Some people just ooze cool. They embody the perfect balance of self-confidence and humility that makes the people around them both intrigued and enamoured. Ize is one of those men. As we walked around the 10eme arrondissement together, both strangers and friends were drawn to his unique style and positive energy. As a musician, he's got a strong point of view with a message of love and acceptance, making his residency at Le Comptoir Generale the perfect pairing. The space has become known as a spot for outsiders of all kinds to come together nestled between palm trees, 1950s TV sets and disco balls. Occupying the upstairs space above the main bar, Ize has an Aladdin's Cave of curated vintage that caters to knowing-minds from around the world. Despite a small barrier of language, we talked about his upbringing in Cape verde, the music that means most to him and how he came to be a part of Le Comptoir Generale family.
Izé Teixeira, Musician and Designer
When you were a wee boy, what did you want to be when you grew up? I’m from Cape verde and as a child I always wanted to be a singer. When I was a kid I had a lot of dreams but making them a reality doesn’t always work. Music was always part of my life, different genres and fashions. It’s important for me to mix music and fashion and you can see that in everything I do. For me, they’re now inseparable. It’s just a lifestyle.
What’s your earliest memory? Waking up at my grandparents place up at 6am in the morning when I was 5 years old. We would do out to the fields to harvest maize. This time taught me that being simply lucky doesn’t exist. You have to put hard work in to see the results you desire.
Describe yourself in 5 words. Curious, love, sharing, family, word.
You’re a fan of Serge Gainsberg. What inspires you about him? He’s a man who loves words. The richness of the French language means you can see a lot of things with only a few words. I discovered French music late in life. I was listening without understanding. To sing is not just to sing. To dance is not just to dance. To write is not just to write. It’s all one universe. Today with a run in my hand and a cigarette in my mouth I felt at home, I understand what he used to live. It took me a long time to feel his work but the most valuable gift he left for us is that we can pick and chose what we like from his work and take from it. Each morning I interpret it in a new way.
Do you have one song from Mr Gainsbourg that inspires you the most? Aux armes et caetera. It was a National Anthem song in reggee.
Le Comptiore Generale is quite an unusual setup. It’s grown to be bigger than simply the space. How would you describe it yourself? It's a different landscape. You enter into a new universe when you come through the door. The ones who created this is for people who love music, fashion and African culture. It’s a mixture of people and passions wanting to translate this into one environment. It was founded by Aurelien Lafont and Etienne tron de Bouchony. I was chatting with Etienne one day and he told me about this project and that my music represented the experience of Le Comptoire Generale perfectly, so little by little I become more involved.
Leave us with some words of wisdom? Nothing can replace love. It’s something you have to fight for every day. The most beautiful fight in your life is for love.