FAST-RISING afro-pop artiste Isheanesu “Ishan” Chigagura recently became an overnight sensation, scooping over 10 awards with his hit song, Kure. Ishan says Kure could have become his last song if it had not made it into the music charts. The musician took three gongs at the Zimbabwe Music Association Awards, five gongs at the Star FM Awards and another during the recent National Arts Merit Awards. Kure became his major breakthrough after four years in the music industry. NewsDay (ND) Life & Style reporter, Precious Chida, caught up with Ishan (IC) who opened up about his journey in music. Below are the excerpts from the Interview.
ND: Can you give us a brief background on yourself?
IC: Ishan is a singer-songwriter and producer born on August 5, 1997. Originally from Mvurwi, I am now based in Harare. I started singing in primary school when I joined the school choir and that’s how I discovered that I had something in me. Over the past two years, I have released a few songs including features and collaborations. In 2016, I recorded my first ever project which was a five-song Extended Play, but attained just a very small reach. In 2018, I released Dololo, which created some waves. I also featured on the 90s riddim produced by friend and mentor, Jamal, at No Limits Records where I was a resident producer as well. My biggest breakthrough came just two months into 2019 when I dropped Kure, featuring Ti Gonzi.
ND: How have the projects that came after Kure fared so far?
IC: I released Shore, which did really well. At the end of last year, it was number 45 on the StarFM Top 50. I also collaborated with Tamy on DJ CHRXN’s 1700 (Waiting) which has been doing well. In-between, we dropped 5Something, which had songs like Bvuma, but also not forgetting Kure Remix, which had FRYA, Enzo, Ti Gonzi, Killer T, Mussa Effect and Dobba Don. In total I can say this past year we have done at least three number one songs on radio stations.
ND: You won a number of awards in a very short space of time, what does this mean to you? What is the secret behind the success?
IC: I can say the Kure awards are a result of work that has been done in the past. If you are to ask any artiste, they will tell you how much work one puts in before their big breakthrough. Personally, I will tell you I have slept on couches, slept on an empty stomach, and a whole lot of stuff that pushed me to work harder. This definitely means that God makes everything work at the right time as long as you stick to your story. Kure could have been the last song I did if it had not done well. At the end of the day, it’s all about motivation for me that every dream is possible and attainable.
ND: After scooping 10 awards, do you think you can maintain that momentum?
IC: The goal is to continue working on my craft, but also work with various brands and personalities who can allow me to further the dream. The pressure that’s there is more personal than external, to focus more on the goals that I have set for myself and the team I work with.
Fame, I am still getting used to it, but what I can say is it’s a good feeling knowing people are loving what you put together in a song.
ND: Do you think collaborating with Ti Gonzi could have contributed to the song becoming a hit song?
IC: We collaborate, we don’t compete. Everyone contributed to the song being where it is. Shout out to Letter Z, Jamal and Gangsta, who contributed to the record as well!
ND: What are your plans for 2020?
IC: There is a lot that’s being planned because obviously the team behind the brand knows my expectations and they have also laid out their expectations, but expect a continuation of the journey that Ishan has been on and let’s enjoy. We are definitely aiming to be consistent.
ND: Can you share one interesting thing that your fans might not know about you?
IC: I love coleslaw salad.
ND: And your love life?
IC: I am happily in a relationship and enjoying it.
ND: Do you have anything else that you do for a living besides music?
IC: For now we are trying to focus as much as we can on building the brand before we expand into something else outside music. But I also have passions which I will pursue once we get this first block out of the way.
ND: What’s your advice to other upcoming artistes?
IC: You can make it. Any dream that you have is attainable as long as you stick to your story and not waver. I am a living testimony; from the couch to the podium.