Black Queen pays tribute to Niko Chromatic on debut EP
Reggae-dancehall songstress Black Queen is gearing up to release her first EP, a seven-track effort titled Black N Proud.
It showcases her feel-good messages of love, hope, health and an appreciation of the beauty in oneself. She also pays tribute to the late Niko Chromatic, who passed away in 2018 after losing his battle with kidney disease.
Nobody Knows My Pain, which is one of the standout tracks on the EP, is dedicated to the selector, who was a member of the Chromatic sound system.
" This EP is a labour of love, and chronicles my own spiritual journey. It has a universal message of love which everyone can relate to. Not everyone has the same journey. They see the glitter but not the pain to get this far. So this is a major milestone for me," said the artiste, whose given name is Semonie Giles. The EP will be released at a live-streamed launch party in Ocho Rios on August 30.
"I want to tell my people to surround themselves with positive people. Believe in yourself, even if no one else does. Uplift others, black people need to work on ourselves, love ourselves so we can respect each other, so we can elevate and uplift coming generations," Black Queen said.
She shared that the track, Black and Proud, a response to the negative connotations that some persons ascribe to the word 'black', was motivated by a personal story.
"Growing up, some of my siblings would tease me and my brother about our dark skin 'spoiling' the family. My experience is similar to that of many Jamaicans. This sort of bias comes from slavery and colonialism. We must change that narrative through her music. Beauty is not the colour of one's eyes or skin but is what comes from within," she said.
Always passionate about singing, Black Queen sang for her peers in primary school, developing confidence even while earning money that she could use on days when there was no lunch money.
Later on, she released the song You Say which got some support but it was not until she did the dancehall track Up Ina Ya Jelly that people started calling her for other gigs. However, she soon deviated from dancehall to more conscious material.