We each have a favourite song, right? For musicians, it sometimes goes even further - it might be a song they wish they'd written themselves and could claim as their own. We got inquisitive with Izzy Bizu yet again, but this time we asked her to discuss the one song by another act which she would love to have written herself.

Hiya Izzy. What is the one song you wish you'd written yourself?

It's got to be Marvin Gaye's tune, 'Inner City Blues'.

OK, what is it about 'Inner City Blues' that you love?

The instrumentation and how free his vocals are, every time you listen to the song you hear something new and understand it more.

What was your first impression of the track?

I thought that he had a peaceful nature and just wanted to love everybody and change society for the better, he spoke for the people almost in a political way!

Do you tend to like most of Marvin Gaye's music or is it 'Inner City Blues' in particular which drew you to him?

I really do like most of his music, he's definitely an album artist where you put him on repeat until you get to know him better. I get super spaced out when I listen to him and it's always great to escape.

Have you ever covered 'Inner City Blues': (i) on your own in the shower; (ii) live before an audience; (iii) on record; or (iv) all of the above?

I have only ever covered this song in the shower but I would love to cover it for real.

Favourite lyric?

  • "Hang ups, let downs
  • Bad breaks, set backs
  • Natural fact is
  • I can't pay my taxes"

He really tells a story about how he struggled as an artist and really gave me inspiration that if you are passionate enough about something you can make it through obstacles.

What is your favourite bit of arrangement or instrumentation?

I love the unexpected ending when he goes into the "Mother Mother" and the progression changes. He never stops surprising us.

You mentioned earlier that Marvin Gaye gave you inspiration. Would you say that any of your own music has in any way ever been influenced by 'Inner City Blues' or Gaye's work in general?

It influences me when I sing live, if ever I'm nervous I think of him and how free he was and try to emulate that.

You're starting 2016 with a show at Scala - on a scale of 1 to Don't Push Your Luck, what are the chances of you performing this song live and dedicating it to The 405?

Haha, I reckon a 6 after this interview!


Izzy Bizu plays Scala, London, on 27 January. Tickets are available here