This next artist is destined for stardom with her relentless drive! Inspired by Erykah Badu, Anita Baker, Chaka Khan, Jill Scott, Sade, Usher, and the late Aaliyah. The DMV AUX presents to you, the powerful Queen herself, Soul/Pop/R&B artist, Zhé Aqueen.
Zhé Aqueen, one may have thought this beautiful name was an alias, but it’s not - she was given this magical name by her mother! Growing up, she was raised in the “Tri-City” area in the Greater Richmond, Virginia Region. She comes from a long line of musicians/artists in her family. For example, Her great grandfather on her mother’s side, was in a band with four of six of his daughters who were singers.
In addition, her grandparents on her father’s side are gospel musicians/singers. I then asked if she and her family randomly break out in harmony, and of course, the answer was an absolute yes! “All the time; We also have our own birthday song we sing for one another,” she stated and laughed.
As an adolescent, Zhé attended Appomattox Regional Governor’s School, specializing in fine arts and technology in downtown Petersburg. Although she was thrilled to attend, due to her neighborhood environment, it suddenly became a struggle to balance. “Studying at that school was a constant battle of good and not so good; Kids would look at me differently in my neighborhood and call me names like stuck-up,” she stated.
In spite of her struggles, Zhé’s parents and teachers were steady motivating her along the way. She recalls supportive teachers telling her, “I know you come from this area [the hood], and it may seem as though your goals are distant, but we got you!” Overall, attending that school opened up many opportunities, room for Zhé to grow, and access to things she didn’t have before.
As her journey continues, she began taking her talent seriously at the age of 12/13 and managing her funds/business alone at 17/18. “My mom always had my best interest at heart, but around 17/18, I did everything myself,” she stated.
In light of the DMV music scene and arts, she feels as though the DMV is remarkably underrated. “There are so many talented people, but we tend to get overlooked.” In addition, she spoke about how individuals are competing rather than uplifting one another, a downfall many artists have stated in the past.
When it comes to her musical style, Zhé differentiates from others by producing feel-good music while provoking emotions through her lyrics and staying genreless. As an artist, she hopes her audience can sit with their vulnerability and deal with their inner selves. Before every show, she stated, “I ask permission to touch on their emotions, although it catches them off guard, it leaves the door open for my audience to resonate with my lyrics.”
Aside from music, Zhé is an advocate for women’s health rights, particularly women of color, animal rights, and the arts. She is also walking in the steps of her great grandmother, who was a midwife herself and became a doula just a year ago. A doula, according to dicitionary.com, is employed to provide guidance and support to a pregnant woman during labor. Her first baby will be one in December, so congrats are in order!
In the meantime, stay tuned for Zhé’s highly anticipated album, “The Hypnomonic Album” based on dream theory this Black Friday! Hypnomonic is the state of waking up from dreaming; and several songs on the album came to Zhé while she was "waking up" and finding clarity in life. “I’ve been studying dream theory for a while now, and it’s addicting,” she commented.
Zhé also plans on premiering a brand-new music video for her single “QTC” and touring after the release of “The Hypnomonic Album.”
When it comes to advice for aspiring artists, Zhé will tell them to know yourself, understand yourself, overstand yourself, continue to learn yourself, and only be yourself! “There’s only one of you, everyone else is taken; If you try to be someone else, no one will pick you out of a crowd,” she concluded.
Read more about Zhé Aqueen with a closer look below.
How many piercings do you have, and which one was extremely painful?
OH MY GOODNESS! Altogether I have 15 piercings, but eight of them are on my ear.
The most painful piercing I have, including the healing process was my tongue! I told myself, if that piercing was to close, I wouldn’t get it again.
If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
I would spend that time writing music, laying down tracks, or finding a way to sneak in a nap!
(Zhé is absolutely hilarious)
What’s one thing you wish you didn’t have to pay for?
I wish I didn’t have to pay for gasoline or insurance.
We already pay so much for a car, why do I have to pay for gas?! It should run on air!
Would you rather be an extreme couponer or an antique hoarder?
My mom was an extreme couponer for a while, so I would rather be that.
We would literally have detergent for years!
What’s one of your biggest pet peeves?
I have a couple, but my biggest pet peeve deals with individuals who fail to scrape food off the plate/bowl before setting it in the sink. Ew!
What’s one thing you absolutely need in the studio?
A bottle of water for sure, and I prefer rolling up before every session.
Magnified Topic of the Week: Zhé Aqueen’s single “TQC”
TQC stands for (Thy Queendom Come) and was originally slept on for two years by Zhé due to her fear and sensitivity. “I also thought it was too theatrical,” she admitted. This song follows the story of an uprising female empire, which can be heard clearly in the monologue.
She explains, “For a while now, everything has been in a man’s hands, ridiculous; but when you think about it when a country requires saving, a woman is called to repair the damage.”
This song is sending out a message regarding female empowerment and is paying homage to the countless phenomenal female ancestors.
Check out “TQC” on all streaming platforms and be sure to follow Zhé Aqueen on the following!