Dancehall songstress Denyque talks about her career and life as a mom in the music industry in this interview with Donovan Watkis.
Earlier this year, her story about a near-death experience while giving birth to her daughter captured the hearts of fans as Denyque spared no details about the traumatic experience that led to doctors making the life-changing decision to remove her uterus in order to save her life.
I’m good what’s going on?
Thanks for obliging this conversation. I remember first hearing you with Chino. How did that start?
I used to work with Stephen (McGregor) and he introduced me to Chino. I love working with Stephen.
What was your first hit?
Summer Love. I remember putting that song out late in August and it still hit.
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced as a woman in the music industry?
I’ve always been nervous onstage because I don’t have the switch that flips when I’m onstage yet. So I’m always focused on that(nervousness). There are also a lot of ‘riddims’ I never went on that I would have wanted to be on…and I don’t know why but that’s a challenge. There was a producer who told me I couldn’t be on his riddim because he voiced another female already.
You said you molded your performance based on international people. Who are some of these people?
Oh God I wish I could dance like her but Beyoncé, I love Beyoncé. Ciara too. I don’t have alotta confidence in my dancing. Aaliyah and Kerri Hilson too…and one more person…Adele. She brings this calm…she can just stand there and sing…she has presence.
What gives you the edge on stage?
If you weren’t doing music what would you be doing?
I’d be doing interior designing and I’d probably be doing psychology and helping people along life’s journey. I’d be an artist. Anything in the arts and acting for sure.
Have you ever acted?
Tell me some of the movies you turned down?
I was supposed to be the lead in King of the Dancehall but turned that down. I was supposed to be in Luke Cage and it got canceled.
You have managed to use social media to promote many brands. How did you build your social media?
I started doing a lot of shows and began to handle things on my own on social media. Volkswagen reached out. Samsung and Pepsi too but After Volkswagen, it was Iberostar JetBlue, Lifespan.
So brand Denyque is what you are building?
Yes, I want to be like soap powder. Everyone needs soap powder. Kim Kardashian level is where I want to be. She built an insane legacy. People go on social media to see what she’s doing and what she’s built I’m proud of it (without the sex tape) that’s where I want to be.
Figure out what you are good at. I am great at marketing myself and marketing brands. I am great at creating. I’m great at content creating and singing. My mind works in ways other people’s (mind) don’t. When you show me an apple seed I can see the tree, I can see the apples on the tree, I can see the apples fall off and the leaves fall off and I can see the apples blossom again. That’s how my brain works. I can see everything what it is now to what it can be then I can work diligently to make it be.
Another thing you have to be honest with yourself. Don’t just be doing and not getting anywhere and blame everyone. Many people throw away their lives for years trying to be a singer and they just aren’t talented. Some people are talented at business like you. So people just need to be honest with themselves.
Let’s talk about your baby, how has baby life changed you?
Do you think having a baby slowed you down?
Are you more motivated?
I feel more motivated, I feel more open. In 2016 I was awakened and I see things now in a whole new light. Little insecurities I don’t have now or they are so minute I just look over them.
Children make you hunt and appreciate your value. When are you going back to the stage?
I have been rehearsing and it has been refreshing.
So you will be doing some showcases?
Whats the value of putting together a full set to perform?
In all my years in the music industry I’ve done four major live shows. It gives people the opportunity to see me. I (still) have so many supporters drawn to me. I call them my supporters but I don’t have a celebrity complex.
A celebrity complex?
A lot of people tell me I need to get that and treat myself like a Star and I say I do treat myself like a Star but I’m not an arrogant bitch. I want my fans to feel comfortable
How do you manage the pressures of going on stage as a woman. Men can go on stage in slippers but women are required to be more (dressed) so how do you manage that?
As I mature a lot of myself comes out as I grow. When you go to a Jhene Aiko show she is simple, Teyana Taylor too. Figure out who you are and do that and be yourself. Rihanna is like that too.
Yeah? Well, Chronixx did say “Rih Rih a work work”.
Denyque thank you so much.
Thank you for having me.
For the full audio version of this and other music conversations listen to the Top Form Podcast on Spotify, iHeartRadio, Apple Podcast, or wherever you listen to podcasts.
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