International Star Empire Isis talks about her journey


Multi-cultural star Empire Isis mirrors the “best rapper alive” in more ways than one.  In his interview with Katie Couric, she emphasized his “fierce independence” as Lil’ Wayne told Couric he was a “gansta” because “I do what I want to do Mrs. Couric,” Wayne said.  Anyone who sells a million records in the first week of release is all about business, and when you’re all about your business perhaps you can do what you want, so-to-speak.

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His international, musical counterpart “the gangstress” aka Empire Isis lives by the same code.  It is all about empowerment.  Empire Isis considers any strong woman that is busting her butt and staying on top of her business a gangstress.  “People get the wrong impression,” she said in our interview.  “As a woman and an outsider in this business, I had to fight for my place, to get what I want and to become who I am.”
The British Moroccan songstress scrapped to get quite a lot since she pioneered in 2002, and she’s still on her grind.  Growing up on 4 continents, she was exposed to and influenced by various types of music from Arabic to Caribbean to Latin American to Hip Hop.  Her objective from the beginning was to harmonize her multiple cultural influences to produce her own, unique “mash up” style with reggaeton swag, and her formula has worked lovely, winning her numerous music awards including “Best New Artist” and “Best International Artist” for her latest album Brand New Styles.
Her international appeal is indicative of her heritage and upbringing.  She’s mastered the “art and science” of synchronizing world, urban and pop music with socially conscious lyrics so that everyone can relate, from the homies in Venezuela to the homegirls in Kingston to all the ganstresses in Atlanta.   “All these people have to feel represented in my music,” Empire Isis said.

The American music industry lacked “real” international artists before she stepped on the scene, according to Isis.    “A lot of artists try to seem international or worldly, but most of the time those same artists only speak English.”  True international artists can go to various countries and speak to the people on the radio or on TV in their native language.  Unlike most so-called international artists “I can go into a country and have one gig and can transform that into 10 gigs,” because I network with people in their own vernacular, Empire Isis stated.

Along with the perks, her diverse cultural background and musical versatility comes with a price.  The international sensation touched on the impediments of being such an outsider in the music business. “Executives are allergic to the words reggae and dancehall,” Empire Isis said.  “They have had bad experiences finding acts from Shabba Ranks to Patra.”  Then someone like me comes along, who is light-skinned with dreads and fluent in many languages, and they don’t know what to do with me or what genre to put me in because I don’t fit in a single box; I do reggae, hip hop, dancehall and more, according to Isis.  “I sincerely, deeply meditate the music business and where I fit in.  I had to learn the rules of hip hop, the rules of dancehall, the rules of world, and I had to prove that this alternative way I was going about doing music and doing business was worth investing in,” Empire Isis said.
Apparently that investment has had promising returns because she is now working on her fourth album, or rather “anti-album,” Crack the Code, due to be released September 7th under Monumental Records distributed by DEP/Universal Music Group.  Be sure to check out, where you can download Brand New Styles for free by clicking the top banner.

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