May 06, 2016
OAHU LIVE MUSIC SCENE: Izik Performs Every Friday at 7 pm
Inspired by a Vacuum Cleaner? Meet Izik - Our Newest Featured Musician in The Study
Not many musical artists get their start by finding inspiration in the sounds of a vacuum cleaner. But that’s exactly what happened for Izik. When the Utah-born, Oahu- and Molokai-raised singer-songwriter Isaac Moreno was just four years old, his mother discovered him sitting on the staircase humming to himself while matching the pitch of the vacuum as she cleaned their family home. Three years later he was singing in the Honolulu Boys’ Choir and being exposed to international and local classic artists like The Carpenters, Teresa Bright, Loyal Gardner, Kalapana and Willie K. “I fell in love with the warm simplicity of Teresa’s voice, and the power and presence of Loyal’s voice,” favorites of his mother and grandmother, Moreno said. The musician further elaborated that he was not even allowed to make his own musical selections to listen to until he was nine years old.
Once given his musical freedom, he discovered the music of Mariah Carey and Janet Jackson. By the time he reached seventh grade, Moreno knew he wanted to be a musician, but it would be thirteen years before he would become a professional musician in 2012.
“I started singing in restaurants and bars when I was 26 as a way to get out of waiting tables,” Moreno, who now performs almost nightly across the island, admits with a laugh. Only a short year after leaving the restaurant life behind, Izik won first place in the 2013 Mai Tai Rumble, an annual local music competition.
It wasn’t long before he landed a record deal with Zeo Music and producer Imua Garza. By November 2014, he was recording his first studio album of original music, titled “Obsidian.” Scheduled for release on May 10, 2016, Moreno cites his record deal and subsequent work with Garza on “Obsidian” as the single most important event in his musical career to date. “It helped me grow as an artist, and it helped me to have confidence in my original music,” he states.
Check out Izik's cover of "Love Is a Losing Game" by Amy Winehouse at THE MODERN HONOLULU.
Moreno also continues to find deep inspiration in the music of Amy Winehouse, Beyoncé and Frank Ocean, a few musicians whose works reign supreme in his repertoire. “I am really inspired by Amy for her lyrics and ability to connect to people through her style of singing, Beyoncé for her ability to entertain and captivate an audience and Frank Ocean for his creativity and drive to always remain interesting,” he expounds.
When asked how he would define his personal sound and genre, Moreno admits that he wants to break free of what “certain types of music are supposed to sound like.” He believes that no song should be performed the same way twice. Preferring to let the interplay between his emotions and the surrounding ambiance drive the sound of his music and performance in any given moment, Moreno views it as a constant process of creation between his voice and the energy of the space he is in.
Indeed, his inspired vocal expression and soulful nuance is something you will consistently find the crowd at the The Study responding to with cheers and shouts of enthusiasm, and whose style is unlike any other local artist you will hear in Hawaii. “I love singing at The Study because I’m allowed to be who I am as an artist,” he says. “I love the environment, I love the people that come to The Study, and most of all, I love the staff.”
He may say that (and we really appreciate it!), but we think what Moreno loves most of all is singing to his heart’s creative desire. We are enjoying every minute of his Friday night shows in The Study, and think you should, too.
Come hear Izik’s constantly evolving renditions of his originals and new, modern, and classic favorites at THE MODERN HONOLULU. Izik will be joined by Ekona Ravey on bass every Friday night at 7 pm in The Study.