Fischer was born in the Fort Greene neighborhood in the borough of Brooklyn, New York. Fischer's mother gave birth to her at age 16 and had a total of three children by the time she was 19. At one point during her childhood, Fischer and her family lived off welfare and food stamps. Fischer attended The High School of Music & Art in Manhattan. When Fischer was 14 her father left and at age 17 her mother died. Fischer's love for singing was encouraged by her mother, a homemaker; father, a warehouse worker and security officer, and two younger brothers.
In an interview with Christian Wikane of PopMatters, Fischer stated that she was influenced by Freda Payne, Marvin Gaye and Melba Moore, as well as others early in her childhood. Before Fischer launched her solo work, she was influenced by the LGBT community. Fischer has described the experience of developing a stage image that has adventure, quality, and beauty.