Rising Singer-Songwriter Izzy Mahoubi Reveals Her Biggest Influences, Details New Single 'Torn in Two' (Exclusive)

A singer and/or musician is not necessarily just the sum of their influences. However, it's not outlandish to say that practically no one creating musical art would be doing so if they hadn't been inspired by other artists before them. Izzy Mahoubi, an incredibly talented young singer-songwriter on the rise, is one such artist who is not shy about paying homage to her heroes.

Mahoubi only kickstarted her professional musical career after graduating from high school less than a year ago, but the 18-year-old has already spent much of her life writing and performing music. She is currently signed to Rude Records, and has released a handful of singles over the past couple of years, including a remarkable cover of the Billie Eilish song "bury a friend." Most recently, Mahoubi dropped her newest song, "Torn in Two," which PopCulture.com had a chance to exclusively speak with her about. Scroll down to check out our interview with Mahoubi, as well as some of her music!

PC: Hello Izzy! Thank you so much for taking the time to chat about your music. I'd like to first ask: where did your journey start? Have you always been a musical person?

IM: Hey! Thank you so much for talking with me. I first started taking guitar lessons and writing songs when I was 11. After playing my first open mic in Phoenix, I remember thinking, "Yep, this is what I'm going to do for the rest of my life", and I haven't looked back since.

It's somewhat understandable that you'd get comparisons to artists like Taylor Swift and Billie Eilish (especially after your phenomenal cover of "bury a friend"), but there is something almost jazzy, and even sort of beachy, about a few of your songs. Maybe like a blend of Jack Johnson and Nora Jones at times.

Thank you so much! The "Bury a Friend" cover was so much fun to reimagine into a bluesy rock song. I always classify my sound as "Singer/Songwriter" because I find inspiration in different genres usually: folk, pop, and jazz. I think once I started pushing the limits of my songwriting, and letting each lyric come from an authentic and vulnerable place, I discovered the song will develop into whatever genre it's supposed to be.

Would it be fair to say you have an eclectic blend of influences?

Yes! I draw musical influences from Taylor Swift, Maggie Rogers, The Beatles, The Lumineers, John Mayer and Fleetwood Mac. Artists like Fiona Apple, Madison Cunningham, Amy Whinehouse, Sophie May and Lorde have inspired my vocal choices, writing style, and overall, my confidence as an artist. I'm grateful to learn from these incredible females; their careers and stories teach me how to push the limits.

Could you tell us a little about your new song "Torn in Two"?

I wrote this song during winter break of my senior year in high school. It was during a time when the excitement of my last year in school, and new relationships, were starting to fade leaving nothing more than the reality of growing up. I remember grieving friendships that started to dissolve and accepting that the next season of life was going to look very different. I thought of the first line when I was driving home from a school event, "I wish the shade of us was just as vibrant as when I first met you."

I let that one sit on the shelf for a few months before I let myself surrender to the uncomfortable reality that sometimes relationships fade when it's no one's fault. It's as heart-wrenching as a breakup and as upsetting as a friendship fallout: the slow and steady dissipation of two people going on different paths. There's something beautiful about that as well. Endings are never fun, but without knowing, we are writing chapters of each other's memoirs just by being present which I think is pretty cool. I released "Torn in Two," along with a music video directed by my friend Chase Warren, on Valentine's Day!

I was looking at your "songwriters who rule the world" playlist on Spotify and wondered: From a songwriting perspective, what is one song you wish you'd written and why?

"Landslide" by Stevie Nicks was the first song I listened to where I really felt moved by the lyrics. I was probably eight or nine when I first heard the song in the backseat of my mom's car, and since then it's always been the standard of great songwriting in my book. A song with such simple lyrics while still being so complex is a skill. "Can I handle the seasons of my life?" Short answer: no.

What has been the most exciting experience you've had so far, at this stage in your career?

In September of 2022, I joined with indie label RUDE Records and it has been such a growing time for me as an artist and definitely one of the most exciting opportunities of my career so far.

Finally, can you tell us about anything you have on the horizon? More new music or touring?

Yes! I am finishing up my first Ep that will be out in a few months. The collection of songs on this EP tells different stories of growth that have an eclectic, personal feeling that I cannot wait to release. I am also opening for Adam Melchor ... Adam's songwriting is next level and I cannot be more honored to open for him."

Those wanting to know more about Mahoubi and her music should click here for her official website. The singer's upcoming concert dates, as well as her merch store, are also available via the main page. Keep it locked to Pop Culture.com for more great music news, interviews, and exclusives!