FROM LAURA TO MIAMI
VH1’s “ You Ought to know Artist” Laura Izibor dropped in on Miami on Friday, November 13th for the second season of the Downtown Concert Series supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation at the Bayfront Park’s Tina Hills Pavilion.
We met up with Laura at the Hilton Hotel on 16th and Biscayne right before her show. On first impression she could be the girl next door who you simply had to have as a friend. She is just that cool.
Her manager walked me in and does the introductions. With a warm big smile she says. “Hi I’m Laura nice to meet you.” Dressed in a black top, blue jeans and big hoop earrings with an electric blue scarf over her afro completing the ultimate casual look, this Ireland bred singer, songwriter looked as much a star in all that casual style. She was seated on the edge of the bed and on the pillow with a cup of cappuccino in hand. At first glance I could tell this would be a fun and relaxed interview she was warm and approachable. We got comfortable. I sat on the floor legs crossed and she moved over to the sofa hands clasped and smiling really to let it loose. _ByYetunde Taiwo
PGM: How do you like Miami? Is there something you’ve heard about Miami that you have always wanted to do?
Laura Izibor: Of Course I love Miami. The main thing is the weather it is so ridiculous. Something I have always wanted to do? Jet Skiing. I have never been jet skiing and I figure if there is a good place to do something like that it’s here. Here people tend to be really good at it and they make it look like a lot fun.
PGM: What do you hope to do differently with the Miami crowd?
Laura Izibor: The thing is we bring the same show but our energy changes with the different crowds. I have a feeling the Miami crowd will bring that fun and energy and they just want to enjoy the moment. So I think if anything we just multiply ourselves to meet that same energy and hopefully elevate the show even more. Plus the weather is so warm. We just came from a cold place NEW YORK.
PGM: What Miami Dish have you tried or what restaurant have you been to?
Laura Izibor: *laughs* I haven’t gotten to experience a really amazing Miami place yet. Maybe your readers can help me out for next time put it up on my twitter (twitter/ TheLauraIzibor) or my website and recommend a really good place for me to go.
PGM: How has the album changed you from where you started? Did you even imagine it will be this way?
Laura Izibor: I didn’t, I really didn’t. I think when you make your first album you have lots of expectations. You don’t really know what to expect. I’ve just grown up an awful lot and fallen in love with music more so than I even did before I made this first album then I was 17 and I was only singing 3 of 4 years. It was all so new to me. And I’m sure with the next album I will be in a very different place. I’m 22 now so even if nothing else just touring and seeing the world.
PGM: What do you know now that you wish you knew then about music?
Laura Izibor: *laughs* Oouuu how long have you got. I think I understand it more now. I see how rare it is in this industry which I didn’t at the time. I see how different it is for lots of reasons and how organic it is. When I was making it, we started working with the attitude of being very authentic, just letting the songs breath. But then we released it I just realized how so many people don’t do it that way. So many people go get everybody on their albums to make it as modern as they can. In a way I learned we were a lot more brave with the album that we actually thought.
PGM: So to segway into the previous question, are there any collaborations coming up? Or artist you would like to work with. Different artists have experienced your style what are your thoughts?
Laura Izibor: Funny but any time I go on tour with somebody I say “I want them on my album” So like Maxwell, India Arie, John Legend to mention a few. I have a few more people up my sleeve but I love Jill Scott I think she is incredible. Also, Alicia Keys which will be very fresh. You know there is not too many light skinned girls playing the piano *laughs*. So that would be a real dream come true maybe next album.
PGM: Miami is known for its mostly Latin and diverse culture. Any plans of a Miami vibe track in the near future?
Laura Izibor: Yes, I think it will definitely still be Laura Izibor, but I wouldn’t be surprised if a little splash of Latin vibe comes in there
PGM: How do you think the Miami vibe can influence your art?
Laura Izibor: I think definitely it’s a different vibe for me. I haven’t been exposed to it and I am a huge fan. To me and my whole band they adore the Congo’s and just the energy. We are already talking about trying to incorporate that into a live show. Whenever we get a chance to rehearse. So yeah, it’s actually quite fitting that we are here cause we have been very conscious of it lately.
PGM: Congratulations on your nomination with the Soul Train Music Awards. Were you nervous or excited about this nomination?
Laura Izibor: I was excited and very shocked. All I do is tour and work, and love what I do and then every now and again someone knocks you on the shoulder and it’s like “excuse me” and you’re like “ehm yeah?” “We’ll like to just give you an award or something. We think you’re doing a great job.” *laughs* and you’re like “Oh God.” You forget people are watching so to me it’s like a nice pat on the back or recognition. Its like “we are watching” “we see you”. And that is a huge validation.
PGM: Would you ever consider acting? What would be your dream role?
Laura Izibor: I will and I have already started with 2 or three roles nothing so far. I think I want to do something with meaning, with substance and I am trying to think of an exact dream role. I’d like to do something that shows a woman of all emotions. You see her weak, you see her get her strength, you see her overcome. I don’t know maybe she’s like s single mother, or a cop or a female pilot, first female pilot something like that. A challenge.
PGM: What is your favorite Miami Drink?
Laura Izibor: eeemmmmm be do, be do do .. eeerr *laughs* I really… I am not a big drinker anyway. If I like anything it’s wine. I would be open to trying something. Again I am still very new to performing in Miami so I need people to help me out here and recommend. I am coming back on December 28th. The big Michael Bastian show. It’s going to be like a New Year party. And I am purposely flying in a day early and leaving a day late so I can have some real time in Miami. So this is the opportunity for all the people out there to help me and tell me what I should drink, tell me where I should go, where I should eat my food and I will do all that they say.
PGM: What do you love about Miami so far?
Laura Izibor: The energy walking around the street is just so ehm… Fun. A lot of places I go and if’s great and very pretty but it’s so hard to find the energy, its hard to find a vibe. Miami has that same kind of New York energy where you are walking down the street and you feel people’s energy. So that on top of the sun just puts you in such a great mood. My band just walked out of the van and everyone instantly had a smile on their face. So generally, the people and the weather.
The opening act for the night was local Miami Group Elastic Bond.They certainly set the stage for Laura’s performance. She was so engaging. She had everyone on their feet before the night was over. Miami will definitely enjoy seeing Laura perform live again.
Come back soon Laura. Hang out with us on Ocean Drive and have a Mojito and a MiamiVice on us.