Not your average family band: QOK has a unique sound and dynamic

Photo courtesy of Christina Roberts

Quentin Rice
Contributing Writer

Talent runs deep in QOK, a pop band comprised of five siblings from northern Virginia. Formerly known as Queens Over Kings, the group incorporates elements of jazz, blues and reggae in their music about carving one’s own path.

The siblings — Kristyn, Jerald, Loren, Ingrid and Hallie — played various instruments in middle school and started playing together naturally around the same time. They started recreating hits in 2010 from the likes of No Doubt, Jack White and Alicia Keys. After a few years of covers, the band started writing original music and they released their debut EP, “QOK: EPisode 1” in July of last year.

They performed at the Hippodrome Oct. 17 for RAW Artists, a community of artists that arranges shows for local musicians with the hopes of introducing different groups to create unique sounds.

Guitarist Jerald Roberts said the show was more laid back than most.

“When I was playing I felt very uninhibited in a way that I haven’t felt in a long time,” Jerald Roberts said. “I wasn’t worried about making mistakes, I was more concerned with enjoying myself.”  

The band has worked with various groups in Virginia to raise awareness for suicide prevention, which is a topic their music focuses on as well. Lead singer Kristyn Roberts Marriott said their song “Unknown Soldier” is about people they know who have gone through some tough trials.

The band is planning a European tour next year with United Service Organizations, an organization that puts on shows for members of the armed forces and their families.

In their future releases, the band wants to hold onto their organic sound while implementing more synthesizers and funk elements, like slap bass.

The talent does not end there, however, as bassist Loren Roberts also plays in an instrumental metal band called All I See. Members of the band created a common bond through their love of Avenged Sevenfold.

All I See guitarists Allen Vansise and Zach Martin have been friends from day one and started playing with drummer Ben Foster in 2014, picking up Loren Roberts on bass shortly after.

All I See’s sound is influenced by August Burns Red, Led Zeppelin and Deftones. They’ve played at various shows in northern Virginia, and at the same Hippodrome show on Oct. 17.

QOK can be found at queensoverkingsband.com. Their debut EP can be found on iTunes, Amazon and Spotify.

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