It’s the rare mark of an artist so fully devoted to their craft that they develop a voice that is uniquely their own at a young age.
Edmonton’s Billie Zizi deftly combines the groove of classic soul with a flair for contemporary RnB melody, adding a certain avant-jazz vibe with her guitar forays to create a sound as accessible as it is experimental.
Zizi will be performing at Char’s Landing in Port Alberni on Thursday, April 11 as part of a Canada-wide spring tour.
Her second full-length album, 2016’s Moon Of Honey, showed a growing artist comfortable with taking sonic risks, while maintaining a shrewd pop sensibility in composition. Cuts like “Hold And Console”, “Sit Down”, and “Do You Love Me” show off Zizi’s smart melodic sense in both composition and arrangement, while “Get By” and “It Shook Your Faith” take those elements and add Zizi’s willingness to experiment with wild sonic abandon, venturing into textural guitar adventures that never stray far from melody, but nonetheless feel like adventures unto themselves.
Growing up in an artistic and musical family prepared Zizi for the path ahead, as she accompanied her father on a number of European trips to immerse themselves among the musical traditions of wandering Romani bands through the continental countryside. Zizi absorbed those lessons, and upon her graduation from Grant MacEwan’s School of Composition and Performance, set out to make statements on her own as a songwriter.
Her early live work included tightly arranged looping and sampled parts that allowed her to build on her pieces live and in the moment. She added a rhythm section in preparation for her first record, 2015’s Gun Metal Dress, a more jazz-influenced LP that featured unconventional time signature shifts, more straightforward guitar work, and some classic, scat-inspired vocal work.
Not merely content with artistic repetition, Billie Zizi continues to grow on an adventurous musical path, taking pieces of inspiration in the music she finds along the way, seamlessly blending it as part of her own unique voice.
Thursday’s show takes place at 7:30 p.m. (doors open at 7 p.m.). Tickets are available by phone (778-421-2427), at the Rollin Art Centre and Gayle’s Fashions (cash only) and online.