Empresses + Queens: Talking with Trinidad’s Queen Omega + Kushite


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LU: How did you get started in music?

Kushite: Music was always in me. In primary school, I used to be in a choir but always shy to come forward. One time I had a solo to do for a Christmas concert and lied and said I had a sore throat just to not do it. But then, I cite Rastafari and get brave. Started doing shows and had the opportunity to open Tobago’s Reggae on the Bay last year. From there, things just started to happen and it’s been a non-stop ride ever since.

Omega: I always say I am Jah’s spoil chile cause anything I want, I get. I always had older friends and a sistren one day asked me if I wanted to make some real money and she took me to Kenny Phillips’ studio. At 13, I was coming home from school, finishing whatever chores I had to do and by 5pm I was running to the studio, doing little “Oohs” and “Ahhs,” and that’s where I met artists. I remember meeting Jah Mason. I was already into Rastafari at the time so that was a big thing for me! He kept me there just singing songs for him all evening. I was never shy either. Once you told me sing, I would just belt it out. A few years ago we were at the same event in Jamaica and he actually saw me and shouted out “Singa!” He remembered me.

LU: Why reggae?

Omega: Because in reggae, you don’t have to care what you look like as a woman. I felt so comfortable. I knew I could be 60 and touching the stage gracefully long as I’m healthy. It’s a lifestyle and a lifetime.

Kushite: And it’s also praise music. Spiritual music.