Izzy Rahman is quite the celebrity, or so the endless amount of retweets on my twitter timeline leads me to believe. Before we even meet this morning I have scrolled through a mountain of “I love Izzy’s” and “omg he just RT’d me” tweets. It’s just gone breakfast time and already his supporters have begun supporting. How typical, on their job as always.
Before we dive straight into discussing his latest venture I ask him to take me back and explain how all this started. I was first introduced to Izzy as a music video director not that long ago but I know for a fact he has a lot more strings to his bow. It takes only minutes to gage just how enthusiastic Izzy is about his work and his quest to become a successful young man is paramount. Impressively it was only a year ago he began saving for a decent camera and within months had set up his own media company known as IR Media.
Confidently he explains how he first began filming videos for his rapper friend ‘Oboi’ and then others, a move which allowed him to build a reputation that precedes him today. Proving popular, Izzy continued filming, focusing now on marketing himself and IR Media as a brand. As far as I can tell he did the job pretty well.
Hundreds of camera shots down the line, we are faced with Izzy’s latest directing project, a comedy series entitled ‘Mandem On The Wall,’ an idea inspired by his younger days. The series has been quite a success, its quality and humor helping to rack up views over 230,000 in only the first three episodes. The latest, featuring Britain’s Got Talent dancers Twist and Pulse, has opened doors to an entirely new audience, a conscious decision made by Izzy to diversify its fan base. He talks excitedly about his ideas for future episodes and the possibility of taking the creation on tour. Izzy himself is set to feature in the next episode, and by the looks of things people are really taking to it. “Even Wiley’s been talking about it,” he says proudly.
Background information covered we then move on to talk about what we came here to discuss. His forthcoming single and the singing side of Izzy Rahman that, until very recently, I had no idea existed. He laughs when I say this. “Nah, I’ve been singing since I was small,” he corrects me. His voice, discovered by peers whilst filming, was quickly put to use and he was soon featuring on many of the songs he was also shooting videos for. Fast forward a few years and after a bit of time away, Izzy is back with his new single “Away,” a track inspired by personal experiences and showcasing his vocals to the brand new listener.
It may be an RnB song about love, but as he is quick to point out he covers the subject from an unusual angle. “No-one writes about being in love but wanting to get away from it at the same time,” he explains. Artwork for the single has been released (a shot of Izzy looking thoughtfully into the distance) and as seems customary, he has managed to drum up a fair amount of interest and an awful lot of guessing. “Asian artists almost always come out with pop songs,” he says, “so I wanted to do something different.” He plans to release a video for the track very soon, “it’s not going to me singing in the rain ripping my t-shirt off and on my knees” he assures me.
We continue to talk music and our love for 90’s RnB. As I imagine, he lists some of the greats as his biggest inspirations; R Kelly, Usher and Joe. His ideal writing partner would be the ‘Back At One’ singer/songwriter Brian McKnight. “He’s a don,” he says excitedly. “His songs are so meaningful and his hooks are simple but so good.” His favourite slow jam of all time? He struggles to decide and after a fair bit of umming and arring I push him for an answer. “I’ll have to say a few,” he says. “Joe- Priceless, R Kelly- Keep it on the down low, FDM- Crash, Ashley David- Alone, Jay Sean- The Mistress” he reels off, trying to squeeze in as many as he can before I ask the next question.
For all Izzy’s achievements so far it is his extraordinary passion that stands out most. One phrase he uses sticks with me even after I leave the interview. “Dream big, work hard, never give up – whatever you do.” It is refreshing to talk to someone with oodles of drive, a relentless work ethic and such a likeable manner. “The reason you fall is to get back up again,” he continues. “You’ve got to push yourself, haven’t you?”
As our time draws to an end we begin to wrap up our conversation, we’ve been here for a while now and a couple are eyeing us for the table. Izzy is a dedicated media mogul, he loves singing but can’t see himself doing it full time. He’s still a young man after all and has plenty of time to specialise in one field; at the moment he enjoys having his fingers in a lot of pies. He’s sailing, enjoying it and doing admirably well- so why shouldn’t he? Crack on, I say.
For updates please follow Izzy on Twitter @_IzzyRhaman