KillaQueenz - Queen Beez
Author: Fat Tony
Thursday, 17 April 2008
The product of two long journeys, one Sydney olympics and a chancemeeting, the KillaQueenz are here to stay. 3D’s Fat Tony caught up withthe ‘hardcore, lyrical ladies’.
You girls are from Belize and Uganda originally, when did you move to Australia-
Kween G: I came to Australia as a refugee from Uganda in 1991 with my father and three older brothers. It was hard settling in but I’m now a proud African Australian.
Belizean Bombshell: February 1996. I arrived in Sydney and lived in the Blue Mountains with my stepfather, mum, brothers and sisters. It was the biggest change ever moving from Belize to Woodford.
Do those origins affect the music you’re making now-
Yes, our cultures do influence our music. We had a track on our recent mixtape, which was a shout-out to our roots and at the same time we represented Australia. When we look for some beats they’ve gotta have that particular drum sound that reflects both our cultures.
Apparently you met while performing at the Sydney Olympics-
Yes, those were the days. We came from different African dance groups who auditioned to represent the African float in the opening ceremony. We met randomly during one of the rehearsals and started to hang out. We would rap to our favorite songs during long rehearsal breaks and entertain other dancers.
So how long have you been recording music together-
Just about four years. From 2004 we were messing with a few tracks, then decided to make something of being black female MCs in Australia, which is so rare.
How about your vocal styles, is it straight rapping or do you sing as well-
We would love to sing some gracious harmonies, but we are hardcore, lyrical ladies who spit it right at ya. We bring that New York underground style, hyped with emotion so when you hear the words you feel it. Honestly, we’ve had people tell us we remind them of Rah Digga and Lady of Rage, just because of the way we deliver during live shows.
Can you give us a rundown of your musical roots-
Kween G: My brothers have a lot to do with my love for music. I used to watch their videos of Yo! MTV Raps and look through their music collections. There was one stage in my life when I was really into rock because I was learning to play the bass guitar and those where the type of songs I was taught to play. My brothers couldn’t stand it so they would give me CDs to listen to and I remember Nas’ Illmatic was the album that had me loving hip hop.
Belizean Bombshell: I come from a dancing background. Even in Belize my sister and I would parade during carnival. Growing up in the Blue Mountains I wasn’t a Video Hits chick like most of my schoolmates who were into pop. My brothers were into Bone Thugs, Eazy-E – basically west coast gangster rap, so I got into it as well.
How do you like to describe the type of hip hop you make-
International! It’s a mixture of flavours for your ears. We have our party stuff but we create music for the system and the soul.
Who makes your beats- And how did you come to be working with them-
Well Mr Zux was the first person we worked with and still do. We heard his name here and there and we had friends who knew him and introduced us. He’s definitely been there since day one; there’s something about his beats that bring out the best in us.
We’re currently working with ZDE, an up and coming producer from Sydney. His music is world class and he’s versatile with it, from soul and hip hop, as well as some nice Indonesian influenced tunes. He’s made some tracks that may be familiar to some, there’s Takin Ova, which was on DJ Carl Alley’s Soul Control CD. And he’s responsible for our latest track The Bizzness, which you can hear on Carl Alley’s State 2 State CD with DJ Peril.
You’ve released the mixtape Word On The Street, what was the ethos behind that-
After recording and performing as KillaQueenz we started to create a little buzz, so we decided it was time to put out something for the streets. We didn’t want to come out with a five-track EP like most newcomers. When we finished the product we realised damn, we’re the first females in Australia to put out a mixtape in OZ. It’s not the typical mixtape with aggressive vocals over the songs, and we didn’t go all-out on using instrumentals; it’s 50/50 love for the local producers and tracks over classic hip hop beats.
Is there an album in the works- What can we expect-
We spent a lot of 2007 getting the name out there and through that buzz local label Grindin’ signed us up to their roster. At the moment we’re building the tracks to go on the album. We want the first album to have more depth so you find out more about Kween G and Belizean Bombshell, who bring truth from a female view and always remain positive. October looks like the month the album will be released.
What does a KillaQueenz stage show involve-
E.N.E.R.G.Y... It involves DJ K-Mani sending beats through the speakers while cutting up his solo section. We got each other’s back when we’re live, and always get a good response. But people take a little time to warm up to the sound of KillaQueenz, so Australia just needs to get used to seeing two fine chocolate sisters on the mic.
From a performer’s perspective, where do you think Australian hip hop and RNB is headed-
Hmm, it’s a hard one to answer. We hope that hip hop becomes a main genre like dance or rock, which dominates the music scene. It’s not easy when Australian hip hop artists aren’t supporting each other. Aussies couldn’t name too many hip hop artists in OZ, and there are so many, so once Australia supports Australia then we got it.
You’ve appeared on Kerri-Anne’s Mornings show, what was that like-
It was a very interesting experience, we went there with an open mind and she was really cool. I guess we expected her to be ignorant about what we do, but she was genuinely interested in learning about hip hop. There was a choreographer from New York who was promoting some workshops, after they chatted we performed and had Kerri-Anne dancing to our song Mash Up Tha Show. It feels good to know that most people watching would have been elderly or stay-at-home mums who are not exposed to local hip hop, and if Kerri-Anne was feeling it then the viewers were as well.
WHAT: Sublime at Home/ Oyster Fashion Week launch at Oxford Art Factory/ State To State launch at Fannys, Newcastle
WHEN: Friday 18 April/ Wednesday 30 April/ Saturday 10 May