Izzy Frances is not quite what you would expect when you hear the term ‘singer’. Elfin and slightly pixieish, the soaring vocals also belong to a neuroscientist. Izzy Frances is a neuroscientist by day, singer by night. All things nature have played a part in her life since she was a little girl.

Fragile nature

Familiar with the BBC’s Big Cat Diary series from a young age, Jonathan and Angela Scott have since set up the Sacred Nature Initiative that aims to reconnect people with nature. Frances wrote her latest single, Beautiful World, for them — a dream come true.

‘It was great. Jonathan Scott was my ideal growing up’, says Frances — noting her childhood obsession with big cats and how much she idolised the three presenters of the documentary series.

‘Getting involved in that was just amazing and really, really exciting’.

Neuroscience and writing songs may seem worlds apart, but a love of the natural world and understanding that it needs our protection forms the core of Frances’ work. She smiles nostalgically when asked about her journey towards becoming a singer.

‘I started doing music a long time before I went into neuroscience’, she says; noting that there is an intersection of influence between the two. ‘There are so many factors that have an effect on how you feel’. Music for Frances has a hugely positive impact on her day.

The topic of impact is a core part of her work and something that this artist is very passionate about.

The natural world offers hope

Climate change has become a central political issue, with many of us now more aware of the need to preserve the natural world around us. Thanks to a chain of lockdowns, most of us connected with nature as our social environment grew more restrictive.

‘A lot of what you hear about the environment is very doom and gloom’, says Frances laughingly. She believes the best approach is to maintain a positive vibe. This is what she tries to create when making music.

‘It is a crisis’ she notes, referring to climate change; ‘But I think the problem is when you make things sound so awful, when things do sound so awful, people can often then just shut down’ — she makes a hand motion as if closing a laptop screen to demonstrate this shutting-down effect. ‘It can make you feel hopeless […] and that does not motivate you’ — to create change.

The influence of nature in Frances’ life is apparent. Her choice of room decoration is a sketch of a dog, mounted on a wall, and fresh flowers. One immediately encounters that love of the natural world sustaining her music.

‘One of my favourite artists — who I grew up listening to — are The Corrs’, she admits when reflecting on her sound. But her taste shows an eclectic side too, with Lorde and Florence & The Machine being amongst her best-loved musicians.

In contrast to a world driven by social media gossip, a love of nature ‘[…] inspires you naturally, in a more positive way’, she reflects; quite rightly.

Beautiful World is out now.

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