Pop/R&B newcomer, Queen Ella, born Queenella Nicole Gibson, is a force to be reckoned with. With a brand new game-changing EP, Exit 144, under her belt, along with some impressive accolades, the singer is more than ready to conquer the world and make the listener (that’s you!) fall in love with her and what she has to offer. I got to chat with the Queen herself on all things real, what her main mission is with her music and what she’s currently listening to.
First off, introduce yourself to the world! What’s one thing people would be surprised to hear about you?
Hmmm…well, I was abused as a child and wasn’t always confident about how I looked on the outside. I thought I was ugly all the way up til I opened a MySpace account years ago and people would make comments on pictures like, “you’re beautiful.” So I would like to give a BIG shout out to Tom…thank you!
I love when people take chances and go after their dreams. You put aside a career in International Business to pursue music. Tell us what that was like. I’m sure there was a lot of anxiety involved!
You have no idea. It was one of the scariest things I’ve done in my life. You hear so many crazy things about the music business, you’d think I’d chase after a degree than to be chasing my next gig. My family looked at me like I had two heads. They couldn’t believe I was doing this. All I kept hearing was, “You’re serious about this, huh?” The more I was asked the scarier it became, but you know what, fear never stopped me before so it can’t stop me now. I’m in too deep. My dreams are getting closer now and I refuse to turn back.
You just released your new EP, Exit 144. What can you tell us about it and what inspired these tracks?
This EP is emotional. She’s happy, she’s sad, she’s angry, she’s lonely, she’s tired of being ignored and then she’s in love. It’s a fun pop/r&b EP with soul but you can’t put me in a box with this one. You can either sit there, listen to the EP, and relate or you’re going to dance the entire time. I’m very proud of this EP. My life inspired me to write these tracks. Every song is based on a true story.
What would you say sets you apart from most artists of your genre?
What sets me apart is that there are a few other pop/r&b singers or even people by the name Queenella but there’s only one me. I can’t really put my finger on it but I can say that I witnessed people get emotional after seeing me perform. I have little girls say to me, “I wish I could have you as a big sister.” My goal is to inspire, uplift, encourage my listeners. I want to make a difference. I want to hear people say, “I got through it after listening to Queen.” That’s what music is supposed to do!
You’ve performed on some impressive stages – NY’s Apollo and Metropolitan Room. Describe what goes through your mind while on stage?
I can’t believe this is happening! That’s what I say every time I perform. I can’t believe it’s about to go down right now…I have to bring it! Big stage, small stage, no stage…if there are people that have never seen me perform I feel like I have something to prove. I try to be creative and not give the same performance each time because that can be a bit boring. Not to just my fans but to me as well. I want to have fun every time I’m given the opportunity to showcase the gifts God has blessed me with, but yeah I’m always nervous before a performance. I don’t think that will ever change.
We ask artists this all the time because we’re nosy (and nerds.) What are you listening to right now? Give us a top 5!
Pink – “Please Don’t Leave Me”
Taylor Swift – “I Knew You Were Trouble”
Mary J. Blige – “No More Drama”
Prince – “When Doves Cry”
Meghan Trainor – “Lips Are Moving”