We had the good fortune of connecting with Queen Diva and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Queen, what’s the end goal, career-wise?
I have been in the music industry for 30 years working behind the scenes primarily on singing and songwriting projects with Urban and Electronica/Dance songwriters and producers in recording studio sessions, off-Broadway and Cabaret showcases, church choirs and ensembles as both a lead and background vocalist. I have also provided vocal coaching to young singers. Now I truly want the world to hear my voice and embrace my songwriting.
My end goal is to record, write and perform songs with outstanding multi award-winning musicians such as Stevie Wonder, PJ Morton, Robert Glasper, Quincy Jones, David Foster, Linda Perry, Michael Narada Walden, Babyface and Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis. I have studied and taught music for three decades and at the end of my career I would like to become a Grammy, Tony, Golden Globe and Oscar winning musical storyteller who created and performed songs that shared vivid stories that touch the hearts, minds, and souls of all mankind. I want my musicianship to bring memories that will either make people smile or shed a tear of love from a memory each and every time they listen to my songs and voice. Music truly is the fabric of our lives. Without music we are naked. I want to clothe the world with my stories through song.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am a Divine Voices Music Group Recording Artist presently promoting my 90’s flavored R&B single “Is U In” written by myself and LaVolta Allen IV “MED”, who is an award winning songwriter and producer who wrote the theme song for Tyler Perry’s “House of Payne” and off-Broadway Producer/Star of “Strength of a Woman: A Phyllis Hyman Tribute Starring Queen Diva,” it is the only Phyllis Hyman tribute that is supported and approved by the Hyman Family, Friends, her former musicians, and Mayor Bill de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCrary of the City of New York.
What sets me apart is I created my own platform to sing on and off Broadway when there wasn’t a platform for me to sing. I didn’t look like or sound like anyone on Broadway, but I knew I wanted to perform on Broadway and share my “divine voice” which I use by singing many different genres from R&B to Gospel to House/Dance. I am most proud of singing at Feinstein’s/54 Below on Broadway my Phyllis Hyman tribute after six years of performing my tribute in the greater New York City area at juke joints, birthday parties, music festivals and empty nightclubs trying to build my fanbase to finally achieving sold out shows. Faith, commitment, and perseverance are the keys to the success of this showcase and led me to sing after the club’s namesake Michael Feinstein himself, known as the “Ambassador of the American Songbook,” on Labor Day in 2018.
I got to where I am today personally and professionally by building a firm foundation with an HBCU education where I received an undergraduate degree in Vocal Performance at Prairie View A&M University College of Arts and Sciences. I studied and practiced every day for four and a half years learning Classical music taking private voice lessons, university choral classes, and a member of the illustrious PVAMU Marching Storm as a clarinetist as well as taking gigs performing Hip Hop R&B/Soul music at community talent shows.
Once I graduated, I auditioned in Houston which led for me to sing background vocals for many Gospel choirs along with Kurt Carr and the Kurt Carr Singers, Kathy Taylor and Favor, James Fortune & FIYA with the Fountain of Praise Church Mass Choir under the leadership of Pamela J. Davis and Pastors Dr. Remus Wright and Mia K. Wright of The Fountain of Praise Church for eight years. I learned many lessons behind the scenes and hoped that one day I would sing lead or featured in a recording. One important lesson I learned was “divine timing” is everything. No matter how hard I tried to make my career happen and become a superstar the timing was never right.
I have the years’ experience and I know how to read, write, and erase music. I realized my success stems from “divine timing” when it is my turn to share with the world my “divine voice” and I know it is more than just my singing voice it is also my speaking voice. I learned to also become an effective speaker and leader by joining Toastmasters International at the Fountain of Praise Church in 2005 and returned to the club last year in 2020 exactly 15 years later that used to be an active member called “The Fountain of Praise Speakers” and early in May 2021 I was voted unanimously Madam President of the club now called “Determined to Master Speaking.”
What I would like the world to know about me and my brand “Divine Voices” is I absolutely love what I do and I know that I am an “Anointed Voice of Change” which means I know when I speak or sing in sharing my “divine voice” I help people to be happy, to be at peace, to smile and enjoy the words I release whether in songs or in speeches it is to inspire, empower and encourage all who have an ear to hear.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Oh My!! Where do I begin?? I would take my BFF Ayanda Sunshine her first day to Houston Sauce Company Vegan Food Truck in Third Ward for Lunch and get the Impossible Burger with Fries!! It is the best Vegan Burger ever!! Oh, and I would make sure before she leaves, I would take her to the Orange Show and Smither Park!! She is from Brooklyn, New York, and she would absolutely appreciate the eclectic and creative artwork at this venue. I would then take her to the Galleria so that she can see the biggest mall in Houston with all of the wonderful stores she adores, especially MAC cosmetics, and we could try on jewelry at Tiffany’s and Cartier. The third day I would take her to Downtown Houston and go to Discovery Green. We used to practice for our shows in NYC in Bryant Park years ago and I know she would totally love walking around singing together and then have lunch at The Grove. We would laugh, drink, eat and take selfies. Selfies are so fun! The fourth and fifth day we would go out to listen to live music at Sambuca and on Sunday before she leaves, we would go to House of Blues Gospel Brunch to have some great food and hear some amazing singing.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are several women that I must give a shout out to for being extremely supportive, loving and holding me accountable for my music, business and education goals: Ayanda Sunshine, Brooklyn’s own accomplished Vocal Director/Singer/Songwriter and Producer, who I have known for 25 years and never let me give up on my musical dreams and Houston’s own Di Reed, Formerly of JADE and Background Vocalist for Sir Rod Stewart, ever since we were teenagers attending Willowridge High School she has been the most supportive and encouraging of my singing career and told me how proud she always was of me. Baltimorean Carrie Rice, NYFW Stylist/Fashion Designer/Author, has been my personal and business accountability partner for the last 6 years! We both have accomplished so much in our lives, and I am so very thankful for her words of love and keeping me on track with my goals daily. And last but certainly not least Brooklynite Dr. Kimberly Barry, Psychotherapist and Empowerment Coach, who keeps me on track with my educational goals for the last 8 years. I have wanted to return back to graduate school for many years and she just finally told me, “You are your only barrier to achieving academic success!”
After she told me that I found a way to return back to school and now I am a second-year honor graduate student at Prairie View A&M University College of Business Executive MBA Program. I am happy to share on Friday, May 28, 2021, I received a Doctor of Divinity [Honoris Causa] degree from the Omega Bible Institute and Seminary in Monroe, Louisiana for 30 years of service as a Psalmist/Recording Artist and 17 years of service as a Bible Teacher and Pastor with my company Divine Voices Media and Divine Voices World Ministries within the community. I absolutely love sharing my gift of song and serving others and guiding them towards having peace in their lives. Receiving this prestigious honor is truly a blessing.
For Media Inquiries: Contact Dove Bennett for Dove PR, firstname.lastname@example.org
I will be performing my 90s Soul Divas Tribute, a virtual concert on Juneteenth Saturday, June 19, 2021, at 8 pm CST/9 pm EST via Metropolitan Zoom from my Divine Voices Media Studios in Houston, TX
For ticket information: https://metropolitanzoom.ticketleap.com/queen-diva-061221/dates/Jun-19-2021_at_0800PM
Other: Spotify: Queen Diva “Is U In” https://open.spotify.com/artist/7iaguL7INF9JEmTBhLcJzS Apple Music: Queen Diva “Is U In ” Single https://music.apple.com/us/album/is-u-insingle/1549071955