FIZZ discusses collaboration and debut album, ‘The Secret To Life’
By Tiara Starks
Photo by Karina Barberis
Collaboration is key when it comes to the London-based music group FIZZ, which is made up of artists Orla Gartland, dodie, Greta Isaac and Martin Luke Brown. While each has achieved their own level of success through solo projects, these four friends-turned-bandmates came together to usher in the next phase of their careers.
FIZZ’s most recent release and debut album, “The Secret To Life,” consists of 12 tracks that appropriately combine alternative, progressive rock and pop elements. These components help accent their carefully crafted lyricism that illustrates the highs and lows of adulthood. There’s almost always a certain pathos that comes with that type of storytelling but the group’s energetic flair helps to offset going too deep into an emotional hole while surpassing expectations with songs like “As Good As It Gets” and “A New Phase Awaits You :-)”
The writing process for “The Secret To Life” took place over the course of two weeks, starting in December 2021 and being finalized in July 2022. At the time, FIZZ hadn’t technically been born.
“Our managers didn't know that the band existed, really,” Brown says. “The intention mainly was just to play and just see what it was like to completely write together very creatively, intuitively.”
When asked if there were any challenges that the group faced early on, one of the members imparted some perspective on the difference between working to make music as a solo artist versus working as a group.
“I think with your own project, there's like an ego....” dodie says. “We just wanted to go to a studio and just mess about and write drunk and just say ‘yes’ to every key change and lyric that we wanted to put in.”
“I think when we're all singing from the same hymn sheet, figuratively or metaphorically, it's so powerful, and that's not something I've ever experienced before in my solo career,” Gartland adds.
Aside from the melodic choices that make the group so unique, each member has their own sense of personal style.
“We've got an amazing stylist called Rubina Marchiori, who's Italian and wonderful,” Issac exclaims.
With their style, there’s an emphasis to not put labels on their self-expression. Isaac details the “boundarylessness” of FIZZ.
“I've thought about my gender a lot, and that's been a real struggle when it comes to styling and also hair and makeup and stuff,” Isaac says. “But with the ‘boundarylessness’ of FIZZ, I think it feels so great to not stick to a box, sort of step into and ask myself that question: ‘What is my dream outfit?’ ‘What do I want to wear?’ It happens a lot. So that has been really fun.”
UNIA asked about the specific imagery in the visualizer of one of their songs, “You, Me, Lonely.” You see bats flying around and you feel like you’ve been thrust into an alternate dimension where it’s Halloween all the time.
Isaac answers, “In [the fictional] FIZZ-ville, there's a haunted house on the mountain...It's like this place that's kind of scary and kind of has thunder and clouds and bats coming out of it that no one ever goes to. I think for me, it feels really nice that that song is it. It's kind of like this avoidant thing, elephant in the room, the thing on the mountain that no one wants to go towards. It's like this ominous conversation that you don't want to have.”
With that in mind, what really makes this group stand out is their ability to be authentic and honest. Being among the multiple emerging indie supergroups of today, what helps them stay focused? Brown may just have the secret.
“Just play and have a laugh. Honestly, it's so simple. It's so hilariously simple. It's like the reason why you start doing music in the first place is just to make a noise and have a laugh and do an open mic and rock out with your mates playing two chords.”
So what is FIZZ? Well, FIZZ is insightful, self-aware, and collaborative. Each member is able to showcase their talents without showboating. They’re a group that wants to bring together all of their individual fanbases to help celebrate their collaborative efforts, bringing fresh music to their fans and, according to dodie, encourage everyone to look at the album as an appreciation of life.
“Even though it's dressed up in such a fantastical and playful way, I think ultimately, it is about looking at what you already have and just being like ‘That’s sick.’ We're singing with our friends. We're so lucky to do this, as if this is a job. We're just dressed crazy singing. It's too good to be true so much of the time.”
Keep up with FIZZ on Instagram and Twitter, and make sure to listen to their debut album, “The Secret To Life.” To learn more about the band and become a citizen of “FIZZ-ville,” visit yourfavebandfizz.com.