2017 has been a great year for Izzy Strange. Coming off the heels of his most successful project to date, May’s “A Good Day 2 B The Bad Guy”, the upward trajectory for Izzy is clearly evident. The Pennsylvanian has seen praise from top publications like 2dopeboyz and others, further cementing his status as an artist to be watched. Now that the LP has had time to make it’s rounds, we at 1DF wanted to take some time to learn more about the process behind it and what Izzy may have lined up next to follow. Check out our full interview below.
To start off, could you tell the people a bit about who you are and how you got to the point you are now?
My names Izzy Strange. I’m from a small town outside of Pittsburgh, PA called Scottdale. I got to the point I’m at now by practice, dedication and persistence. They are the same ingredients I’ll use to keep me this thing going!
When did you decide to pursue music seriously? What was it that made you take the plunge?
I made the decision about 4 years ago. I realized there was nothing else I’d rather do. Up to that point, I wasn’t taking it as seriously as I should have been. I didn’t like the place I was in at at that point of life, so something had to change. I literally threw myself completely into pursuing music.
What do you feel it is about your music that sets you apart from others in the game?
For starters, my voice. Haha. I think that helps but really i’m just staying true to myself – telling my story and my views on the world.
I’m sure (and hope) that people can relate but no one else has lived my exact life or seen things exactly the way I do. I feel that’s the best way for anyone to set themselves apart, just be yourself – there’s only one you.
Your latest project, which we also reviewed, was received pretty well. Did it live up to the expectations you had set for yourself?
Most definitely and it’s only been out about 5 months. So I feel there is still a lot work to do in pushing this project to reach even more ears.
I can say that I got out exactly what was in my head when creating this but it also taught me how to approach projects going forward. So not only is this a project i’m proud of but it was great learning experience as well.
What was the mindset going into the forming the album? It’s a very personal project so I’m wondering if that was the aim originally or if it just kind of happened that way.
I kinda suck at conveying my emotions in real life, so I’ve kinda always used music to help me deal with things.
With this project in particular, I was trying to deal with the past while also looking into the future. The title “A Good Day 2 B The Bad Guy” isn’t exactly just about the bad things i may or may not have done. It’s more about a person chasing there dreams.
I feel like a lot people (especially in a small town) get looked down upon for not just doing the normal – school, job, family – life style. Dreams come with uncertainty, so fear places a big part in peoples decision to chase them. This project was just stating that i’m not afraid of chasing my dreams whether i succeed or fail. So therefore it’s “A Good Day 2 B The Bad Guy”.
What song in your catalog is your favorite one and why?
Hmm.. that’s a hard pick! Haha! I don’t know if I can pick out of the whole catalog but on the album it would either have to be “God’s Got A Gun” or “Run Em’ Thru The Sticks”.
I just really enjoy both songs sonically but “Run Em’ Thru The Sticks” I like more for the personal story of my hometown. There’s really not much for kids to do around here, so they end up getting fucked up and into trouble. I just wanted to capture the essence of what it was like for me growing up on small country type town.
“God’s Got A Gun” is a spiritual dilemma I have. It’s based off the saying “Everything happens for a reason”. I just believe there’s a lot of suffering and fucked up shit in this world that happens. Is there really a reason some little child would die of starvation or something much worse? So yeah, one of those both for the personal ties in each of them.
At first just some artists that worked together, but after going out there to shoot the video our relationship definitely developed into something more. I’m confident in saying the world can expect more collaborations from us in the future.
We just wanted to bring the human element into the creation process. Nowadays, it’s too easy for people to create something and not even be in the same room or ever meet. So I just reached out to him, he was down and we made it happen.
I know you are working on more music. Can we expect to get another video from AGD2BTBG or are you more so shifting your focus to what is to come next?
I have one more idea for a video. If I can make it happen soon, we’ll go through with it. But if it becomes too much trouble, I’ll probably just focus on the new stuff.
What details can you give us about what’s next in line musically?
I have a batch of tracks in the works with Eligh from Living Legends. Might drop that as an EP or just some singles. Haven’t decided yet.
I’m also already in the process of working on the follow up to AGD2BTBG. It’s gonna be called “The Die is Cast” and will feature some new faces as far as production goes, but thats really all i can say about that at this time.
Aside from the music itself what else do you have on the horizon in the near future that people should be aware of?
Right now I’m taking the next few months to finish working on new material as well as continue the promo for AGD2BTBG. After that, i’ll be hitting the road again to perform. But no dates are set as of now.
With the year dwindling down what goals, if any, do you have set for yourself for 2018?
I would like to have my next project ready to be recorded and out by this time next year. I want to collab with more artists and double my performance rates of this past year. Pretty much just keep up and expand the momentum I gained in 2017.
15 years down the line how do you want to be remembered both as a man and as an artist?
Someone who gave it their all and hopefully someone who helped other people get through similar situations and inspired them to not be afraid to take the risks to achieve what they want.
Is there anything else you would like to share before we conclude?
Keep listening to AGD2BTBG and share it with your friends. Also, thanks to everyone who supports the music! Can’t make this happen with out you.