She does not intend to lower her standards, regardless of the consequential setbacks.
Black Queen, real name Semonie Giles, fell in love with music while growing up with her mother and siblings at Waterhouse in Kingston.
Music became an opiate of sorts for the artiste, who said she faced physical and verbal abuse during childhood.
She actually calls herself Black Queen as a push-back at the portion of verbal abuse linked to her being dark-skinned.
“I started to do music when I was a little girl,” the Reggae artiste said. “What inspired me was that, growing up in the inner-city of Waterhouse, and growing up without a dad, and with my mom being very stressed at times, I used to be very sad. Music became my source of strength.”
Music also often became a source of ‘lunch money’ at school for Black Queen – a past student of Denham Town Primary and Balcombe Drive All-Age School.
She later got a rude-awakening about the music industry – the dark side where risque songs flourish and female entertainers trade sexual favours for an easy shot at fame.
In reference to some music gatekeepers, Black Queen said: “They would expect certain things of you before they give you opportunities. I wouldn’t do it, because I would be disrespecting myself; I would be selling my soul for fame.”
Despite her immortal penchant for music, Black Queen segued into modelling – working with Ashley Agency, which helped to groom her. She also did voice training with Lucretia Upton, who was known nationally as ‘Miss Uptown’ of Lime Tree Lane fame.
Black Queen later wedded Dr. Andrew Giles – an optometrist, whom she described as a man of ‘really good quality’.
Music however started to take a toll on her family life.
“I even was separated from my husband,” she disclosed to The Beacon.
To help put her family back together, Black Queen, who has two biological children and helped to raise many others, took the tough decision to take a hiatus from music… And it worked.
“Now, I have everything back under control,” the artiste said, adding that she and her husband are together again.
Her music is also back on track – literally.
Black Queen stated that, during her break from music, sound selector Neko Chromatic, who died of kidney failure in 2018, was among persons who implored her to get back on track.
“Neko Chromatic came and said ‘I know the music you have in you; I know the message you have in you; you have to go out there’. He was there like a strength. Unfortunately, he died from kidney failure and I felt like, if I don’t step out, all these people that believe in me, I would definitely let them down,” Black Queen posited.
She, on August 30, launched her seven-track ‘Black And Proud’ EP in Ocho Rios, St. Ann.
She noted that the message of her music has not changed.
Black Queen, who already performed in the United States and Britain, said her main thrust is to promote black consciousness and healthy lifestyles – regardless of the consequential setbacks.
“If you are coming from the light and goodness, it doesn’t usually happen as quick as when it is coming from the darkness,” Black Queen reasoned, adding that positive music lasts.
“When you are coming from the light and you are saying the good things, it lasts and it has a force. It has something that is phenomenal. So, I don’t worry; I keep on the track.”
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