Izabel Billings is a fresh talent on the music scene who is building a fan base on YouTube with her stream of cover songs. Izabel will be featured in the “Music Scene” column in the next print issue of Island Scene magazine. She is a teenage girl with a junior Yamaha guitar who records her videos on her own cell phone yet she has gotten over 36,000 views on just one song alone — “I’m Only Sleeping” by The Beatles.
Billings has wanted to make a living as a musician from as far back as she can remember and she is starting to get enough interest in her videos to make her believe she may just be able to get there. “It’s always been the dream!” she said in an interview with Island Scene magazine. “It’s always been the goal.”
Her other popular videos include “Halah” by Mazzy Star, “It Ain’t Me Babe” by Bob Dylan and “Eternal Flame” by The Bangles.
Billings received her Yamaha guitar from her friend Sierra, whose family could tell how much she loved playing it. They made it a gift to her. She has not let go of it yet and it features in all of her videos.
Billings lives in Southern California and shares a bedroom with her sister. In one of her videos, “The Louvre” by Lorde, she plays the piano in the living room and you can see the family’s small white dog looking on in the background. From an early age she began composing her own music and she currently has about 15 songs which are in nearly finished form. She mentioned the existence of her original songs in the intro to “It Ain’t Me Babe” and in just 48 hours the video generated over 100 comments and 1,000 views.
Joe Lemmon wrote on her YouTube channel: “You write music as well! I think I speak for all of us that we’d love to hear some of your stuff, especially if you’ve got some lyrics please let us hear them. As for the Dylan, you crushed it :)”
One month ago she made the leap by posting one of her original songs, “Walking Thoughts,” on YouTube. The song has a beautiful melody and shows her creative talent as a singer-songwriter. Viewers from all around the world, including Europe and South America, gave her a warm response.
“A ray of California sunshine on a cold day in Ireland! Thanks!” wrote Sean Mac.
“Lovely song…btw I think I’m part of those Chileans who enjoys this channel haha,” Joaquin Aravena posted.
At the start of this year she began to set up equipment for a home studio and is teaching herself to become a recording producer, just as she taught herself how to play the guitar — starting at age 8 — without formal instruction. Once the studio recordings of her original music achieve a professional quality she is satisfied with she plans on uploading them to Spotify and other streaming services. Billings thanked her fans at the start of the Dylan video by saying: “I consider you guys my friends because all of your comments are so kind and they genuinely make my day every time I read them.”
If you’re curious about her music, go to her YouTube channel and let her know what you think.