Sound Of The Week: LYZZA

Following the release of her coming-of-age short film, MOSQUITO: The Movie, Amsterdam based, Brazilian-born producer and vocalist LYZZA dropped her mixtape of the same name in full on 16th September on Big Dada, the Ninja Tune sub-label which relaunched last year as a label run by Black, POC & Minority Ethnic people for Black, POC & Minority Ethnic artists.

The 10-track alt-pop mixtape is an expression of LYZZA’s experiences as a Black woman within the music industry. Having felt misunderstood and unaccepted in the past, recalling the feeling of “taking up too much space and being too loud” in situations, LYZZA explores the notion of preconceptions, social dynamics and how so many people are misunderstood in their day-to-day life. “The way you look can bring so many preconceptions that don’t apply but you can end up playing into it without meaning to if someone talks to you in a certain way” she comments.

While exploring this observation, LYZZA found inspiration and affinity in an unlikely muse which the mixtape would eventually take its name from. “To me, a mosquito really encapsulates an uncomfortable presence in your surroundings. Although it’s such a small creature, it has such an effect on the outside world. We all know the common feelings having a mosquito in your space brings, they have a stand-out presence which I think plays into the idea of misunderstanding in current society so perfectly; everyone surely feels like the mosquito in the room sometimes” LYZZA explains. “Because I am black and make alternative music, I identify with the disruptive and intrusive nature of a mosquito. The fact that I look the way I look, make the music I make and you know who I am means somehow I’ve been able to penetrate through the noise and bias.”

The film, written by LYZZA and directed by Enantios Dromos, finds LYZZA living a mundane life in Brasil. Feeling restricted by her day-to-day reality she dreams of one day becoming a person she imagines herself to be when she’s alone. A string of mysterious events suddenly leads LYZZA to a life-changing party where she finds answers as to why she’s always felt misunderstood. 

Speaking on the film, LYZZA says, “Mosquito the movie is my attempt at creating something that symbolises the message behind the Mosquito mixtape in visual terms. It was my first time having something I wrote, produced and directed and I really wanted to make something non-exhaustive to the greater concept of the project so that we could focus on the artistic elements and it could speak to a younger generation as well. I wanted to take an example from art-house movies for this one as I think there’s a lot of beauty you can find in the details when the overall message is clear.”

Director Enantios Dromos adds, “It was a spin in time as well as in my mind to be able to finally break through the impossible and go back to Brasil to shoot my first short movie; Not only with my best friends, but also alongside the artists that I admire the most. I could call it lucky, but it was something that happened out of necessity and much desperation at the time. We all started to work together and trust each other’s process in creativity, because no one else would. Some of us are now on the other side of the ocean, while the heart still lives there. Being able to touch it again whilst doing the MOSQUITO project and making LYZZA feel like the STAR that she is, was a big big boost of confidence that we all needed. It’s like this that you can kill a feeling of ‘Saudade’: Reaffirming that truly no one is doing it like we do it. “LOW RESOLUTION HIGH QUALITY” is our Limitrofe Television motto and you’ll believe that by filling your eyes watching our fantasies come true in a full VHS reality that we created.”

Making waves in the contemporary electronic scene, LYZZA is a force to be reckoned with. Her 2017 EP ‘Powerplay’ made its way to soundtrack the runways of fashion brands Chromat and Mugler and received a glowing cosign from experimental producer Lotic in Crack Magazine’s ’25 Artists Shaping the Future of Music’. In 2019 her ‘Defiance’ EP saw her collaborate with Joe Goddard (Hot Chip) and Tom McFarland (Jungle) for single, ‘Neverland’. Beatport hotly tipped her as “one of electronic music’s most promising young avant-pop producers.”

More recently, LYZZA has lent vocals to Amnesia Scanner’s “AS Going” for their 2020 album ‘Tearless’, played the closing night of Nicolás Jaar’s fourteen-week Chapter 2WO residency in Amsterdam and travelled the world supporting Mykki Blanco on multiple tours. LYZZA made a name for herself within the left-field music scene as a formidable performer with stand-out shows at high-profile festivals including Sonar, Melt! and Primavera Sound, with Pitchfork recognising her as one of the “Best of Primavera Sound” in 2018. Earlier this year she played a stand-out show at The Great Escape Festival in Brighton and has upcoming shows in the coming months including No Bounds festival in Sheffield and Pitchfork Festival in Berlin. Previous highlights include a recent print feature in Crack Magazine, a BBC 6 Interview with Tom Ravenscroft plus support from BBC 1 & Radio 1 and a monthly NTS residency which showcased LYZZA’s eclectic and varied music tastes.

Feature photo by @pepigossip/

MOSQUITO is out now: