by Ayanna Jacobs-El
Deqn Sue (Pronounced: Deacon Sue) is forging her own path within the music world. According to her website, “She is alternative pop with a sharp lyrical edge bursting with message and humor.” I think that one sentence is the perfect summary of the unique music that the Los-Angeles based singer-songwriter creates. When you listen to Deqn Sue’s music you can tell that she isn’t holding anything back and allowing you to have a special look into her creative mind.
I learned about Deqn Sue from her 2015 performance on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert Series. She previously entered into the Tiny Desk Contest and nearly won the competition. Even though she didn’t win, Bob Boilen, the head of the Tiny Desk Concert Series, loved her song “Magenta” so much that he still invited her to perform. I loved her energy and “Magenta” is such a quirky, fun, and upbeat song that you can’t help but sing along to. I really like the lyrics of the song which are all about equating colors with emotions. I also enjoyed the production which meshes electronic elements with rock, pop, and soul.
During her Tiny Desk performance, she also performed her song “Bloody Monster” which is about a racist comment her college roommate said to her. Even though the subject matter is very unfortunate, the song contrasts the negative subject matter with a joyful gospel feel and a bouncy groove that makes you want to dance. I think that it’s great that she was able to channel her feelings about the awful experience into a wonderful song. Writing about her experience is also a great way for her to constructively vent and bring awareness to racial issues that still run rampant in our society. Her song “Bloody Monster” also made an appearance during the season 4 episode 11 ending credits of the popular Netflix series Orange Is The New Black.
Throughout her Tiny Desk Performance, Deqn Sue was supported on bass and keyboard by her Grammy-nominated producer Kelvin Wooten. Wooten is currently based out of Huntsville, Alabama and has worked with artists such as Anthony Hamilton, Earth, Wind & Fire, Mary J. Blige, Jill Scott, Raphael Saadiq, Macy Gray, and TLC to name a few. Deqn Sue is currently signed to his WoodaWorx label which is also the name of his recording and production studio in Alabama. If you want to learn more about Kelvin Wooten you can check out this interview I had with him last year.
Currently, Deqn Sue has been releasing a new song each week as a part of her Pink Donut Shop. Each song will only be available that current week, and after 10 weeks she will release all the songs as a full album. While you’re waiting for her new album release, you can listen to her two EP’s titled Snack and Idiosyncratic and her 2014 album Zeitgeist.