Queen M Releases Debut Single/Video 'Colour Of Her Skin'
By Jason Schneider.
Marcia Alderson lives in Collingwood, Ontario, north of Toronto in a region commonly known as a popular weekend getaway destination for the privileged. She’s made a nice life for herself there as a real estate agent, while singing on the side in a band specializing in Motown and Bob Marley covers, the latter a nod to her Jamaican heritage.
But like so many others, Alderson was shaken to her core after seeing what unfolded during the summer of 2020 in the wake of George Floyd’s murder. It brought out suppressed memories of the racism her mother faced while trying to make a new life in Canada after emigrating from Jamaica in the 1950s. Her struggle eventually led her to the man she would marry – a white man – who put his entire livelihood in jeopardy in order to help her get the house she wanted.
For Alderson, her parents’ story is proof that racism can be overcome when people simply stand up to it. She saw that spirit in action again in 2020 when, even in Collingwood, 2,000 of its citizens peacefully marched on multiple occasions in support of #BlackLivesMatter. Being part of that protest inspired Alderson to re-evaluate her musical pursuits, and channel that energy into writing original songs for the first time.
It’s prompted the creation of a new persona, Queen M, and a debut single, “Colour Of Her Skin,” a tribute to her mother. Produced by Alderson’s main collaborator, Collingwood scene fixture Craig Smith (also of the band Ontarians), the song is a neo-Soul banger incorporating dashes of Caribbean flavour, and powered by lines such as, “Freedom has its conditions in the land of the northern lights.”
She explains, “When the murder of George Floyd was dominating the airwaves, the story of how my parents met came back to me during a conversation with my teenage son. I hadn’t thought about it in decades. From there I wrote a Facebook post telling their story and I found myself on a megaphone recanting it once again at a BLM rally.
“When Craig suggested that we write an original song together, he told me to write about what I knew. I went to bed that night and woke up at 2 a.m. with the line, ‘Privilege and palm trees and the land of ice and snow’ floating around in my head. Within a half-hour I had a full page of lyrics. It was surreal actually; the words flowed right through me. Craig and I got together a few days later and we sculpted those words into what is now ‘Colour Of Her Skin.’ Craig put some fabulous music to it and here we are.”
Alderson hopes that by releasing “Colour Of Her Skin” to coincide with Black History Month 2022, she will be able to do more to motivate people to confront racism in all its forms. However, this is just the beginning for Queen M, now a full-fledged band featuring, along with Smith on guitar, veteran drummer Bambalamb Kidd and bassist Kyle Dreany. More new songs are currently in the works, with the band aiming to release an EP later in 2022.