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.
Born in Wales to a Moroccan father and British mother, she was raised in Morocco. At age 7 she moved to Montreal, where she lived with her 2 brothers, mother, and Ugandan/Yemeni stepfather.
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, Colombia, 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.,
Born to Dance
Bad Girls Club
Khloé & Lamar
Notes from the Underbelly
Good Christian Belle
Make It Or Break It
Seven Deadly Sins
Taking The Stage
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license