Izzy Bizu is the latest artist being tipped for musical stardom after being included among the three acts shortlisted for the critics’ choice at the Brit Awards. She will face strong competition in the form of Jack Garratt and Frances, with the victor no doubt hoping to emulate the recent chart success of former winners such as Adele, Ellie Goulding and Sam Smith.

Eclectic influences

The twenty-one year old from Lincolnshire has claimed that her musical influences are far ranging. Everything from “The Godfather of Soul” James Brown and the jazz legend Ella Fitzgerald from yesteryear, right through to the distinctive tones of the late Amy Winehouse besides Adele have gained her admiration.

Not surprisingly then with such an eclectic choice in Music, Bizu’s own sound could be described as a heady mixture of pop, funk, soul and jazz.

Bizu signed to Epic Records

The critics’ choice is a rather specialist and distinctive honour. In order to be considered for the list of nominees, all of the artists have to be signed up to a record label already but still be waiting to release their first album. Bizu is in good company at the well-established Epic Records label, famed for their support of the likes of Celine Dion, Shakira and Michael Jackson among others down the years.

Bizu qualifies as her inaugural album “A Moment of Madness is set to go on sale next May. However as a foretaste of her undoubted ability, fans have already backed her talent by buying 50,000 copies of her independent EP “Coolbeanz” released back in 2013.

Solid supporting act record

Her track record on the road also bears testimony to how she is regarded in the music industry, with Sam Smith, Foxes, Rudimental and Jamie Cullum having all called on her services as a supporting act on recent UK tours.

Nor is Bizu wanting for celebrity backing from mainstream radio, as she can count on BBC Radio’s Trevor Nelson, Annie Mac and Phil Taggart in her corner.

A couple of appearances at Glastonbury and a prime Television slot on “Later…with Jules Holland” have all bolstered her fledgling career.

Quality shortlist for the award

But before she thinks that her victory is assured, Bizu need only look at the opposition facing her. Multi-instrumentalist Garratt is set to provide support to the popular Mumford & Sons on a forthcoming tour, while Frances (her adopted mononym) is looking to make her breakthrough across the Atlantic by touring in America.

Frances, full name Sophie Frances Cooke, is the same age as Bizu and recently released her latest single as a collaboration with the act Disclosure.

Garratt is the oldest of the nominees at 23-years-old, and combines a falsetto vocal sound with his wide-ranging instrumental skills. He has already been honoured by the BBC, claiming their Introducing Prize for emerging artists.

Announcement before the Brit Awards

At least Izzy, Jack and Frances won’t have long to sweat on the judges’ decision. Although the Brit Awards’ ceremony itself isn’t until next year, the winner of the critics’ choice will be announced on Friday 27th November.

Whoever captures the honour will then no doubt have a fantastic evening along with the rest of the Brit Awards’ winners, when they formally receive their prize next February. They can also look forward to perhaps taking away a rather distinctive ‘gong’, as all of the 2016 Brit Award trophies have been conceived from the imagination of the punk designer, Pam Hogg.