Queen V is a Yorkshire born singer songwriter. Vegetarian since she was 8 years old, she became vegan in 2016. After the transition, Queen V decided to make the best out of her unique voice and composing skills, by creating a YouTube channel where her songs are catalyst of a powerful message for the rights of animals.
A few days ago, we had the pleasure to interview Queen V on the occasion of the publication of a Japanese-subtitle version of “What Hell is Like”, a powerful song which was awarded the first prize at the FxEctive Factor vegan talent contest at VegfestUK Brighton 2018. We also share one of her singles, “Only One Life”, which will be soon available with Japanese subtitles.
VegeTime: Since when have you been doing music?
Queen V: I wrote my first song around the age of 12. I actually play the violin and had awesome parents who took me to violin and piano lessons when I was a kid. I was 7 when I picked up the violin! Piano came a little later at 10 years old – I was jealous of my sisters who were having lessons!
VT: What made you decide to go vegan?
QV: I’ve been vegetarian since I was 8 years old, making the connection pretty early that I shouldn’t eat animals if I love them and want to protect them. I honestly thought I was doing everything I could being vegetarian. I moved to London in January 2016, where I met a few influential people who told me about veganism and showed me documentaries such as ‘Cowspiracy’ and ‘Forks over Knives.’ I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and I went vegan very shortly after.
VT: How do you experience the connection between art and activism?
QV: I’ve been writing songs for a long time, and it frustrated me that all I could really write about was love and different relationships. It just didn’t seem massively fulfilling. After I went vegan, I just naturally started to write for the animals. I finally feel like I have something worthwhile and important to share. I don’t want people to listen to me for me, I want them to listen to me for the animals. For our planet.
VT: What’s the animal rights movement/veganism in the UK like?
QV: It’s strong and it’s growing which is wonderful to see – finally people are waking up. I’m very lucky living in London – there’s always something vegan on the menu, with plenty of vegan options in supermarkets, and plenty of veggie restaurants too! I know it’s not so great in other places in the UK, but with big corporate chains like ‘Tesco’ bringing more and more vegan products in to their stores, I know it’s definitely something on the rise everywhere, just possibly a little slower in some places!
VT: In what context did you write “What Hell is Like”?
QV: An amazing animal rights activist based here in the UK ‘Earthling Ed’ made a documentary (along with his charity ‘Surge’) called ‘Land of Hope and Glory,’ which is footage of different UK farms, showing how bad the conditions for farm animals can be here on home soil. It’s similar to ‘Earthlings’ in the way it’s done. I watched it and was completely heartbroken. I still am. After watching it I just felt compelled and moved to write a song for the animals. I can’t begin to comprehend how utterly despicable it is that humans put so many animals through a life of misery with a brutal ending. So ‘What Hell Is Like’ was created, and I still find it difficult to watch the footage I used. I can’t watch it. But I have to. It’s so sad. So wrong.
VT: We were amazed with the production work for your single “Only One Life”! Could you tell us a bit about this song?
QV: I have released a couple of singles so far, ‘Only One Life’ and ‘What’s It Gonna Take.’ Only one life talks about how we use ‘God’ as an excuse for so many things. Do something bad and pray for forgiveness. The song addresses the fact that there PROBABLY IS only one life – for everyone. AND even if there IS many lives for everyone – no one knows for sure!!! But we should have a bit more consideration for the life of each individual. Just because a pig isn’t human, doesn’t mean he or she doesn’t have the right to a happy life.
’What’s It Gonna Take’ talks less about animals, and more about the impact our choices and selfishness are having on our planet. Being vegan you are massively reducing your role in global warming, ocean dead zones, deforestation, overfishing, animal extinction, drought… and so many more issues.
VT: It’s a pleasure to share your songs! Would you like to leave a message for Japan?
QV: Hey guys! I’m really happy to do a translation video for my songs ‘What Hell Is Like’ and ‘Only One Life’ for all of you in Japan. I hope you like the music and the words, and if you feel it will help get through to other people please share it or use it in your own animal activism.