Culture Envy: The buzz about Honey Queen

Anjalica Solomon explores the sweetness of queer love in thier latest video

Anjalica Solomon, the writer performer and poet behind “Honey Queen”. (submitted/ @zeustate @asiabruggiero)

“Honey Queen” is a poem set to music written and performed by Anjalica Solomon. They had a dream of themself wrapped in gold, a higher version of themself living lusciously. When they woke up, they began writing.

“‘Honey Queen’ is a poem that I wrote out of love, just out of a feeling arising within me, my queerness and my desire to kind of go against what would be considered a more normal or heteronormative kind of love,” says Solomon. “And it was kind of me reckoning with my feelings for someone special in my life.”

The poem was set to guitar played by Ameer Corro, mixed by Oatmeal Queen, directed, choreographed, and filmed by Chantal Gering.

Filming a piece that is this intimate is most optimal when one is comfortable with the person behind the camera, so Gering, Solomon’s best friend, was the perfect candidate.

“It was easy for me to be like, ‘Okay, I’m just gonna eat this mango seductively and it’s going to be totally cool.’ You’re my best friend,” says Soloman about working with Gering. 

“Next thing you know, we’re in the forest with our titties out all over the place, just having a good grand old time.”

Solomon is a gender-fluid, queer, full-time artist. They have a rich creative background as not only a spoken word artist and multidisciplinary performer, but also as a Desi singer, songwriter, lyricist, loop pedalist, pianist, and clarinet player to name a few. 

They are also a leader in arts administration and education, developing workshops with Wordplay Vancouver, organizing and hosting UBC Slam Poetry and Vancouver Poetry Slam. They are also working with the Indian Summer Festival, UBC Arts and Culture, Verses Festival of Words, The Cultch Theatre, and the TD Coastal Jazz Festival. 

Solomon attributes their success as an artist to their deep sense of community, their numerous influential mentors, and their dream to continue to foster the arts in Vancouver.

“Sometimes, we have to build our own community because we don’t see ourselves represented. So, you know, I think my experience in the art community just shows my hunger to connect with other artists,” says Solomon. 

“I have so many amazing mentors that are queer and brown, and they deserve more recognition and like, yeah, I think I deserve more recognition just because voices like mine are, of course, marginalized and of course, put at bay.” 

Solomon believes that Vancouver is dominated by “No offense … Rex Orange County Wannabes”, AKA straight, white males, and thinks that queer, brown, non-binary folks and women deserve to been seen and see themselves represented.

“I grew up kind of always being asked to keep my power at bay, to keep my sensuality at bay, to dress a certain way, to talk a certain way, to not be queer, not be different. And I think it’s important for my voice to be heard because I know I’m not the only one,” says Solomon. 

“I know that there’s other queer brown amazing artists out there that deserve, like we all deserve, to be showcased to be heard.”

To see more of their work, follow them @anjalicrush on Instagram.