|Birth name||Miriam Moufide|
|Also known as||The Gangstress or Empire ISIS|
|Origin||Morocco, United Kingdom and Montreal, Canada|
|Genres||dancehall, reggae, hip hop, pop and World music|
|Occupation(s)||Vocalist, singer-songwriter, rapper, activist|
|Labels||Monumental Records, HLM, Distribution: Universal/DEP|
Empire ISIS (true name Miriam Moufide, also stage-named The Gangstress) is a singer, songwriter and social activist based in Kingston, Jamaica. Her musical style has been described as a blend of dancehall, reggae, hip hop, pop and World music. She is signed to Monumental Records and distributed by Universal Music Group.
At the age of 16, Moufide moved to Costa Rica for school and began a four-year trip around the world, living with small and marginalised communities. Her love for music and anthropology led her to visit and live in 30 different countries, and to eventually put her experiences to music.
Activism and Charity
At 21 while in the Amazon rainforest attending the Bumba Meu Boi festival, she met members of the Rainbow Caravan for Peace and made the decision to join them as they visited indigenous villages and festivals. Drawing on her education in theatre, music and workshop facilitation she worked with them performing in street theatre and giving workshops on bioregionalism, permaculture, ecovillage design, nutrition and spiritual gatherings. Her lyrics often focus on social matters like women’s rights (“NANA Power”), building community (“Participate”) and defending your dreams ("Get up on it", "Won't surrender").
The artist tries to use her international recognition to draw attention to issues that matter to her, by hosting and performing charitable events, especially in her home cities of Montreal and New York.
The song S.O.S. To Freedom is currently being used in a campaign against human trafficking across the United States. You can also find her NANA Power song utilized in the Girls Action Foundation's, Light a Spark cause.
Moufide, having taken the stage name Empire ISIS, began making music while traveling in Jamaica, working with the legendary Jamaican musicians Dean Fraser and Chinna Smith, as well as Miami-based producers The Iconz. She recorded her debut album “Empress Gangstress” in part at Bob Marley's legendary Tuff Gong Studios in Kingston. It featured reggae singers Bushman and Half Pint. Empire ISIS has played in over 20 different countries, including Brazil, Panama, Columbia, Venezuela, Senegal and Canada and the American festivals SXSW and CMJ.
On her more recent albums, Empire ISIS has worked and recorded with world-renowned producers like Prayon and Kovas. As well as songwriting for Empire ISIS, she also writes under the name Miriam Moufide for other musicians and is published by Cherry Lane Music and pigFACTORY Music.
In June 2011, Empire ISIS was voted into the "Wall of Fame" at the Montreal Hip Hop Summit and is now featured in the Montreal deck of "Legend Of The Fame" hip hop trading cards.
In 2012, Empire ISIS relocated to Jamaica where she has been touring and recording, collaborating with a variety of producers including Truckback, J.Hennessy, Sam Diggy, Frassman Brilli and Rebel Camp Entertainment.
Film and Television
- Reggae Uncensored DVD, also featuring: Damian "Junior Gong" Marley, Sizzla Kalonji, Sean Paul, Junior Reid, Mavado and Collie Buddz
- Gangstress Chronicles: Series of interviews by Empire ISIS for Quebec music channel MusiquePlus featuring Gene Simmons, Janelle Monae, U-God, Tricky, Kid Cudi, Perez Hilton and others.
- Empress Gangstress (2005)
- Sound The Trumpets (2007)
- Brand New Style (2009)
- Crack The Code (2011)
- Come With Me feat. Fafadi (2013)
- Ignite Pink Wall Riddim (2013)
- Haute Couture (2014)
- Ina Da Streets (2014)
- La Pongo feat. El Freaky (2014)
- Fi Da Man Dem feat. El Freaky (2014)
Some awards and nominations Empire ISIS has received are listed below.
- Gala SOBA (Sounds of Blackness Awards)
- 2008: Winner – Best English Single of the Year
- 2008: Winner – Best World Music Music Artist of the Year
- GAMIQ(Quebec Indie Music Awards)
- 2008: Nominee – Best World Album
- Hollywood Music Awards
- 2008: Nominee – Best Pop Artist
- International Reggae & World Music Awards
- 2005: Nominee – Most Promising Entertainer
- Montreal Hip Hop Awards
- 2010: Winner – Female Artist of the Year
- Toronto Exclusive
- 2007: Winner – Best New Artist
- 2007: Winner – Best New Single
- 2007: Winner – Best New Female Artist
- Toronto Independent Music Awards
- 2008: Winner – Best Out-Of-Province – "Quebec"
- Underground Urban Music Awards
- 2008: Winner – Best International Artist
- "Homerun | Hallway Interview with Empire ISIS". CBC.ca. 2010-11-19. Retrieved 2011-03-23.
- Lyonnais, Sheena (2009-01-28). "Empire ISIS Is Gangstress". CHARTattack. Retrieved 2011-03-23.
- "Métro Montréal - Empire Isis: Tassez-vous de d’là!". Journalmetro.com. 2010-12-21. Retrieved 2011-03-23.
- "The Front: July 13, 2000". Montrealmirror.com. 2000-07-13. Retrieved 2011-03-23.
- Dowling, Marcus (2009-03-25). "True Genius Requires Insanity: NEW ARTIST SHOWCASE: Montreal, Quebec's EMPIRE ISIS". Tgrionline.com. Retrieved 2011-03-23.
- "FONDS VILLE-MARIE | Invitation aux médias - Soirée des Mérites Classes Affaires 2008: 800 jeunes récompensés!". Cnw.ca. 2011-02-25. Retrieved 2011-03-23.
- "Montreal hip-hop artists and ConU student unite to help fight HIV/AIDS". Theconcordian.com. Retrieved 2011-03-23.
- "Knowledge is Sexy: Our Fight Against HIV/AIDS II, a Benefit Concert " MINDPEACELOVE". Mindpeacelove.com. Retrieved 2011-03-23.
- "Light a Spark". girlsaction.ca. Retrieved 2011-09-26.
- "Empire Isis | Music Videos, News, Photos, Tour Dates, Ringtones, and Lyrics". MTV. Retrieved 2011-03-23.
- "SXSW 2009 line-up coming together nicely :: News :: Paste". Pastemagazine.com. 2009-01-09. Retrieved 2011-03-23.
- "Participate | Mad Decent". Sub.maddecent.com. Retrieved 2011-03-23.
- "Real City joins the Great Canadian Hip-Hop Card Collection at the 1st Annual Montreal Hip-Hop Summit". hiphopcanada.com. Retrieved 2011-06-14.
- "Empire ISIS Spreading Positive Vibes". jamaicaobserver.com. Retrieved 2013-05-07.
- "Empire Isis Conquers: Winner Of 'World Music Artist Of The Year' At The Gala Soba (Sounds Of Blackness Awards) @ Top40-Charts.com - Songs & Videos from 49 Top 20 & Top 40 Music Charts from 30 Countries". Top40-charts.com. Retrieved 2011-03-23.
- "Empire Isis Wins "Best International Artist" - Underground Urban Music Awards In Nyc". Prlog.org. Retrieved 2011-03-23.
- "Ladies First: Boogie on Reggae Women". Jamaicans.com. Retrieved 2011-03-23.
- CBC News http://radio3.cbc.ca/#/bands/EMPIRE-ISIS
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- "The Official Site Of The Montreal Hip Hip Awards / Site Officiel des MHA's". Montrealhiphopawards.com. Retrieved 2011-03-23.
- "nominees". Torontoexclusive.com. Retrieved 2011-03-23.