Marieangela a.k.a Queeny King has a pretty colourful life. Born and raised in India, she travelled around the world most of her young life until she settled in the USA, where she is currently pursuing her singing career.
Queeny King started to play music at the age of 3 – already at such a young age, she experienced what it was like to perform in front of people. Before embarking on a solo journey as a singer and performer, she played with her siblings for many years. With her unconventional and original sound, she has been steadily climbing towards fame. Her great attribute is not only her voice but also the sound of her music; she produces it along with her brother David Lucius King, and the siblings’ collaboration is astounding. She’s performed in various places, including the prestigious Tramp Club in London, where I had a chance to see her show for the first time.
Tramp Club, founded in 1969, is famous for its amazing atmosphere, food, and music. Over its 40-year history, Tramp has been visited by stars such as Liza Minnelli, Joan Collins, Ringo Starr, and Peter Sellers. The recent show hosted a few wonderful singers, including the lovely jazz singer Bud and James Hutcheson, an emerging Scottish artist, and Queeny King closed the night with her superb performance. She started off with 99/Angel in Paris, followed by Loaded and Freak Show (based on This Eyes Wide Shut Club in London). Queeny King quickly made the crowd groove to her tune. The next song she performed was the track dedicated to the love of her life, Elijah Blue, Save the Night. The artist’s vocals were impressive and singing seemed effortless to her.
Queeny King’s songs are mainly inspired by her life experiences, and one such songs that she performed was Run for the Hills, which is about her experience with rehab. She ended her set with Perfect Day to the dancing and applauding audience, and, without a doubt, Queeny King owned the stage that night.
We caught up with Queeny King after the show and talked about her music, her inspiration, and the creative process behind her songwriting.
Photo © Nick Slade
We are very excited to meet you! Before we start chatting about your career, could you tell us how it all started – have you always wanted to become a musician?
I was born and raised in a cult in India. I’ve been to a lot of different countries with parents and we were never in one place for a long time. Since age 3, I had been performing in various places from schools to the army, police, radio/tv music festivals around Europe and my dad was my manager. It started out with my older brother on the guitar and us both doing vocals to eventually being the 5 of us siblings on stage. I had moved out with my boyfriend and my older brother was already living in Germany, signed (till the next millennium) to Lou Begas label. I guess Lou wanted my brother to write him another Mambo No. 5. My brother had come to visit me in Slovakia where I was at the time and that’s when the beginning of King Family happened. We figured, making mum and dad’s cult all this money and getting nothing for it wasn’t what we wanted to do anymore. The only question was how we were gonna get out without any cash. I was determined we would get signed and we stole our younger siblings from our parents, and shortly after we were signed to EMI Germany.
Music saved my life, so to speak. We were put on a 360-day music tour and I think we all had to grow and learn a lot really fast. Thrown in the deep end so to speak. Fast forward to now, I am releasing my solo project for the first time. I had some fun shows. My first solo show was at San Quentin state prison, then at the Peppermint Club and Viper Room. I helped organise the 2nd show at San Quentin last November where Queens of the Stoneage did a one hour set. After that, my husband’s band Deadsy performed an acoustic set for the first time since their hiatus. It was a real treat to see. Finally, I took the stage and I was so emotionally involved. The vibes in the room were at an all-time high and the inmates gave me two standing ovations. It was a perfect day.
Who writes and composes all your songs – if it’s you yourself, where do you get your ideas from and what is your songwriting process like? What kind of approach do you use to write your lyrics?
I write and produce my own music with my brother David Lucius King; remember that name, he’s the next Rick Rubin. I’m so proud of him. He’s the best combination: Talented and very hard working.
Our writing process is a lot of fun. David and I hunker down, preferably in one of Cher’s (yes, that Cher lady) guestrooms; Sativa is also involved and we don’t come up for air till we’ve punched out a couple of songs. Being in a secluded environment is key.
Photo © Nick Slade
How would you describe your musical style?
The music I write is pop, but I keep it alternative. I’m here to evoke and provoke. That’s an artist’s job.
Have your surroundings shaped you in a creative sense and in what way?
I had a very colourful upbringing and I’m positive that it’s shaped me into the person I am today, for better or worse, but what we do with the experiences we have is what’s important.
Is there music that you like, which never fails to make you feel good? Who really inspires you as an artist? Is there someone out there you would like to collaborate with?
I’m inspired by artists that provoke emotion. Kate Bush, Patty Smith, Grimes (Claire Boucher) is definitely on that list. I think she’s brilliant.
I want to collaborate with up-and-coming artists that share the same ideas. There’s been a death in art and 2019 is creating a very important wave and movement where people are fed up with the top 20 charts, (the fast food chain) we’ve been force-fed this last plus decade, and I’m excited for the future. I’m excited to see how much new and loud expression there is and how the world is changing in that direction.
You recently performed in the prestigious Tramp Club in London; this was your first London show, what was that experience like for you?
My first show in London was so much fun. I had all my favourite people there and it was cool to see how receptive people were to my music and vibe, and that’s very motivating. London really is one of my favourite places now. I have now officially learned the tube system.
What’s next in the pipeline? New songs or perhaps a full-length album?
Next on the list is my release. I’m filming a music video in Los Angeles for my song Save the Night and a digital release is simultaneously coming soon.
Written by Maggie Gogler
Edited by Roxy Simons