An album of gratitude
Since the start of 2020, it felt like it was one thing after another affecting many communities in devastating ways. Yet, there were some people in those communities ready to hold it down and protect the ones they loved, reminding them also that it isn’t time to give up yet. For artist, Artson, the person in his community (his life to be specific) that held it down was his wife. The previous year, despite having a bunch of highs, also brought lows. When his mental health was declining, it was her who served as his motivation to continue doing music. That motivation led to Queendom, his latest project that gives listeners a look into his relationship but also a broader view of his talents.
The opener, “I Believe,” has a melodic R&B production led by a guitar. Artson’s hazy vocals appear to sing the words, “I believe in you and me,” setting the tone for what the rest of the album is going to bring. “Move Me” brings out a more groovy beat. The bouncy drums allow for Artson’s flow to hop around the production. It has the catchiest chorus on the project with a smooth vocal saying, “I love the way that you move me.”
“If I Could” has the best production overall. It’s a trap-infused beat with a pretty simple drum beat, but it’s the ornamentation of synth keys and distorted vocals that really bring it to a different level. Here, Artson is putting his heart on full display. It’s as if he’s telling a story from the time he meets this woman to when he gets to actually be around her and how he just wishes he could give her everything from that moment on. “We Goin Be Alright” immediately follows after. It feels like the continuation of the story Artson made with the previous track. For “We Goin Be Alright,” it feels like the two lovers are only confirming that no matter what happens, they will be there for each other in the end.
The muse of the album makes her way onto a track as She-Rōze on “Heavy Heart.” It is a moment for Artson to recognize those who have helped him get to where he is now and him reassuring them that he is going to continue working hard. She-Rōze takes over the track with her sultry voice. Her verse allows people into her point of view as they watch her say how she is willing to be there and protect the one she loves. When talking about his wife’s feature, Artson says: “She’s actually been heavily involved in all of my albums over the last decade, but the pandemic lit something inside of her that she’s held back all these years…There’s a warmth, an edge and realness to her style that’s unexpected, striking and authentically unique.” Everything he said is out on display in this track.
The final and best track on the project is “My Love,” featuring QVLN and Kaovanny. It’s a danceable track with another language being featured. The soulful Spanish lines against Artson’s English vocals don’t clash. It brings something nice to the track. The liveliness of the track ends the project on such a nice note.
Women are considered some of the strongest beings in any species. They fight for the ones they love and are willing to protect anyone. People see it in their own communities and households. Artson wanted to honor the woman in his life who was able to get him through one of the toughest times. Queendom is a letter of thanks and gratitude to his wife while simultaneously displaying his new range and growth.