InspiHERed By spotlights phenomenal women in the Black queer community—everyone from artists to activists. Each week ELIXHER features someone whose personal journey and individual craft inspire us to dream bigger, laugh harder, and love deeper. ELIXHER recently chatted with Jonquille Rice, also known as SolSis and Dappho the Flow-Er, a 29-year-old artist and educator from Washington, D.C.
ELIXHER: You’re a part of acoustic folk soul duo, SolRose, and female rock and soul band, The CooLots. When and how did the groups begin?
JONQUILLE: The CooLots began almost 2 years ago. A friend of mine, Yaz, and I shared a love of music and wanted to get something started. She had been in talks with our lead singer, Crystal, about the endeavor. I made some calls to local musicians I met around town and at my open mic (Lyrics & Lace). Rehearsal was set, and The CooLots were born.
SolRose came together not too long after The CooLots in late 2010. I had known Justice Roes in passing and got reacquainted after a bandmate brought her to a CooLots practice. We vibed well and decided to meet regularly. At one practice I simply said, ‘You know what Justice…we should just be a band!’ and she said, ‘Ok.’ And that was the beginning of SolRose.
ELIXHER: When did you begin pursuing singing as a passion?
JONQUILLE: Well I have always been musical. I composed songs as a child, sung in the church choir, and the school gospel choir. I became more serious about it when I got offered this shady “rap contract” from someone who frequented my open mic a few years ago. I didn’t sign but I did begin to think of performing music more passionately. I connected with friends of mine who gave me beats to write to and got myself into two bands.
ELIXHER: Where do you get your inspiration from (musically, personally or both)?
JONQUILLE: From life, people I see, places I go. I seem to write a lot more freely when I am infatuated with something or someone. Other inspirations are current established and indie artists like Me’Shell N’Degeocello, lowercase letters, The Police, Tamika Love Jones, etc.
ELIXHER: You’re “December” in bklyn boihood’s 2012 calendar. You look amazing! What was that experience like?
JONQUILLE: [Laughs.] I am indeed. The experience was excellence. I tell ya, Ryann, Genesis, and the whole team were on point, encouraging, particular in what they wanted, and hella cool. I love Brooklyn anyway, but hanging out with them for the shoot definitely added some flare to my visit. I respect bklyn boihood‘s cause and mission, a constant salute to you guys!
ELIXHER: What scares you?
JONQUILLE: Success. It’s just Satan. I recognize that lying ass ninja! Change. This constant phenomenon still makes me uneasy initially. I know I am well equipped to handle any situation. We all are.
ELIXHER: What’s one lesson you’ve had to learn more than once?
JONQUILLE: Practicing patience and being courageous. Damn, that’s two huh?
ELIXHER: What makes you proud to be a part of the black queer community?
JONQUILLE: I feel like I represent properly and that makes me feel proud to be a part of the black queer community.
ELIXHER: What changes would you like to see in the community?
JONQUILLE: I would like to see less misogyny amongst the lesbian community. There is something sick about a female who devalues her fellow woman. For example, in attempts to hurt my feelings in a loud late night libation-inspired conversation, a ‘dom’ girl proceeded to call me ‘faggot’ because of the hot pink pants I was wearing. I laughed and thought it a crying shame that she thought she insulted me. So calling me a ‘faggot,’ a derogatory term for a more effeminate male, is supposed to offend me because I am a ‘dom’ which is more masculine. In the words of the great Mr. West, ‘Man the shit is fucking ridiculous!’ We are all affected by our society and by our environment in one way or the other, but we must learn to get knowledge and act out love. The struggle won’t be so hard then.
ELIXHER: What’s next for Jonquille?
JONQUILLE: Everything. I’m looking into acting, VJing, a radio show, and much much more.
For more information about Jonquille aka SolSis, check her out on Facebook.