Growing up in Atlanta, from an early age Divinity Roxx was exposed to funk, soul and R&B music through her parents, eventually falling in love with the hip-hop scene as it evolved in the city.
Fast forward, Divinity became the driving force behind the bass of Beyoncé and featured on countless television shows like Ellen, Oprah, Saturday Night Live, not to mention, performing at The White House for President Obama.
Women's Audio Mission Studio
How did you get into music?
I've always loved music so when I was in grade school and the band teacher came around to all the classrooms to recruit band students, I joined immediately. Same thing with the Chorus. By the time I got to high school, I focused more on sports and started writing raps. I founded a hip hop group in high school, DATBU. Our DJ was DJ Kemit who toured with Arrested Development. We went on to open up for some of the legendary hip-hop groups to come through Atlanta. We opened up for groups like The Roots and De La Soul back in the day.
Let’s talk about bass, when did you first pick up a bass guitar?
I picked up the bass during my second year in college. I was at UC Berkeley studying to be a journalist. I fell in love with bass. I left Berkeley and jumped in the music scene in Atlanta and never looked back. I started performing around town and playing gigs and became pretty well known for it. I was rapping and playing bass and putting bands together for shows.
At one point I had a trio with the guitar player who now tours with Janelle Monae (Kellindo), and Carlos McSwain who began touring for Snoop. Carlos passed away last year and it broke our hearts. He was a helluva drummer. I auditioned for Beyonce's original all-female band and got the gig. Then I was touring all over the world with an incredible group of female musicians.
When did you get involved with the Women’s Audio Mission organization?
Women's Audio Mission popped up on my radar some years ago. I thought, woah, that's pretty awesome, a studio run by female engineers and producers. That's exactly what we need!
Terri Winston has a great philosophy about why we need more women in studios around the world and she is building an army of talented, knowledgeable and capable women to spread out over the recording world and impact it in positive, inspiring ways.
Women's Audio Mission Studio
Do you love the technical part of music regarding recording, mixing, etc.?
I do love some of the technical aspects of recording. I started exploring DAW's and recording equipment when I picked up the bass. I wanted to create the music I wanted to hear and oftentimes the gatekeepers wanted me to make the music they thought I should make.
I love recording and dialing in great sounds. I also love producing. I'm still working on my mixing skills, but it's just a matter of practice.
You’ve very much been an icon in the industry as you’ve performed with countless stars over the years, what has been your most memorable gig ever, and why?
That's a tough one. When I think about it, I have played a LOT of gigs. Playing the White House with Beyoncé was special because we played for Barack Obama and his family and it just felt really incredible to be a part of that history. Playing Glastonbury as a member of an all-female band with the first woman to ever headline the festival was pretty huge.
The first time we played Madison Square Garden was a high I'll never forget. Playing in an all-female band that honored the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin after her death in the first televised tribute with artists like Jazmine Sullivan, Fantasia, Stephanie Mills, and Ledesi (Black Girls Rock BET) was pretty amazing too. But I think the most memorable gig I ever played was in Brazil with Beyoncé.
We had toured the world over and thought we were going to go home and have a little break, but we went to South America instead of another leg of the tour. We were tired. I was tired.
Beyoncé & Divinity Roxx
I remember standing on stage waiting for the kabuki to drop and thinking, wow here we go again. I was trying to pump myself up but I was exhausted.
We were getting ready to play 'Crazy' and it felt like we had played 'Crazy in Love' over a hundred million times already. We played the intro and then the kabuki dropped. I looked out and saw 50,000 people screaming. People for as far as the eye could see. Something inside of me clicked.
I let out a warrior scream because the energy was so electric. It's indescribable, that feeling. I started moving and playing my heart out. I kept thinking, thank you, thank you! We played so hard that night and we were on such a high that entire tour.
Those crowds are unlike any other crowds in the world. I always think about that gig when I think of the most memorable one. It was magical.
The Beyonce band got together recently to record again, how did that go?
It's always a blast to get together with my sisters and make music. They're all super talented and full of incredible ideas. Nikki Glaspie (drums) is a powerhouse, Katty (bari and tenor sax ) and Tia (tenor sax and flute) are so creative and always come up with the illest horn lines. Kat Dyson (guitar) is an OG and while she didn't play with Beyoncé, she was busy rocking it out with artists like Prince and Cyndi Lauper, she is a legend, and Marci (percussion), she’s got grooves for days!
The whole thing came about at a summer camp Marci hosted at the high school she teaches at in Salinas, CA.
Tia Fuller & Katty Rodriguez
We all taught at the camp and spent a week together catching up and dreaming out loud. We've been talking for years about recording and somehow the stars aligned and we did it.
I had this little groove idea I recorded at home and I sent it to all the ladies. They liked it so we decided we'd record it. I talked to Terri about it and she loved the idea so we booked the studio and cut the record.
We have been in the trenches together. We know each other. We love each other. We respect each other, and once we decide to do something as a unit, we are unstoppable. We've been sharing ideas back and forth and this may culminate into a full album, (fingers crossed).
We hope so too! Btw, thanks for making the session available to our readers!
I'm excited about the Mixed with MEGA promo with Plugin Alliance. I hope people have fun with the record. It's really a powerful song with a message that just so happens to be for the moment we are living in right now.
What is the idea/message of the song “Higher”?
We have to rise Higher and vibrate Higher more than ever now, and people have to be aggressive about vibrating higher and encouraging others around them to do the same.
There's only one Earth. There's only one race, the human race. And what happens to anyone of us happens to us all.
Listen to 'Higher':
We recently visited the Women’s Audio Mission studio to film Divinity Roxx & the OG’s record 'Higher' watch the full video here:
Want more Divinity Roxx? Check out her official website:
Women’s Audio Mission Website:
Buy 'Higher' here:
Divinity Roxx Bass and Lead Vocals
Nikki Glaspie: Drums
Kat Dyson: Guitar
Marci Chapa: Percussion
Katty Rodriguez: Baritone Sax, Tenor Sax, Vocals
Tia Fuller: Alto Sax, Flute,
Soloist Recorded at Women's Audio Mission by Veronica Simonetti and Terri Winston
Mix Engineer: Eric Racy
Mastering: Case Mastering
Cover Art: Jetter Green
Banner photo: Marc Mennigmann