Dancehall’s Regal Twins Discuss Their Career and Their Collaborative New Single

Twin sisters, Kaydine and Kerrine Francis, K Queens, have sung in close harmony from a young age. Sharing the stage for over a decade, K Queens have earned dancehall’s highest ratings. Their latest single “Jamdown Ranking” produced by Sugar Bear, on Rayvon’s GTC (Get That Cheddar Entertainment) Label; distributed by Tuff Gong International, is a remake of Althea and Donna (Althea Forrest and Donna Max de Reid)’s “Uptown Ranking.” The song’s “I’m Still in Love” riddim, was originally produced by Joe Gibbs in 1977. Alton Ellis hit song “I’m Still In Love” on this riddim, was later covered by Marcia Aitkens in 1987. In 2002, Sean Paul and Sasha revitalized the song, “I’m Still in Love” on the album, “Dutty Rock.” In the summer of 2018, Jay-Z and Beyonce used Aitken’s version of “I’m Still in Love” in the promotional ad for their second tour. In November 2018, K Queens laid down Up-to-Date lyrics over the Sugar Bear remodeled beat, for the modern, “Jamdown Ranking.” We caught up with the Duo, K Queens to discuss their music over time and their latest musical projects. Interview After The Jump

Interview

Angel: Greetings K Queens, otherwise known as the “Sexy Warriors.”

K Queens: Greetings Angel. Bounty Killer gave us that moniker when he was introducing us at a show. We love it because we are a versatile group – we can show a gangsta side and a sexy, sultry side in our live performances.

 

Angel: There has been a huge interest in your creative body of work, why do you think this is happening now?

K Queens:  We have been working on, perfecting and developing our craft. Rayvon always says “Time flies when you having fun.” We are passionate about our music and love doing this. We are strong believers and know that everything happens in Gods perfect timing. Nothing happens before its time.

Angel: Most definitely. Your remake of Althea and Donna’s “Uptown Ranking,” entitled “Jamdown Ranking,” produced by Sugar Bear was extraordinary. How did the project come about?

K Queens: We were at “Bounty Sundays” in Jamaica and met Sugar Bear and Rayvon.  Sugar Bear said, “I have this song that I want you to cover and no one else can do it.” So then, we went to studio and heard the song and we were familiar with the song, hearing it, growing up in our home. We then wanted to work with the producer on a modernized version of the song. We knew this would be a hit, but did not know it would be a mega hit or widely received by audiences internationally. We are so excited about the people’s response to this song. People that really know us from way back knew what we were capable of, however fans that only know the gangsta vocals were pleasantly surprised by this song.

Jamdown Ranking Lyrics

 Chorus

Si mi inna mi heels and ting, inna mi tight mini skirt and ting, gal get jealous and ting, tru mi have dem boyfriend head a spin
Nah pop no style, a strictly roots
Nah pop no style, a strictly roots.

Verse1
Fresh outta jubilee, hottas from wi born, wi nuh badmind, and wi nuh chat nuh gal, step inna di streets some gal affi keep calm, and when wi step inna di party they know who we are, some gal a schemer, wi and dem could neva par, seh dat dem independent and naah visit di bar, hype and dem agwaan and dem know dem anuh star, dem neva have dem cab fare and dem don’t own a car.
Si wi inna di bimma and ting, dally tru constant spring, dem tink seh wi come from golden spring but a tru dem nuh kno and ting, dem nuh know wi a top ranking, Jamdown Top Ranking.

Yuh shudda see wi and di general yeah, party nice and bare Hennessy, lone friend no enemy, no hypocrite fi drain wi energy.

Chorus

Nah pop no style, a strictly roots
Nah pop no style, a strictly roots.

Verse 2
Wi ever bless, man a mad ova wi, wi a top rank how dem fi above a wi, wi mek it look easy and so lovely, wi nice and cute and dem so ugly, tun up di base now mek mi wire waist, nuh boring a hot gal ting, man a lust when mi bumper a swing, waan mi fi him wife, waan spend off everyting.

Chorus

Nah pop no style, a strictly roots
Nah pop no style, a strictly roots.

 “We are strong believers and know that everything happens in God’s perfect timing. Nothing happens before its time.”-K Queens

 

Angel: It is special and I hope that you both have the opportunity to meet Althea and Donna one day. How did the K Queens musical journey begin?

K Queens: Where do we begin? Wow, we have been doing this music for a while. A lot of ones think that we just come. Our dad was a great lover of music and when we were born, he said we had a distinctive sound when we cried and it rather sounded like birds making musical sounds. As we grew, many bands would rehearse by our home and we would try to emulate what we heard. Our parents noticed that we were good. We would actually sing and bang on the door to make beats. My dad had to replace our room door like three times, but he was so patient with us. He understood that we were building our craft because he was around so many creatives himself. Our parents were supportive of our musical goals from day one.

Angel: When did you have your first big break?

K Queens: My father created the opportunity for us to work with legendary producer, Phillip Fatis Burrell (Rest in Peace). Garfield the engineer for the Xterminator camp used to pick us up from school and he and Fatis worked with us in the studio to improve our vocal range. “Open up ya mout and sing out” Garfield would say, we enjoyed these vocal drills, even though they were intense.

Our first big break came when Reggae Legend, Gregory Isaacs invited us to open for his European tour. Rest in peace, Gregory,  he really believed in us.  We were the opening act and would perform up to 30-40 minutes before he came on stage. We did 28 shows in Europe with Gregory. Sizzla Kalonj, who we knew from the Xterminator Camp even joined the tour with us in Paris.

KQueens Tour with Gregory Issacs in 2008

After this major tour, we kept performing and recording more songs. Bounty Killer went to a show in Atlanta, where we were the opening act. We met him after the show and asked him how we could collaborate with him. He said you would have to come to Jamaica. Therefore, we got on a plane and went to Jamaica, and we performed as the opening act of any Bounty Killer show. We would see the flyer with Bounty Killer, and call the promoter or organizer for the show and request to open.  New Kidz finally came up to us after one of the shows and let us know that Bounty Killer wanted to meet us. After that, we became part of Bounty Killer’s Alliance – Galliance. We are the only females and still are the only females of Alliance. Bounty Killer is our Manager and biggest motivator; he tells us as is.

Sometimes we are complaining about this person said this or that- and he reminds us to stay focused. Being around an all-male camp, you have to be rough and rugged and be able to hold a crowd after 4am with a Gangsta and energetic sound.

Now we are starting to show people our other various musical styles with “Jamdown Ranking,”  “Blue Mountain,” “Happy,”  “Ex Call,’ and “Rum Kum Dash” etc.

Angel: I love the song Happy, what was the inspiration behind this song?

K Queens: DJ God presented his “Celebrate Life” riddim to us and it right away evoked a happy feeling in us both. We then went into the studio with Producer Neutron to create a song for the riddim. The song is about our positive energy and our strong faith in God in good and bad times.

Angel: I love the “Book of Psalms” in the Bible and this song, refers to the powerful Psalms, Psalms 35.

K Queens: The Power of Prayer, Angel. People say all kinds of things about us but we stay focused on God and our purpose. Sometimes, they say, so long you been doing this, and you still do not have this or that, but we stay focused. We stay in our own lane, we not competition with no one. We just steadily perfecting our craft.

Angel: Love the positivity. I love the song “Ex-Call” so many can relate to this one. The infamous Ex-Call!

K  Queens: You know it happens to us all! We knew the producer of the “Soulmate” riddim, Carl Morrison, he knew us from our work with Fatis Burrell, so collaborating with him on a song was a real treasure. He knows us from the beginning.

“The Power of Prayer, Angel. People say all kinds of things about us but we stay focused on God and our purpose. Sometimes, they say, so long you been doing this, and we still do not have this or that, but we stay focused. We stay in our own lane, we not competition with no one. We just steadily perfecting our craft.”- K Queens

Angel: Tell us about collaborating with artist Kolado on “God Bless Body.”

K Queens: It was great working with Kolado on God Bless Body. He was so influential to our writing process. At times, we were being hesitant regarding what we really wanted to say in the music and he was like “do not play it so safe, come out of your shell with your writing.” Cross Criss from Alliance Next Generation helped to bring this collaboration together and we shot the video at Endless Studios.

Angel: Who are some of your musical role models?

K Queens: We love and adore, Lady Saw, Marion Hall, Legend! From her lyrics, her sound, her look! She could hold an audience as much as any man. We look up to Bounty Killer and Sizzla Kalonji, the living legends in this business.

Angel: What sets K Queens apart?

K Queens: We stay in our lane, we practice our craft and we are versatile. We are able to perform before any audience because of our versatility.

Angel: So you both reside here in the United States?

K  Queens: Yeah, we were born in Portmore, Gaza City, Jamaica, but our parents migrated to the United States before we were born so we always went back and forth from a young age from Jamaica to the United States. In 2000, we made the south side of Atlanta, Georgia our home.

Angel: What is next for K Queens?

 

K Queens: We are planning to do a media run at specific radio shows in New York, CT, Miami. Then we will be shooting the video for “Rum Kum Dash.” Following this, we will work on recording our EP.

Angel: This is an exciting time for K Queens. We thank you for taking the time to share with Boomshots Magazine.

K Queens: Thank you Angel, we are so grateful to Boomshots Magazine for featuring our music and our musical journey.

Sugar Bear on the Production of Jamdown Ranking

“I have been a fan of both K Queens and Bounty Killer for a while. I knew that K Queens could pull off a remake of this song. I could not think of any other group that could recreate the song for a modern sound. There was a lot that went into the production for “Jamdown Ranking.” The instrumental had the same backbone as the Joe Gibbs production but I worked with musicians, Gillespie and Neutron to create variations in the instrumental patterns such as the bass and the horns. After the musical direction, I worked with Michael Prochilo to mix, arrange and master the production. All of this happened prior to even approaching K Queens at “Bounty Sundays.” K Queens ended up loving the musical sound, wrote the lyrics and here we have it, “Jamdown Ranking. “-Sugar Bear

Rayvon Speaks on the Collaborative Nature of “Jamdown Ranking”

The GTC (Get That Cheddar Entertainment) label is a new business venture for me. The first song released on this independent label, was my single “Trouble Again.” The song was widely distributed by the Marley’s Tuff Gong International label. “Jamdown Ranking” is the second song on my label and I wanted to keep the partnership going with Tuff Gong, so they are distributing this single by K Queens, produced by Sugar Bear. Sugar Bear and I have worked really closely over the years and just embarked on an East Coast Tour this December. -Rayvon

K Queens on Apple Music

Written By: Angel Love @LoveDeepAngel

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