Sun | Nov 19, 2017

Ishawna - Sizzling on edge

Published:Monday | July 10, 2017 | 12:09 AM

The Pepsi brand is recognised and loved worldwide. However, it got a free but effective campaign boost by dancehall artiste Ishawna Smith in her sizzling single Equal Rights. Released earlier this year, the track ignites a heated discussion every time it is played on the airwaves or even mentioned in a conversation because, just as the singer, it is hot, controversial and blazing trails for the summer.

Smith has always been a lover of music. Her father was in the music industry and the two being a close-knit unit, it was somewhat inevitable. Persons around her realised and appreciated her talent, and she was well received when she sang at school and other community functions. She believes it is just a part of her. She tells Flair, "As long as I can remember, from I could talk, I sang. I never wanted to do anything else."

Her lyrics sets her apart from any other artiste in the danchehall space. Of course, the intention is to strike up conversations, but she boldly stands behind her music, and is not perturbed by what anyone has to say about it. There are persons who will take offence and harshly criticise her, but she posits that there is truth in whatever she says. "I have to be real and that sets me apart from everybody else," she said in a recent television interview. "My music is about things that happen in real life ... I am not going out of my way to be out of the norm because all of my topics are real-life situations and issues that woman can relate to," she told Flair.

Speaking to THE STAR earlier this year, Ishawna playfully told her fans that she often sings about taking another woman's partner because she is good at it. It is statements like these that keep her relevant and contentious.

 

POPULAR SONGS

 

Popular hits include Everyone Need Someone To Love, where she is very clear in telling her male counterparts what it is she needs in the bedroom, and, of course, Equal Rights, which is a favourite more for women than men, as they don't believe in the notion she puts forward or they don't believe it should be made public. Since the release of this controversial song, her performance includes instructions on oral sex. Smith has gone further and has since volunteered ways in which women can know if their partners shun the intimate activity by performing the 'finger test', among others.

For a woman so in tune with her sexuality, it's hard to believe that as a child she was a tomboy. However, now fashion is another element that makes the singer stand out from others in her profession. According to Smith, her aim is not necessarily to impress others, instead it's really just what she likes and feels like wearing. Social media often go in a frenzy whenever she posts - this is the case whether she is fully clothed or if she just covers the areas of contention.

Fans and critics alike will always be stunned by Smith as she plans to stay true to herself and her brand. Her strong sense of self is what makes her successful. She is not daunted by her critics, and she makes this known with one of her favourite expressions - "girl don't care".

tickoya.joseph@gleanerjm.com