Name: Ian Isiah AKA Big Suga
Born & Raised: In The Jungle (Brooklyn)
Current Residence: Brooklyn
What’s your astrological sign and is what they say true?:
I’m a Sagittarius. I’m also not into astrology. I wish I would let a star dictate my destiny. God already got that under control. A lot of people tell me all the time that I act like a Sagittarius [because I’m] bold, powerful, and say and do whatever the fuck I want… I mean that’s true for sure, but definitely not because of no star.
Explain your featured look:
My look was basically the ’90s pretty hood chick who hangs out with every drug dealer on the block and did every chick hair in the hood — while at the same time — looking and feeling independent as ever. Basically, my look was that infamous “Brenda” that 2Pac use to spit about.
What are you known for/as?:
They call me BIG SHUGGA ’cause I’m known for doing things BIG and the ladies know I’m sweet like suga; [Laughs] nah. I’m known for being me. Never wanted to be someone else. I’m also known for being a leader. Well, at least I think I am.
How did your relationship with Hood By Air come about? What’s your position with the brand?:
Hood By Air is basically like my daughter, or my beautiful, well taken care of niece lol. I met Shayne Oliver (…the brands #1 everything: Creative Director, Overall Mother) over 10 years ago. We would see each other in the streets and in clubs, and would ki ki from time to time. Not knowing the next five or so years would be spent creating viscous collections and highlighting serious moments in our culture. I learned a lot of Shayne then, and I’m still learning a lot, as we both grow. Hood By Air Forevvaahhs.
You have an amazing voice. How did you get your start with singing and performing?:
Wow, thanks. Music is special as fuck to me. I’ve been singing my whole life. I grew up in a church with big choirs and so many dope musicians. I was blessed to have that in my ear at an early age. That, along with the influence of beautiful R&B, let me know for sure that I wanted to be a singer. I knew it was something God gifted me, which means no one could take it away from me; singing and performing were things I always want to do. I’m good at it , and it’s a way for me to honor God for blessing me with a voice to sing.
What was it like performing on national late night television with Dev Hynes? How did you guys link up?:
OMG, that was my first actual national television experience. I truly was honored by my brother Dev. Dev is an actual fallen angel. It’s like he was moon walking with Michael, tripped and fell all the way to earth and right to me [laughs]. He called me in to do some vocals on his latest album. I was honored then as well. He really is someone we should protect and make sure he is heard. His voice, as well as his musicianship, is admirable in this generation. Plus, I like to surround myself with people exactly that .
You recently performed a solo show at HBA’s Art Basel presentation. The show looked amazing. Tell us about your look, song and the overall experience:
Thanks again. The show really was amazing. We dipped full collections in really expensive hotel pools and I serenaded the audience on a grand piano. Obviously, I was wearing Hood By Air Custom. I chanted “Don’t You Fuck With My Energy, If You Want This Pussy ” lol, it was a lil excerpt from my beautiful little sis Princess Nokia, who also tore the house down with her lyrics and presence.
Highlight career moment:
I’m thankful for every opportunity where I get to just be myself, sing my heart out, spread knowledge, and enjoy other people. Imma be honest, I don’t think I’ve reached a highlight career moment yet… but when she comes, trust Shugga ready!
Where do you hope to see yourself in the next 10 years?:
I see myself outta debt, Moms happy, wealthy, a healed heart, kids, and all that good good.
What’s a rare fact or talent about you?:
I’m a hairstylist low key [laughs]. I could fuck a scalp up baby.
What’s a song and lyric to describe your glow?:
21 Savage’s “Ex” featuring Future
“I’m just flexin’ on my ex bitch”
MUA: Raisa Flowers
Hair: Kessia Randolph
Style Consultant: Jordan Page
Design: Robert Gallardo
Creative Director: SHABAZZ