Monday, January 4, 2010
HOLDING IT DOWN
When did you decide to take music on as a serious career?
It was in 2002, I met SideStreet KED (ATL’s Dungeon Family Artist/Organized Noize Productions and the cousin of Ray Murray of Organized Noize Productions.) he heard my poetry I use to do in open mic spots in Arizona. Now I use to write rhymes and songs since I was five, but didn’t begin doing it professionally till I met KED. He said you have a lot to say and been through a lot you should really turn your poems into rhymes because the people need to hear your story. See, my grandfather Min. Louis Farrakhan once said in a speech that ‘10 of his speeches are equivalent to 1 hip hop song’ so with that being said, my music is a way to tell the world the story of a Native American and Black, single mother that has seen the good and the bad of life.
Who are some of the DJ’s and producers you are working with?
Currently my DJ is DJ John Blaze from Safford, AZ and from the label I’m down with Supa Music. The producers on my album is New York West, Cookin Soul, I mean the list goes on and on. They have worked with 2pac, Ashanti to Pussycat Dolls. But majority of the production on my debut album “God.Love & Music” is Khyrs Allen from New York West Entertainment. I’ve been knowing him for years and he is from my hometown of Phoenix, Ariz.
What are some pro’s of being Indie?
Being indie can be a struggle but the benefit is- through all the struggling and putting yourself out there, at the end of the day you are responsible for everything. I am my own manager, booking agent, publicist at times, graphic designer, writer…I am even learning to be my own producer. The name of my company is Kingz N Queenz LLC. I am releasing “God.Love & Music” through my company and Supa Music with international distribution through 101 Distribution. Another pro is the return; I don’t have to worry about coming home with $1.00 off of every cd or ringtone sold. Also, I love being around people that are assisting me for the love, and really believe in me.
Is a major deal something that you’re currently seeking? Why or why not?
I mean, I would love being with a major label because it will ease up on the responsibilities I have on the daily, but I strongly believe that if you have a great publicist and marketing firm and a distribution deal you really don’t need to get signed. So if I really get tired handling all my business by myself and God doesn’t present the resources of companies that can assist on the marketing and PR aspect and no management then yes I will sign with a major, but my deal will have to be a really good deal to get better than what I am getting now.
What other projects do you have in the works?
Well my debut album “God.Love & Music” hit retail stores October 27th internationally. It is available now on I-tunes, Amazon [and] basically all digital stores. You can also purchase the ringtones on www.101d.com. I just got off the Footprints in Hip Hop Tour with Redman, Method Man & Ghostface. I am prepping now for the Built for Cuban Linx Tour with Raekwon. I attended the VH1’s Hip Hop Honors which airs the end of October and you can catch me at the BET Hip Hop Awards Oct 10th. I will be performing outside for all the fans. So I am really excited about that. Even though I am recording and working on my next album with NO ID and other heavy hitters, my focus is promoting and introducing a “queen” to the world. Also, to let them know that Hip Hop isn’t dead it just needs a “queen”. It needs the balance of the woman.
If you had to pick one thing that separates Queen Yonasda from other artists in hip-hop right now, what would it be?
Well, I am Native American and Black. My mother Wauneta LoneWolf was full blooded Ogalala Lakota from Pine Ridge,South Dakota and my father is African American from Brooklyn, NY. So because I was raised by my mother she instilled the traditions and culture of Indigenous people in me, so I am very proud to represent that in everything I do. Right now there is a major void in mainstream hip hop of female emcees that other women can relate to. There is a void of Native American representation in mainstream hip hop. There is a void in hip hop of the story of females talking about being a mother, the joys and pains of relationships and love, politics, there is just a void of women in mainstream hip hop that can tell the story of a nation of people. There is a Native American proverb “you don’t know where a man has been unless you can walk in his moccasins”, well even though my moccasin size can’t fit the next rapper. I sure can use my music to tell the story of many peoples lives through my own. The Hon. Elijah Muhammad stated “No Nation Can Rise Higher than Its Woman.” It’s the woman that raises a nation and I believe it’s up to me and other females that believe in this responsibility to keep hip hop alive.
Any last words?
I want to thank XPOZ Magazine for giving AZ Hip Hop culture an outlet for expression and recognition. Shout out to TJ and the whole Supa Music family. Shout out to IMPRESS, Wisdom, Karlie, Yaya and the other females in AZ that are holding it down for AZ’s hip hop culture. My album, God ,Love and Music by Queen YoNasDa (pronounced Yo-Naja-Ha) is in stores October 27th. Request “Pow Wow” and “You Don’t Want No Probelms” f/Capadonna (Wu Tang Clan) on all radio stations and DJ’s. Follow me on queenyonasda.com, myspace.com/queenyonasda, supamusicnetwork.com, youtube.com/yonasda for all my videos,blogs,interviews,etc. I’m the only “yonasda” in the world so if you google it you get just me =). For booking and collabs email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you Arizona for always supporting me, I love you all! Mitakoye Oyasin -All My Relations
QUEEN YONASDA FOOD FOR THOUGHT SPEAKERBOX INDIE-PENDENT // BY OMAR MARQUEZ
Check out the issue in www.xpozmagazine.com