For Kizzy Crawford, the journey from performing at open mics at 14 to finally releasing her debut album at 23 has been a unique one.
On 20th December, 23-year-old Welsh singer of Bajan heritage, Kizzy Crawford, presented her debut album, ‘The Way I Dream’ at the Chapter Art Center, Canton.
Just another Wednesday evening at the Art center, yet in a big but packed hall, the singer-songwriter who was recently diagnosed with autism, kickstarted the evening, with Dive, from her latest album and took the audience back and forth all her originals and covers over the years.
It was in summer this year, that Kizzy discovered that she is autistic, and coming to terms with it is still an ongoing process for her. “Over the past few years, I have been finding things hard and my mum suggested looking into autism and my sister’s been diagnosed as well and I have a lot of similarities to her and I just decided it will be a good idea to explore it more,” said Kizzy
It was only after the album was produced that Kizzy realised how her autism had influenced her approach to writing. She said, “It sort of has synced well with my autism diagnoses and understanding myself as an autistic person. And looking back at my lyrics and realizing, oh, actually, I am talking about autism here and talking about my processing here so it has been an eye-opener having the diagnosis and looking back on the album and realizing that I am actually sort of reaching out to myself in a way to understand myself better.”
Her current favorite song from the album is, ‘The way I dream’ which she performed next, for the Chapter’s audience. She took inspiration for that song from everything that she was experiencing in school from having crushes on guys to not having the confidence to know what to do. She wrote to get their attention and that is where the idea comes from.
For this Welsh singer from Merthyr Tydfil, whose solo career began a few years ago, to finally release her album has been quite a journey, during which she has garnered support particularly from the Welsh speakers for her songwriting, performance and her soulful voice. That is evident from the fact that most of the audience at the Chapter Arts Centre consisted of supporters for Welsh artists.
An audience member, Dylan Ellis, said, “My father introduced me to her when he saw her performing on TV. He is a big supporter of Welsh singers. I have been following her ever since, and this is the first time I am seeing her performing live. I really enjoy her music.”
Amongst other songs that Kizzy performed, Save me, is one of the first few songs she wrote bilingually. Just before starting the number, she told the audience, “This is how I like to write most of my songs, with equal amounts of Welsh and English.”
The decline of Welsh speakers in UK does not demotivate her, on the other hand she wants to be a part of the revival.