On the Table Read, “the best entertainment magazine in the UK“, Queen Qiana talks about her music career and what inspired her new album, Jemappelle.
Written by JJ Barnes
I interviewed singer-songwriter Queen Qiana about her life and career, what inspires her music, and the creative process that went into her new album, Jemappelle.
Tell me a bit about who you are.
I am a Proud Black Woman. I am a mother, a wife, a daughter, a humanitarian, a lover, a musician, a freedom fighter, phenomenal woman… just to name a few.
When did you first WANT to write songs?
Well it wasn’t really a want to type of situation. I began wiring poetry at the age 11, during that time I was still learning to play flute and read music, so melodies would begin to form in my head, and I would add the words from my poetry to the melodies.
When did you take a step to start writing songs?
Answer: lol… I guess I got ahead of myself… I was 11 years old.
What was your first song released, and what was it about?
My first song released was “Come with me” it is about me trying to convince my lover to run away with me to a distance place, we couldn’t get there by bus or train…I had two tickets, the was waiting and we had to leave right away.
What was your latest released, and what was it about?
Actually, my last release was my 2nd album Titled “Jemappelle” this album is a tribute to my Heritage, West Indian, with contributions of Afrobeats, Jamaican sounds, island sounds.
What were your biggest challenges with Jemappelle?
My biggest challenge on this album was my title track “Jemappelle” this song in particular was a bit out of character for me as far as the sound and the lyrics. I was assisted by writer and producer Shawn Wells on this project. He is brilliant and a awesome writer and producer. I really had to step outside of myself to record this song because of the racy lyrics and different kind of sound I had to betray.
How many songs are you working on right now?
I’m currently working on the visual side meaning the videos to the songs on my latest album. I’m dropping a video to each song on the album.
Do you keep to a theme with your music, or just go where the mood strikes?
Everything is by inspiration, a feeling or a notion. The themes only come in with the visual side of things.
What is your favourite song you’ve recorded, and what do you love about it?
I would have to say I have 2 favorites. Record Play and Dirty Life… Record Play is a very Simple song… you do exactly that… let the record play, there is so much noise in music today… this on is my get away. Dirty Life, is about the loss of my cousin, she died in child birth… that’s all I’ll say about that!
Do you find other people’s music inspires you? Who do you listen to most?
Definitely! My inspirational artist would be, Nina Simone, Wu-Tang Clan, Jill Scott, John Coltrane, Michael Jackson, Queen, Erirka Badu, Philis Hyman… just to name a few.
Do you write your own music, or do you have musicians you work with?
I do write my own music but it’s alway a collaboration for me with other producers to turn live music into tracks.
Do you play any instruments?
Yes, The Flute.
Do you like performing live, or does it scare you? Where can people watch you?
I live for live performances… it’s those moments, no matter how short they are that make it all worth it! I have a YouTube channel. The Real QueenQiana.
Is your music available online, and where can people listen to it?
Yes it is available online I am on all the major platforms Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon music, Jango is my own station that Play is nothing but QueenQiana music. SoundCloud or just Google me… Queen Qiana.
Are you able to make music full time, or do you have day job?
I am a health care professional… I’m a certified EMT, Medical Assistant and I teach Phlebotomy. I wish real life would allow me to stay in the studio full time to make music…
Are your friends and family supportive of your music career?
Yes, my friends are artists and musicians for the most part, so we all support each other’s crafts.
What’s something you never expected about being a songwriter? What have you learned that surprised you?
I would have to say how life imitates art or how art imitates life. Many songs that I have written were proven later to come true in real life.
Have you had any experiences that really stand out because of your songs?
One particular memory stands out in my mind after I did a live performance and came off of stage, a deaf girl came to me crying with her interpreter telling me that she could feel my music and her soul in her body. She had never experienced music like that before. That really moved me!
Do you have any important events coming up we should know about?
I’m currently about to start open casting calls and production for my next video which will be the next song on the current album JEMAPPELLE… be on the lookout for the next production.
What is the first piece of advice you would give to anyone inspired to write songs?
And, finally, are your proud of your accomplishment? Was it worth the effort?
My latest accomplishment and production would be my Harlem nights parity/music video! The time effort, writing, and acting that it took to put the production together… it was grueling and stressful but all very worth it in the end! I’m very proud of that piece of art!
Pop all your music, website and social media links here so the readers can find you:
We strive to keep The Table Read free for both our readers and our contributors. If you have enjoyed our work, please consider donating to help keep The Table Read going!