Introducing Citizen Queen
The beautiful, strong, and talented all-female group CITIZEN QUEEN released their latest single and video, “no ego.” Having become a true family, each of the girls brings their own spice to the table as they create amazing music and content, elevating them a little more every day. Here at BELLO, we absolutely love their style both in music and fashion. Make sure to check out their latest release, move your coffee table out of the way, and start dancing!
Share with us the first meeting you girls had as an official group. How were you feeling? What was the energy like?
HANNAH – Meeting the girls was one of the most genuine experiences I’ve ever had. All the girls’ energies just lit up the room and immediately felt comfortable and they really just seemed like home. We were all a bit nervous but once we saw that we all had the same feelings and fears, we related to each other on those levels and I think we really thrive off of each other!
NINA – The first time we all met, we were in an Airbnb. We had gotten an email that we would be living together for two weeks straight, working every day and making music videos. We all were just secretly praying to ourselves that we would get along, and thankfully, everyone turned out to be just as weird as me!! I thank God for that every day. And the minute we sang together? Something just clicked. We all knew that this was only the first step into a really bright and long future together.
CORA – When we found out who made it in the group we were actually all put in a group chat. So we had been talking for weeks over text getting to know each other so when we all finally met we felt like we already knew each other. We were already being domestic going grocery shopping, making dinner, it was like we had known each other for years.
When you come together to create, who brings what to the table?
Nina – lyrics, toplining, melody, arranging, social media ideas.
Kaedi – production, lyrics, melody, arranging.
Hannah – melody, lyrics, aesthetic/fashion, social media ideas.
Kaylah – melody, lyrics, fashion.
Cora – lyrics, percussion, social media ideas, music video aesthetics.
KAEDI – Every person in the group has a strong point that helps us balance each other out. When we just started posting a cappella covers, there were more distinct roles – Cora and I held down the rhythm/foundation of the sound, while Nina, Kaylah and Hannah supplied the leads and harmonies on top. Now that we’re transitioning into making original music, the roles have become more fluid, and everyone will help in any way they can, whether it be lyrics, harmonies, breakdowns, basslines/grooves, you name it. Also since quarantine, we’ve picked up on a few skills like producing and vocal engineering, as well as sharpening the skills we already have, so it’s much easier to build an idea.
What inspires your music?
HANNAH – Real stories inspire our music. Real lives and real people. We want to speak about those relatable struggles and feelings that we all face in life. We want to be a sense of calm and also a role model for people everywhere!
KAYLAH – I’d say our music is definitely inspired by the women we look up to and admire. The beautiful thing about what we stand for is that you or whoever you look up to don’t have to be a big celebrity or even royalty to be a queen. We’re all inspired by what’s around us and we want to inspire & empower others through our music!
Tell us more about “Call Me Queen” and what it means to you. What do you hope your audience will get from it the most?
KAEDI – “Call Me Queen” is the introduction to who we are and what we’re about. No matter how “regular” you feel, you should always regard yourself as royalty and act accordingly. This is a song that demands respect from ourselves (ya know, self-love n stuff) and others as well.
Share with us the story and inspiration behind “No Ego”?
NINA – We started this group while we were pretty young – our youngest at the time was 17. Together we’ve been finding new parts of ourselves, a lot of it because we are together in this group. We have learned a lot about self-love, how it’s not cocky to speak positively about yourself, and how speaking that belief into the universe only reaps more of that same empowered and beautiful energy. This song is for reminding ourselves who the hell we are, and that we love exactly who we are. We hope everyone listening feels a similar way – empowered to be themselves, and nobody else. It’s no exaggeration, just a fact, that we are that bitch 😌
CORA – I personally feel like our goal with “No Ego” was to make the listener feel more confident in themselves. Everyone deserves to feel like “that bitch” and we wanted to convey that message in a song that was also catchy and that you could have a lot of fun dancing to.
In what ways do your different songs reflect different parts of yourselves as individuals and as a group?
HANNAH – I think what’s beautiful about music is it can go in any direction. And so can our moods and personalities. Our songs express how we’re feeling at the time. Sometimes I feel like a bad bitch but sometimes I feel like a sad bitch you know?
NINA – As we created our first original songs, we wanted them to be true to our actual life experiences. Some upcoming songs are about specific people’s stories in the group (you’ll see), while others universally apply to things we’ve all gone through. “Call Me Queen”, for example, applies to me individually as I’ve learned over the years to be vocal about what I am worth, and never to settle for less than what I deserve. That song also applies to us as a group, as we command respect for our art, and for who we are as women. “No Ego” is us paying homage to the fact that we have been learning how to love ourselves through this process; that it is not inflated ego, or a cocky attitude when you tell yourself that you’re that bitch. It’s just a fact.
KAEDI – I think it’s so important now more than ever to celebrate how multifaceted someone can be, and when a few multifaceted humans get together and make some art, it can help shed light on how we listen to music in a completely different and refreshing way. All of us sing differently, we approach music and how we sing differently, and whenever we channel that, it always translates well. Our life experiences differ from each other as well, so that aids so much in inspirations for songs. I hope yall like the multitude of sounds we have to offer soon!
KAYLAH – In every way actually! We’re so diverse as women, and the songs we’re working on are a compliment to that diversity because they are as well! From head bangers to tear-jerkers, we have something that any and everyone can relate to, much like the members of this group!
Growing up, what role did music play for each of you?
HANNAH – Growing up music was my form of therapy before I ever knew it could even have that effect on me. It’s the one thing I turned to no matter what and music was something I could always depend on to heal me no matter what situation I was faced with. Music truly is so healing and inspiring.
NINA – Music and writing music have always been the failsafe way for me to find sanity in any moment. Pop in headphones, journal some lyrics, try them out with a chord progression on my guitar when I get home – it’s a cleansing experience for me. Any negative thoughts Id have, i could just leave it all on the page. And when I want to celebrate the good times, there’s nothing more therapeutic and joyous than singing my heart out. Music, since I was little, has been my passion, my relief, my sanity, and my medium to speak most truthfully. I can’t imagine my life without it.
KAEDI – Music is my life! It is always there for me at my best and at my worst. I knew of harmonies before I knew how to do my homework. It filled in the cracks of life that felt intangible. I honestly would not be the same person without it.
CORA – Music was and still is everything to me. My first thought of every day was about the choir class I was in or the musical I was a part of. Working as hard as I could to be the best I could be. I wanted to memorize how to read piano keys quicker than anyone in my class. I wanted to know everything. It was what I was most passionate about and it made my schooling experience so much better. I have no idea how I could’ve gotten through high school without looking forward to my choir classes and theatre performances every day.
KAYLAH – Growing up in church, music was definitely a huge part of my life. My whole family, including me, were all involved in some kind of choir and when not doing that, I was immersed in some other form of singing, whether it was in the studio or in the car on a road trip. Music was that friend that was always there even when others weren’t and I’ll always be grateful.
Describe to us your fashion style. What does fashion mean to you?
HANNAH – Fashion to me is very broad. It’s all about expressing yourself and feeling comfortable in what you wear. Just like music it speaks on so many levels. Clothes do the same thing in my opinion. I would say I am comfy casual with a hint of chicness lol I love to be comfortable in sweats and things and I feel sexy in comfy clothes. That’s just me. Other people feel sexy in a mini skirt, which I do as well, it just depends on which vibe I want to give out that day 🙂 fashion is so fun to play around with!
NINA – My style is mainly feminine with little masculine touches. A skirt, but the material is leather. Shiny glitter with baggy pants. I’ve been loving vibrant colors / monochrome fits, but black and white anything has always been a go to for me.
Fashion, to me, means, dressing as my favorite version of myself. I can become a whole new person in the right pair of jeans, not because it’s a certain fabric, but because of how it makes me feel. Fashion is wearing whatever makes you feel confident and walk differently. What I wear accentuates what makes me who I am, or who I’m choosing to be on any given day.
KAEDI – Fashion is just another way to expressing yourself, another beautiful and resourceful art form. I always aspired to dive more into it but never really knew where to start until quarantine, when I had a lot of old clothes to recycle. I like to be cozy and comfy at all times, so sweats and a hoodie are always my go-to, but the vibrant colors and patterns are what attracts me the most to what I wanna wear for the day. I’ve also been drawing on my clothes a lot more often.
CORA – My fashion style is extremely open. I am interested in all sorts of different styles. I am not confined to one specific style because I wake up feeling different every day. My clothing changes to reflect that. Some days I wear clothes with dark colors covered in chains and some days I like to wear a cute flowy dress. I change every day so I feel like my clothing should reflect that.
KAYLAH – Fashion is expression! It’s confidence, it’s personality! My style is usually whatever speaks to me but mainly a mix of urban & edgy with a dash of minimalism. My fashion choices were primarily cultivated in order to hide certain insecurities of mine but since then, I’ve fallen in love with them and it, and fashion truly has become a passion of mine. It gives me the freedom and finesse to express myself without saying a word. I love it.
If you could travel to any era, which would you pick and why?
HANNAH – I would travel back to the late 60s early 70s. What I would give to go to Woodstock and Studio 54. Not to MENTION the BANGERS that were released during that decade. Paul McCartney and Wings?? Steely Dan?? Bee Gees????? I could go on and on lol.
CORA – Am I allowed to travel forwards? I’ve always been super obsessed with new tech and if I could choose any era it’d probably be one a few decades in the future. I want to know how advanced virtual reality will become. What will our new phone models look like? I’m SO excited to see how far we will have come.
What does 2021 look like for you?
KAEDI – I wish I had a perfect answer, but after the unpredictability of 2020, I’m not completely sure. I know there’s soooo many things on our mind to do. But. I know for now, it’s definitely more original music and more videos, with a lot more passion and confidence behind them this time around. And just wherever this year takes us, I’m ready to go!
KAYLAH – 2021 is definitely the year for growth, success, and bags! I’m more focused and creative than I’ve even been and I’m taking full advantage of that this year. Working on myself, my craft, and my mental stability is the foundation that needs to be secure for everything to fall in place.
Talent Citizen Queen @citizenqueen
Interview by Alexandra Bonnet @alexbonnetwrites