International recording artist Ibru is back in the spotlight, this time for his highly anticipated sophomore album “Great One.” The Florida-born, Bahamian-raised artist is one of few that have been able to create a unique sound within the world of international music. This special sound, a fusion of reggae and dancehall, and layered with powerful lyrics, resonates with audiences worldwide, with his hit “Control” reaching top-ten Reggae charts in the US, Canada, and the UK just last year.

“I have been comfortable with creating my own style and not following the crowd,” Ibru told Sheen Magazine. “My music is unique because it exhibits balance, and can fit into different parts of a person’s daily life– from a hype song that someone could work out to in the gym, to more mellow songs that make a person think on a deeper level about different situations.”

For Ibru’s new album “Great One,” the US Army Veteran has gone even deeper —  touching on mental health and social issues in the title track and continuing his mission to open and elevate the minds of his listeners, and to inspire and uplift the masses, throughout the album.

photo by Bernard Odae

“While in the military I saw first-hand the effects of war on the mental health of fellow soldiers,” Ibru said. “When I transitioned back to civilian life, I realized that everyday people deal with many life stressors that affect their mental health as well. Since then, I have been an advocate for bringing awareness to mental health issues plaguing our society.”

Having an impact in society is intentional for the charismatic singer and songwriter who says he was born to serve the people, and yet has felt limited in his ways to do so– up until now.

“I was fighting on the front lines in a US Army Special Operations Unit, mostly operating in the shadows.” Ibru said. “In the Army we were known as quiet professionals, completing each mission at hand without seeking praise. Music is very different because as an artist you are in the spotlight. Being in the spotlight gives you the platform to make a difference. I use my platform and make a difference positively.”

Once soldiering on to protect American freedom, Ibru now fights for us all. This time, he’s armed with lyrics and a microphone, and he’s ready for war.

The international star spoke with Sheen Magazine about his new album “Great One,” mental health, and his secret to successful manifestation. 

How important has it been for you to use your platform to discuss mental health? 

Mental health is very important to me. I have seen many friends in the military whose lives have been impacted by PTSD. After transitioning to civilian life, I realized that normal people deal with many life stressors that take a toll on their mental health. It has been especially overlooked for a very long time in the Black community. No one wants to be stigmatized as being crazy, so people are afraid to open up or seek help.

What is your message to your fans about mental health?

I feel that it’s important to let people know that they are not alone and to give them the courage to seek help. I want to encourage my fans to reach out and be supportive of friends and family dealing with mental health issues.

What does it mean to be a “Great One?” 

Being a great one to me means being complete or a whole. It is not just being great at music or a particular skill, talent, or sport. It embodies being an ambassador who represents not just oneself, but others in that field. A great one carries him or herself in a manner that is exemplary.

In the song “Great One” you write and sing about how you have potential and that you’re born to be a great one. So many people have struggled with getting from the place of potential to manifesting greatness. What’s your secret?  

Having potential is like having the tools for success. If those tools are not put to use, that potential is lost. I put in the hard work, combined with focus and strategy to create success. I also set short and long-term goals along the way to gauge my progress. In the journey to success, you must be willing to adjust, accept change, and evolve as situations change. Being open minded and having the willingness to evolve has been my biggest secret to success.

photo by Clarence Jospeh

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This feature was edited by Craig Dewey Stanley

Featured Image by Bernard Odae