Isat | Rooted cultural creativity​ & Afrobeat upliftment

Channelling Sierra Leone rooted sounds and authentic Kiro language lyrics London based pop singer Isat proves her place in the underground afro-beats music scene. Pushing themes of female empowerment and cultural creativity join Modèle and indulge on her previous track 'New Bae' whilst taking a glimpse of her upcoming love song 'On Time'.

Maintaining a broad outlook on the Afrobeats / Dancehall music scene Isat has developed her signature style from living in three countries over her lifetime. "I'm originally from Sierra Leone grew up in Holland recently three years ago moved to London, I always try to include my roots like I'm so much about my country like everywhere I go I represent Sierra Leone, in my songs, in my music and I try so much to include it! That's why I love making Afrobeat music alongside giving it my twist."

Cultural creativity floods the seams in Ista's upbeat and dance-triggering music as she continues to prove that visionaries can be found anywhere and pushes uplifting messages of self-worth, encouragement and belief "I don't think there's a lot of Sierra Leone artists known outside of that country I'm trying to be one of the first few that will bring our music to the world. That's what keeps me going to, being my fuel when it gets too overwhelming, but then at the same time, I have this voice in my head that's like think about why you're doing this... And it is for my country in order to represent and show that there's something good that can come out of my country because a lot of people tend to think about Sierra Leone being filled with many bad things like the sickness etc but I want people to start thinking of Sierra Leone as a country that has so many talented people and so many beautiful things as well, good things can come out of it."

Releasing latest track 'New Bae' on June 21st Isat exhibits extenuating vocal abilities alongside cultural beats and fast melodies to represent her authentic musical persona. "It's so funny because everyone that hears 'New Bae' thinks that is about a relationship or 'Ooo' you got a new bae of boyfriend similar but that's totally not the message that I want to send for me, it was more about like getting into a better situation than you where you're coming from like a promotion or becoming a new version of yourself that your just much much happier with. When people watch the video they're shocked as there is no guy present which I did on purpose because I wanted the empowerment themes present, also why it's all girls in the video so it was all about empowerment."

'New Bae' premiered on MTV Africa on Septemeber 27th Isat is in the headlights of Afrobeat music "When it went up on MTV Africa I was so happy and proud of it but then there's this thought like a little voice that came asking do you really deserve it? It's just so weird. It's an overwhelming feeling but I'm glad to have people around me who mean it when they say you deserve this like do be scared, don't feel like you owe anyone or feel like you have to be quiet about certain things. Just live your life." Being flooded with encouragement from all parts of the world Isat is getting huge recognition for her role in uplifting cultural creativity. "A lot of people messaging me like oh my gosh I saw your video, and they're like wow you need to keep it going and keep making the country proud, that touches me."

Isat's signature female-empowering messages continue to stand centre stage even after single 'New Bae', Isat says "I like female empowerment, being strong, being you. That's what I want to portray to people who listen to me, enjoy what you're doing and pursue what you love doing, especially us as Africans as we don't often get that chance to pursue creative careers. No one really wants to pursue the creative side and I want to be a pioneer for that and show that yes there is something there." Heart set on releasing next big track 'On Time' by next month, she promises on no wait time between track release and video release. "It's a love song 'On Time', I'm trying to say everything will happen on time. The chorus has elements saying I love you, love you, love you all the time as everything happens on time... So just be patient and everything will work out."

Dance with Isat and her uplifting Afro-beat musical roots at her upcoming show 'RUN IT: END OF YEAR PARTY' at BoxPark Shoreditch on November 27th. Eyes set on travelling back to Sierra Leone to continue her creativity Isat has big plans for the upcoming year "I'm planning to go to Sierra Leone in December so that people actually see my face and interact with personally with them, do some interviews, shows and shoot some videos there and capture all the cultural beauty there."

"Whether it's a love song, whether I'm crying in the video or laughing I still want to be able to represent myself like the strong African female that I am." - Isat 2019

Photography by Henry Nash

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