Prominent dancehall artiste, Ishawna has severed ties with Downsound Records, according to multiple reports.
The Jamaican-American singjay, whose real name is Ishawna Natalia Smith, reportedly cut all affiliations with the label – who originally signed her in 2012 – earlier this week. There is no word on the reason for her departure and the artiste has yet to comment on the matter. When checks were made to her social media pages on Thursday, there was no longer any mention of Downsound in her respective bio/about us sections of her Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages.
Ishawna is set to perform at this year’s edition of Reggae Sumfest – the Sumfest franchise is now owned by Downsound Records CEO, Josef Bogdanovich – next Friday on Dancehall Night.
Her departure from the label that helped make her an international star may come as a surprising one to many music lovers and insiders. Since teaming with Bogdanovich and Downsound producer, Cordel ‘Skatta’ Burrell, Ishawna compiled a number of hits such as Need Love, Restraining Order, Murderer, Do For Love (featuring Specialist) and Vroom Vroom.
The ride with the label, however, has not been totally smooth as she and former fiancee, Foota Hype – who was signed to Downsound at the time – had a very public, bitter breakup, with Burrell being caught in the fray as Ishawna admitted to an intimate encounter with the producer after she and Foota separated.
Additionally, in November of last year, a Mercedes Benz Ishawna was gifted, as well as other assets, were seized in relation to a copyright case in which the courts ruled that Downsound had to pay JMD$15 million in damages to producer, Andre ‘Rookie’ Tyrell after the label were found to have used Tyrell’s Superstar rhythm on Specialist’s 2011 hit, Street Hustle.
Ishawna is the latest of a slew of acts to depart from Downsound since 2014, with Specialist, Ninja Man, Foota Hype and others leaving the label during that time span, leaving reggae singer, Nature and Harry Toddler as the only high-profile acts left on the label.