Queen Aishah: We are so fortunate to have her

by Brandon Fralic

Airport background noise does very little to keep Queen Aishah’s voice from coming through my cellphone loud and clear. The Queen has a big voice, and a big personality to match it. Departing Los Angeles, she was jetting off to Alaska for Memorial Day Weekend to perform back-to-back comedy shows in Anchorage. Soon, she’ll be right here in Bellingham.

Queen Aishah has been a comedian for over 20 years. “I look like I’m 20-something — that comes from my good genes,” she joked. Aishah grew up in New Jersey and moved to Washington, DC in the 90s. It was there that she first stepped into the comedy world.

“I really believe that when you’re not doing what you’re supposed to do, the universe starts bringing people or experiences to you for you to pay attention,” she explained. At the time, Aishah was working retail. Coworkers and customers started asking if she was a comedian because of her natural ability to make them laugh. She decided to give comedy a shot, and went on stage for the first time at Mr. Henry’s in Washington, DC. Though her first show “did not do that great,” she stuck with it and began to develop a love for the work. Twenty years later, that initial persistence is still paying off.

From starring in a Verizon commercial (google it) to producing her own all-female comedy tour, Funny-n-Stilettos, this Queen is as busy — and successful — as they come. And she rules like one, too. Regarding Funny-n-Stilettos, Aishah said, “No men allowed. A lot of guys wanna do it. They be like, ‘If I put stilettos on can I do it?’ And we like, no.”

Rather than asking for a shoe-in to her show, I wanted to know more about the origins of Queen Aishah’s name. Much of her early inspiration came from fellow Jersey native, Queen Latifah. “We from the same hood,” Aishah said. “Queen Latifah, she called herself a queen. And I was like, I’m a queen too! I started calling myself Queen Aishah before I started doing comedy.”

On stage, Aishah tells it like it is. Shying away from no topic — politics, race, and family are all fair game — she’s known for making jokes out of “what most are thinking but too afraid to say.” At the same time, she strives for a positive impact and is passionate about using humor to heal. After all, laughter is the best medicine.

“We have to take care of ourselves. If you are not, that affects your self esteem, your confidence, and everything,” Aishah said. She’s a strong advocate for self-worth and identity: “We can respectfully disagree. I just have who I am and you have who you are, and that’s ok.”

When it comes to music, Aishah is an R&B lady. “I love the song by Johnny Gill and New Edition because I am the original Candy Girl,” she explained, referring to “This One’s For You and Me.” She confessed her love for Sam Smith, admitting that they are friends in her mind. “In my head all things are real,” Aishah assured me. She’ll be using CeeLo Green’s “Working Class Heroes (Work)” and a Selena Gomez song during her Anchorage performances.

Aishah moved to Los Angeles about seven months ago, and is still getting used to the laid back West Coast vibe. When I asked how she liked LA so far, her response was queen-like indeed: “They are so fortunate to have me.”

Having performed in Spokane and Seattle before, Queen Aishah is looking forward to her Bellingham show. “This is my first time back to your neck of the woods in a long time, so I got something to say,” she explained. “I got something pent up in me that I need to share with you all.” Whatever that something is, you won’t want to miss it.

LIVE SHOW: See Queen Aishah June 25 at Poppe’s 360 with fellow Los Angeles comedian Eric Blake.  For more info, see her website at Queenaishah.com and follow her on Twitter and Instagram @queenaishah. 

Published in the June 2016 issue of What’s Up! Magazine