Ishawna promises to remain her authentic self
Six months since signing with an international record label, dancehall entertainer Ishawna said she is feeling "brand new".
However, the Equal Rights artiste-songwriter has reassured her fans that it will not be a case of another deal in dancehall history going downhill because of unmet expectations.
"My label loves me just the way I am. I'm always going to be naturally me, I don't think it's possible for me to change. Overall, the label understands who I am as an artiste, which was also important when I was signing," she said.
Known as one of the popular female acts to master controversy in the dancehall space, Ishawna said that she has only tried to live and perform authentically.
Ishawna said, "Everything I do is for a specific reason. I know what can be played on radio and how to manipulate the music to follow a specific standard. At the same time, I'm just being my authentic self and representing for dancehall. As an artiste, one must be true to her or himself, because I believe when you're real, people feel it. For me, once I'm doing music I enjoy, love and feel it from my soul, I know people are going to gravitate to it, and not everybody has to like it."
Last week, she released her latest single Ne w Child, which is trending in the top 20 on YouTube. It has also attracted attention, including negative backlash from the Christian community who feel that the music video mocks God and the church.
"I've never been an artiste to say that one of my expectations for a song or music video is for it to trend. Honestly, I feel overwhelmed by the feedback because I put a lot of time and creativity into the song and video. I mean, me and Skatta [Burrell], who is the producer, were obsessed with it," she said. "Of course, I want people to love and appreciate what I produce. Ultimately, we never really know how people are going to receive what you put out. Naturally, when someone is doing something different, they have to anticipate some type of criticisms because not everybody will take to it quickly. Again, even when I said international and crossover, I wanted to be myself and I did this song for my core fans."
In the music video, Ishawna sings to a congregation of women that she feels renewed and that the stresses of a broken relationship were "washed away".
"It is speaking about something every woman goes through at some point in their lives and I wanted to show that, and bring different women together, showing them supporting each other and to celebrating independence. In its entirety, it is about empowering women," she said.
Signed by New York-based Payday Records, off the success of Brace It, her collaboration with British pop star Ed Sheeran, she has been bogged down in the studio working on new music for an EP.
"Doing this EP is not a challenge but it's a chance to introduce myself to the world on another level. Doing it independently for the past 15 years has been difficult. But with the label, I see where having a team brings everything together. We just completed the work for the music video for Brace It and fans can look forward to that soon," Ishawna shared.