True to her soul 

Do too many cooks spoil the broth? Laura Izibor says it’s true.

When the Dublin, Ireland, diva was stirring up her tasty retro-soul debut “Let the Truth Be Told,” she at first agreed to allow several top-name songwriters into her kitchen.

“But it was not fun,” says the keyboardist, who went on to compose every last tune herself.

“It was these people’s jobs. They get up in the morning and go, ‘what structure should we do?’ There was one writer, and we had a perfectly good line, like ‘you did me wrong,’ and he said ‘no, we need to make it double the length of time and double the depth!’ And at that point, I was like ‘OK, this is not a good relationship.’”

So Izibor — who steams into San Francisco Saturday — followed her heart and stopped trying to collaborate.

The move paid off. Left to her own devices, she conjured up winning originals like the gospel-fervent “Shine,” which has been featured in such diverse settings as “The Nanny Diaries,” “The Ghost Whisperer” and even a Special K commercial.

It all goes back to her artistic credo, she says: “If a lyric feels good, then that’s 50 percent of what it means. Just like body language, if you convey something that feels right, it doesn’t necessarily have to be definite.”

But music chose her, not the other way around, Izibor says.

As a teen, she was pursuing a professional basketball career, until a torn ligament benched her before a series of big games.

Depressed, she began noodling on piano, then accepted a drama-class dare to croon in front of class.

“Nobody reacted at first,” she says. “But then, throughout the day, like in geography, kids said, ‘hey, sing — sing for us again!’

And the teachers really encouraged me, too. So I got voice lessons, piano lessons, I started writing, and it all started flowing.”

By 15, the R&B belter won a national song contest. By 17, she’d inked her first record deal. Her vocals were so sultry and strong, she was soon dubbed “The soul of Ireland.”

Now, at 22, Izibor has finally perfected her style. Writing-wise, she says, “I’ve never once thought about trying to be contrived. I sit behind the piano and it just ... just happens.”

Izibor doesn’t mind her Little Red Hen profile. Nobody helped her bake the “Truth” bread, she says. “So it’s my baby now and I have to let it go. I’ve done everything I can; I’ve done my best, and now what will be, will be.”


IF YOU GO
Laura Izibor

Opening for Chrisette Michele

When:
9 p.m. Saturday
Where: Regency Ballroom, 1290 Sutter St., San Francisco
Tickets: $31 to $35
Contact: (800) 745-3000; www.ticketmaster.com

About The Author

Michael Daboll

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