GETTING TO KNOW ME
Queen Drea Voice-Loops N Effects creates conceptual soundscapes. By applying poetic and often metaphorical language to her lyrics and compositions, she tries to approach a wide scale of subjects in a multi-layered way and likes to involve the audience in conversation as they accompany her on her musical journey. Her performances directly respond to the surrounding environment and uses everyday experiences from the artist as a starting point. Often these are framed instances that would go unnoticed in their original context. With a conceptual approach, her work references love, pain, the feeling of not being “enough as a form of resistance against the "Normalcy" box people want to put her in.
Queen Drea is a recipient of the 2022 McKnight Foundation Composers Fellowship, 2021 Jerome Hill Artist Finalist, 2021 Zeitgeist Music Sounding Ground Fellow, 2019 Penumbra Theater ASHE Lab Fellow, and 2017 American Composers Forum Minnesota Emerging Composer awardee. She is a sound alchemist. Mixing up potions laced with looped natural and affected vocals, jagged rhythms, and found sounds, Queen’s compositions are often conceived under the auspices of improvisational settings which is where she thrives most.
Queen Drea has created her own interdisciplinary work about depression in the Black community, a music and movement piece titled “From Black Wombs” about two sisters who have lost their parents in the revolutionary war against white supremacy, and a four-movement piece about an African creator goddess named Mawu (Lisa), associated with the Sun and Moon in African Dahomey mythology.
Queen has been commissioned to compose soundscapes for dance companies Ananya Dance Theatre, Black Label Movement, and Brother(h)ood Dance, and composed and designed sound for Twin Citie’s theaters’ Penumbra Theatre’s production of “For Colored Girls'', and Pillsbury House Theater, which she calls her artistic home, designing sound and composing original music for “ The Great Divide: She Persists”, “The Great Divide: Flip the Script”, and “What to Send Up, When it Goes Down” by Aleshea Harris, and was a Pillsbury House Theater 2020 Naked Stages Fellow.
I make worlds with my compositions. Glitchy vocals, guttural cries, scratchy sounds, ear-piercing ground loops, and off-kilter rhythms are what I do. Everything is intentional, yet improvisational in nature. I do not seek to create smooth surfaces.
If my compositions invoke visceral responses in the listener, then I’ve done my job.