Real-life R&B royalty leads the cast of a dramatic new offering about a reunited hip-hop group
CTVTelevision is bringing another band back together... or, more precisely, another girl group.
Not long after the Tina Fey-produced comedy Girls5eva reunited a broken-up pop band, so does the drama series Queens. Music stars Brandy and Eve play, along with Naturi Naughton (Power) and Nadine Velazquez (Flight), members of a ’90s hip-hop group who try to recapture their former fame and friendship a couple decades after a very messy, very public split. Each woman walks a different path now, with different challenges in their personal lives, making the reunion bid shaky. Taylor Selé portrays their manager, who also handles the currently popular Lil Muffin (Pepi Sonuga).
“I think our show is about sisterhood and family,” says creator and executive producer Zahir McGhee (late of ABC’s Scandal). “You fight with your family, and these are people that have been brought back together after a long period of time. There’s always going to be arguments. There’s always going to be a hierarchy that exists, and shifting, but we do want to be on the friendship more than rivalry or bickering or backstabbing.”
CTVSince its main characters’ fame hails from the 1990s, Queens invokes that decade significantly. “We’ve lived that time,” ex-The Talk co-host Eve reasons. “We come from that time, so it’s important for us, and there definitely will be moments from those times. When people listen to the music, when they see our outfits, when they see our hair, everything... we want them to be transported back to that moment. It’s all about the authenticity.”
For Brandy, who previously had a healthy series run with the sitcom Moesha, it’s also all about getting to fulfill her major career aims. “You’re born with this passion,” she reflects, “and you go after the things that you dream about. I’ve always wanted to sing. I’ve always wanted to inspire people, and I just felt that that was my purpose, so I went after it. And this show Queens is such a blessing, because I get to do everything that I love to do all in one show, with amazing people. I’m just so excited. I can’t even believe this is happening.”
Swizz Beatz serves as executive music producer of Queens, and his mission is to make the show’s soundtrack as vital as the drama—with each of those elements enhancing the other.
“It’s almost like reliving your younger life again,” he maintains. “I actually was doing this in the ’90s, so to come back and do it in 2021, it just feels good. It feels natural. And being that it’s a show, I get to have extra fun. I don’t have to be so serious with the music. We can put risky things in there and make the characters come out even more, so it’s been a fun journey.”
Queens airs Tuesdays at 10:01 p.m. on CTV & ABC