Reggae, Feminismus und Spiritualität – ein Interview mit Queen Omega
Written by Luna Dominguez on 2023-04-19
Radio Q Reporterin Luna Baumann Dominguez hat im März die Reggae-Künstlerin Queen Omega in Salzburg vor ihrem Konzert im Rockhouse interviewt. In dem Gespräch mit der Künstlerin ging es vor allem darum, wie sie sich als Frau in der männerdominierten Reggae-Szene fühlt und wieso Spiritualität so wichtig für Queen Omega ist.
Radio Q: Your birth place is Trinidad and the carnival there is very famous. I’m from Germany and there we also have Carnival. But I guess it’s a little bit different because it’s all about drinking, I would say.
Queen Omega: [lacht] In Trinidad it’s the same concept, more or less. But I think with Carnival in Trinidad, you get to display the colors. You know, it’s really about the masqueraders and the beauty of the diversity in the different skills and the arts. It’s really a beautiful show because they get to see different bands display their costumes.
Radio Q: Okay [lacht] so it’s similar to German Carnival. And I’ve seen in an interview that you get your inspiration from your spirituality. Can you explain what you mean exactly? And how does it inspire you?
Queen Omega: Well, I must say that I grew up in a Christian home. My parents and me, we always used to gather and have daily devotions. So I think that´s my foundation, that kind of helped me to stay rooted. But when I’m inspired by my spirituality, I’m always meditating. I’m always trying to tap into that higher source, trying to keep that connection with the eye, which is the universal intelligence in all the supreme creator, the life force that holds everything together. So that is really my kind of vibration. I’m always trying my best to stay in that high frequency, always chanting my prayers, chanting the Psalms and just trying to keep my spirit up all the time.
Radio Q: The next question is a more general one. What do you pay special attention to when you’re producing a new song? Do you have a receipt or something?
Queen Omega: For me, the music is like the first thing I really pay attention to. Especially to the bass line. I really prefer the music of some live tunes, you know, like some live drums. Even keys or horns. All these little details kind of help me when I’m writing my songs. You know, the deeper the bass line is, the easier it is for me to write.
Radio Q: That means Dub music is also easier to produce for you? Amazing! Next up, I would ask a more political question. The music world in general is very male dominated. It is reflected in the lineup from the Reggae Jam Festival 2022. There were a lot of male artists, but for example you, Etana and just a few other female artists have been there. I would like to know what it is like for you as a woman to make music in a male dominated music scene?
Queen Omega: I feel empowered… I must say that I feel empowered because we have a voice too. We have our voice and we have our place. So I get respect and I feel that energy that they give me and they give me high ratings and high respect. But once you get your foot in and get your voice out, it´s like there is a spot that´s just been cleared for you. So I just encourage all the women, all the artists, all the female artists: don’t be afraid! Just get your strength, your inner strength and your voice out there. There’s going to be a we. The universe is going to open up a little just for you.
Radio Q: Probably also because you get the support from other women and other female artists. They are like “yes we need you”!
Queen Omega: Yes of course!
Radio Q: Perfect. When did you realize that you have the power to open people’s eyes and speak for women that are actually quiet because they don’t have the chance to speak out about, for example, patriarchal problems like it’s also reflected in your song Lioness?
Queen Omega: I’m very young in my career. I was encouraged, you know, by the producers, by other artists. Listen, you’re good enough. You’re good. Continue doing what you’re doing. And I realized that I was impacting people from my second album. After my first album was recorded, I got a really good reception. And then from my second album, people started to see me as their Queen Omega. Yeah, we give thanks for your voice, a strong woman. So from that time I realized: Wow, this music is very big, is bigger than me, and I’m just like a vessel being used, you know?
Radio Q: Nice. Very nice. And in our last interview last summer we just had 3 minutes. But I asked you about your children and you told me that your daughter was also involved in your song “Fittest”. What about the other songs in your new album that came out yesterday?
Queen Omega: This album was so anticipated. I know. And I feel so privileged to be able to have a brand new product. And the album shows a lot of growth, because I’ve grown a lot in new music and it shows my ability. It shows growth and maturity on different levels. Even like experimenting with different genres. And I really feel good about that because I’m not just known as a reggae queen, but I’m a musical artist. So I just love music and I would love to experiment in other genres.
Radio Q: And were your children also involved in some songs of the new album? Or just in your song “Fittest”?
Queen Omega: Yeah, just in “Fittest”. Because when we were planning to do the video we really needed something strong. And I know my daughter, she can really dance. She’s just gifted to dance. And she was like, Mummy, I will try to do a dance. And when we were listening to it over and over, she just choreographed it and the management was blown away. It was like: This is what we want. We want this. And I felt really good and encouraged. I said, You’re going to be in a video, so just make sure you have all the steps. And we rehearsed and she was ready for the video clip.
Radio Q: It is so amazing because it’s one more active woman in the reggae scene now! Perfect!
Queen Omega: Yes! She is very brave. I would love to see her in the next ten years, what she will become.
Radio Q: Me too! Let’s talk about your attitudes on society. You’re singing in your songs about different problems in our society. What do you think is one of the biggest problems in our society?
Queen Omega: I think the roles that we play between men and women is one of the biggest problems. For example the lack of respect and communal understanding. Of course, I can only talk from a woman´s point of view. I know that the woman is not being respected. And I think we are… Oh, my gosh, this is a serious topic. But I really think that our roles in society, between men and women, are misunderstood. And I think it causes an imbalance.
Radio Q: And it’s not a new topic. So probably it wasn’t as prominent a few years ago, but now people have to see, okay, this is not good.
Queen Omega: This is it, exactly. We are equal. We really have to understand that. We really have to put that message out there. And about the boys that I know, when they grow up they will understand that men and women have equal rights and there will be justice between men and women.
Radio Q: Of course! For example, as a mother you can tell your son that women and men are equal, definitely. But there are so many problems in Germany and all over the world on the inequality between women and men.
Queen Omega: Yeah, everywhere in Trinidad too. I think this is a worldwide thing. Seriously. This is why we are so angry. This is what we are fighting for.
Radio Q: Music is a good way to speak up about problems like this! And it will probably reach many people.
Queen Omega: A lot of people. And that’s why I love doing what I do. Because sometimes you can´t talk about certain things, but you can sing about it.
Radio Q: It’s true! We are almost at the end of the interview. I would like to know, what was the most emotional moment you had with a fan?
Queen Omega: I could talk about this one recently on this tour, at my show in London. There was a fan that came to see me and she was so emotional. Someone saw her crying and they brought her backstage. They said “Queen, this lady came to see you and she didn’t.” She was embarrassed because she didn’t want me to see her crying. But right away I got emotional because I was like: Whoa my music gets the people. And she was like “I’m sorry, Queen Omega, I came to see you. I drove far. I took the train, and now I realize that at the time you’re performing, I’m not going to be able to see you because I have to take the train back to be able to go to work.” And I just got emotional. And I said “Don’t worry, I’m going to do something.” We hugged. “It’s okay if you’re crying. I know how it feels.” And I gave her another hug and I talked to my management and I told her: come to Paris, you’re going to see me in Paris. I’m going to put you on the guest list. And that time I realized “Queen Omega, your music is really touching people.” This woman is crying because she doesn´t get to see you perform.
Radio Q: This is what music also should do. Making people emotional.
Queen Omega: Exactly. Then the woman said “I’m going to miss you. I really love your music. I really love you. Oh, my gosh. I’m so sorry.” I said “It’s okay. It’s okay.” And I embraced her. This is bigger than me. This is bigger than us. I mean, as I said before, I’m just this woman. I feel so privileged that I can be used as a vessel to share that good vibration and send a positive message through the music.
Radio Q: It is so good that you use the music for messages you wanna spread to the world. It’s perfect. And now the last question: What special message would you now send to the people that are reading this interview?
Queen Omega: I would like to tell people that there is hope. You know, there is hope. Once you have life – there is always a chance to make a better life for yourself! And I just want to let everyone know that it starts from within. Don’t look for anything outside. Everything is within you. Because you have that power. The power that is given to you, all the power you need to excel, the power to feed, the power to be the best version of yourself.