Ismail Izzani on creating a sustainable future as an artist

·5-min read

In collaboration with Volvo Cars Malaysia, The Z List alumnus Ismail Izzani discusses the importance of securing a sustainable future as an artist in Malaysia, and the ways that both work and passion come into play.

Whether he’s pushing himself to the limit or taking it easy, Ismail Izzani lives by one motto: stay true to who you are and what you love.

Before his hit song “Sabar” garnered over 47 million views on YouTube and shot him to fame four years ago, Ismail had already had what one would describe as an unbreakable relationship with music. Though having seemingly found his calling in R&B music by drawing inspiration from the likes of giants such as Justin Bieber, Usher, and Rihanna, the 22-year-old singer-songwriter still aspires to explore musical styles beyond what he’s already known.

Ismail credits his family’s diverse taste in music growing up for his thirst to keep trying new things; from listening to pop music in his sister’s car to jamming to slow ballads with his mum, Ismail was exposed to various music genres before he settled on what he’s comfortable with.

“I like to consider myself an adventurous guy,” Ismail quips. “I love exploring new things, and I don’t like to feel like I should be placed in a box, whether it has to do with my music or even when it comes to just having fun.”

When talking about his music, Ismail believes that taking risks is the way to go — and the way he can grow. To create a sustainable future, he notes that one shouldn’t just stick to a particular style or ‘sound’ they’ve always had. It’s why Ismail calls himself an experimentalist, and is ever keen to try new styles of music.

Ismail Izzani describes himself as an experimentalist with it comes to creating music and honing a sustainable craft.
Ismail Izzani describes himself as an experimentalist with it comes to creating music and honing a sustainable craft.

“It’s always worth it to try something new,” he says. “That’s how you really learn to grow, and not just through music, but with your audience as well. Some people may prefer your old style, some like it when you change it up. But you’ll never know until you try.”

In between composing his songs and performing on stage, Ismail spends his time discovering new things to do, such as going café-hopping with his friends, travelling, and being in touch with nature.

“For me, being sustainable as an artist means knowing where you want to be through your passion,” he shares. “Things around us are changing. So, as we work our way up, I think the most important thing is to stay true to ourselves and the things we love. Even after we’ve reached our goal, what’s the next move? That’s where I believe passion comes in, and is what keeps us motivated as we grow. It encourages us to break out of our comfort zones.”

Ismail’s personal goals align with his style of driving — he compares the feeling to an adrenaline rush. Driving lets Ismail feel a little out of his comfort zone, going beyond and having to familiarise himself with his surroundings as he moves.

In a similar vein, Volvo Cars Malaysia is working toward its very own goal: with the XC40 Recharge, Volvo Cars Malaysia has announced a new quest — to become a fully electric car company by 2030, and marking a big sustainable step forward for one of the world’s premium electric car makers. This decision to fulfil its sustainable values and commit to it is only part of a long-term plan by Volvo Cars Malaysia, which aims to see absolute change in the automotive industry.

Ismail Izzani with the new Volvo XC40 Recharge
Ismail Izzani with the new Volvo XC40 Recharge

And much like the company itself, Ismail Izzani is all too familiar with embracing change for the sake of growing himself, his music and career: “We change with every generation. Every era of our lives is different. This change is necessary, but it tends to get brushed off. A lot of people believe that young artists haven’t experienced enough of what life has to offer, and so we don’t get taken as seriously. But all that means is that  our achievements and our hardships are different, too. We still face a lot of things that we eventually learn from.”

Since its first release of the XC40 model, Volvo has introduced a new standard for its in-car audio system, with HARMAN’s all-new Harman Kardon Premium Sound system. Since then, it has offered a vast array of cutting-edge features, setting a new standard for audio excellence in compact SUVs by Volvo.

Combined with a seamless driving experience thanks to the in-class navigation, the XC40 Recharge gets an enthusiastic thumbs-up from Ismail, who loves blasting his music on a long drive — he appreciates getting the ultimate immersive experience that comes along with it.

Echoing Volvo’s desire to be part of the solution when it comes to fighting climate change while still retaining its commitment to meet its customers’ expectations, Ismail also expresses his own aim to break the mould and keep figuring out exactly what he wants to create next, while staying true to himself and the people who have brought him to where he is today.

For the young singer-songwriter, Ismail believes that success as a musician and artist comes not in the form of what they can show for, but by the ways they can make a difference in their own lives and the communities around them.

concept MARTIN TEO | assisted by PUTERI YASMIN SURAYA | production NEW STORYBOARDS PHOTOGRAPHY | outfits H&M

The post Ismail Izzani on creating a sustainable future as an artist appeared first on Lifestyle Asia Kuala Lumpur.

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