ISHA Williams was a toddler in the early 1990s, a period of cultural awareness in dancehall led by a phalanx of artistes, including her father, Everton Blender.
Strongly influenced by his message, she followed his path into music as Isha Blender. Her first EP, Epiphany, will be released in October.
It contains seven songs with Don’t Be Used, an acoustic number, being the lead.
Blender first recorded at age 12. That song was Bad Boy, produced by her father for his Blend Dem label.
She continued to record sporadically while attending Garvey Maceo High School in her native Clarendon. Shortly after graduation, she migrated to the United States, settling in South Florida where she is a registered nurse.
“Because my dad’s an entertainer, people think you have to do the same thing, but it doesn’t have to be,” she said. “I kept going away from music, but I was pulled back like magnet to steel.”
Epiphany also contains Testimony, a duet with Capleton, Tonight, Joy and Babymother.
Capleton and Everton Blender were part of the roots renaissance of the 1990s that was led by Yasus Afari, Garnet Silk and Tony Rebel. Everton Blender had a series of big hits back then such as Lift Up Your Head, Family Man and Blend Dem.
While she counts the ‘old man’ among her biggest influences, Isha Blender says she gets a different vibe listening to different genres. Neo-soul artistes Erykah Badu and Jill Scott, as well as homegrown acts Nadine Sutherland, Etana, Tessanne Chin and Ikaya are also favourites.
She is hoping Epiphany will be a career definer.
“I want to be an household name as Isha Blender. At the same time I want my songs to uplift and motivate like my Dad.”