Music industry veterans Eve, Brandy and Naturi Naughton joined co-star Nadine Velazquez and Variety reporter Angelique Jackson during the Entertainment All Access experience at ESSENCE Culture Festival 2021 presented by Coca-Cola to preview their upcoming ABC drama series, “Queens.”
In this highly anticipated musical drama featuring original compositions by legendary producer Swizz Beatz, the four actresses play distant members of the hip-hop supergroup Nasty Bitches, who reunite after years of separation to seize the opportunity to regain their notoriety. . Now in their 40s and having been out of touch for years, can these ladies rekindle the arrogance that made them big in the industry in the 90s?
As an artist herself, Eve says she identifies with the plight of former rapper Brianna aka “Professor Sex” and understands the need to keep that inner spark alight. “They were the greatest hip-hop group in their day,” she said. “It was those girls, period. Every girl wanted to be them, every guy wanted to be with them. And, just like in real life, life comes. But you always need that fire in return. You always have to be with them. go back to “that girl”.
A popular singer since her teenage years, Brandy was especially drawn to the musical elements of this new acting adventure. But she had to tap into a major inspiration to immerse herself in the rapping aspect of her character Naomi aka “Xplicit Lyrics”.
“Music is my first love, so it’s a dream role to be able to sing and rap and do all the musical elements that come with this show,” Brandy said. “For Naomi, she loves singing and that’s one of the reasons she joined the band, but she realized that she can rap too. So I take my inspiration from Nas, Biggie, Pac, that time. It was an amazing time to play both Naomi and Xplicit Lyrics.
Naturi Naughton felt transported to her 3LWs as she shot music video scenes under the name Jill aka “Da Thrill”, and drew on her own experiences to bring her role to life.
“It was so much fun,” Naughton said. “It kind of took me back to when I was making music videos, being part of a girl group, being in the music business and reliving some of that was definitely a bit nostalgic for me, but amusing!”
Veteran film and television actress Nadine Velazquez is more than comfortable in the acting arena, but has leaned on her co-stars for support while stepping into musical mode as Valeria aka “Butter Pecan”. “We all know I have no musical background,” she laughed, as her co-stars let her know that she had “killed” him in her role. “I came into this as someone who has no experience in rap, no singing, never played live, and always being in the context and held by each of them, I was able to go through this because they’re so crazy. They were so supportive and helpful, so there was a bond that was created. There was an honesty, a rawness and a reality, and you really see it (on screen). “
Check out the full conversation in the video above. To learn more about everything you missed out on in week 1 of the Entertainment All Access experience at ESSENCE Culture Festival 2021, visit the official webpage HERE.
ESSENCE Entertainment All Access is sponsored by ABC, Disney, ESPN, Amazon Prime Video, Freeform, Hulu, FOX, STARZ, Tubi and VH1.