Isabelle Geoffroy, known under her stage name Zaz, is a French singer and songwriter. She is best known for her single “Je veux” (I want) which hit European radio and TV stations in 2010. That song turned the pixie with a voice as rough and dense as life into a household item.
Isabelle was born in Tours where she studied music theory, violin, piano, guitar and choir singing. In 1995, she moved to Bordeaux where she studied solo singing. At the start of her career, she sang in various music bands, ranging in genre from acoustic blues and Latino rock to Basque pop musical attractions.
She worked as a session musician and performed as a backing vocalist on tours by various groups. She moved to Paris in 2006. At first, she performed at a cabaret in Boulevard Saint Michel and then she made a living as a street performer in Montmartre. In 2009, she won a contest for young talents held in the Olympia music hall which secured her a contract to record an album and shoot a video. Her first single “Je veux” gave the world a charismatic singer with a husky voice, refreshing the public memory and bringing back the notion of joie de vivre, once so characteristic of French lifestyle.
She has so far released two studio albums. Music critics sometimes place her music into a jazz manouche (gypsy swing or hot club jazz) tradition started by guitarist Django Reinhardt. She is also often compared with Edith Piaf. As her music influences, Zaz cites Antonio Vivaldi, Billie Holiday, George Brassens, Bobby McFerrin… Most often, she performs in a trio, together with a double bass and an acoustic guitar.