moment in my life, that’s when I decided to be singer,” Izzy says. By first grade, she was taking voice lessons and training nonstop to be a world-class entertainer. “I practiced every spare moment and worked hard because I knew what I had to do to make it,” Merced, California-based artist says. “I want to help kids by showing them anything is possible if they dream big, work hard, and stay true to themselves.”
Izzy has been favorably compared to such artists as Avril Lavigne, Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Ke$ha, and Ariana Grande. Though she’s a young artist and inspired by these pop icons, Izzy Malik has her own distinct musicality. Her vibe blends dance-in-your-room bubblegum pop with a sweet spoonful of rock n roll, with influences ranging from urban to reggae.
Besides her sugary hooks, what also makes Izzy’s music stick is the powerful story leading up to her pop career. Izzy lived in a Taliban-dominated Pakistan and survived the terror and harsh conditions of a nation violently at war with itself. “I remember living there, and there were times when we couldn’t get fresh water,” Izzy recalls. “There were attacks from the Taliban. I recently heard the house I grew up in was bombed, and one of the walls came down. A five year-old child was living there at the time and couldn’t understand what was happening. It was really hard to hear this.”
Driven to make a statement about these unjust conditions, Izzy wrote what would be her first single, “Malala.” The song, and accompanying video, is a poignant tribute to Malala Yousufzai, the young woman who was shot by the Taliban for wanting an education and survived. “That story really spoke to me. Malala was two years younger than me; she could have been my cousin,” Izzy says. Not only does the song honor Malala’s boldness, it also inspires listeners to make the most of the opportunities available to them. “Sometimes we take school for granted, but we should remember that other people have to fight to get an education,” Izzy says.
Though Izzy is something of a teen activist for women’s rights, she wants her music to reach everyone—boys and girls—wherever they are in life. On her EP, she performs songs about relationships and romance (“Just Another Boy”, “Need To Know”, and “Last First Kiss”), and positive self-imaging (“Smart Is Beautiful”, “Live The Dream”). Izzy also has the rare distinction in the pop world of being a fine songwriter in her own right and wrote the EP tracks “Malala” and “Just Another Boy”, the latter of which is dedicated to One Direction’s Harry Styles with the music video being inspired by a dream she had about going on a date with him. “‘Just Another Boy’ came to me in a dream. When I woke up, I wrote it down as fast as I could,” she reveals. “I remember when we recorded it I was thinking we brought a dream to life!”
Last year, Izzy performed her first gig in Merced, California with IM5 and False Puppet at a charity concert to benefit cancer patients. Since then, she has shared the stage with the likes of Drake Bell, Jacob Latimore, Cody Simpson, and many other amazing artists. Now, she plans to release a new album and to perform many more shows. Looking back on her awe-inspiring story she says: “I realized early on, if you put your mind to it and work hard, you can do whatever you want to, even if it seems impossible. I want to share that message with the world!”