Ishmael picking up the pieces

Veteran musician Ishmael Morabe is in the middle of picking up pieces of his life after he has been down-and-out for some time.

He says it has been a rough couple of years for him trying to get back on his feet.

The 47-year-old believes his downfall began when he left his long-time record label Muthaland Entertainment (formerly Ghetto Ruff) in 2015, and embarked on a rollercoaster ride to release his music independently.

"Knowing what I know now I would have never gone independent," he says.

"I think you need to focus on your creativity, let someone else worry about marketing it. But obviously for other people it might be different.

"I hate struggling, maybe I'm lazy.

"When you are independent you have no resources and it's tough.

"When you are with a big record company everything is big, and the support system is beautiful for an artist. You feel like you are an important person in people's lives. It's a warm blanket."

Things are starting to look up for Ishmael, after he decided to swallow his pride and return to Muthaland Entertainment.

He has a hot new single, Gimme Gimme Gimme, featuring Fiesta Black and Makizar. He plans to release a new album by the end of the year.

"From July things started looking up - a new single, vibe and energy," he says with a ray of sunshine in his eyes.

"Ishmael is back, with respect for the art, his bread and people. He is positive; inside he is happy. He just wants to make music and people happy while making a ton of money."

Throughout his illustrious 30-year music career, Ishmael did it his way. His greatest hits spread across different genres - from hip-hop, kwaito, R&B, Afropop and gospel.

While he's not against the life of popping champagne bottles the music industry is synonymous with, he cautions young artists to be careful with their finances.

"The biggest advice I would give to someone in the music industry is to save your money," he advises.

"The bad times are bad, but sometimes they can motivate you to dig deeper within yourself. That's the only way to emerge from an undesirable situation."

"I think I have this disease that if something is going good with me, I try to test just how good it is. My lesson is: if it's not broke, don't fix it."

Ishmael is a proud father of his 23-year-old daughter, Thato Scwedu. He has an unorthodox approach to fatherhood.

"I don't think I've taught her anything, but she has learned a lot just by looking at my life.

"I haven't sat her down and said this is rule number one. It's more like when I do good, learn from that. I've never stayed with her. Me and her mom broke up when she was pregnant with her.

"My baby mama is one of those cool baby mamas."

On the subject of love, as he fast approaches 50, he says he doesn't think he will ever get married, and the idea of marriage has become less appealing to him. He is, however, open to having a life partner.

"I've considered marriage in past relationships, but the more I grow up, the more I think I'm never going to get married," he confesses.

"It just comes from watching married people around me and what they tell me.

"So everyday I'm less attracted to the idea of marriage. But I see myself being with one person for life, but not marriage."

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