QUIN Is Ready to Be Your ‘Dream Girl': PopCrush Presents
There are so many ways to look at soul music, and Quiñ is giving us another side of it with her version of "fantasy soul."
Hailing from Altadena, California, the 26-year-old singer and songwriter has been digging through the inner corners of her mind to compose songs that will make listeners feel light as air, yet grounded in meaning. She first caught everyone's attention with her debut EP, GALACTICA, and now she's ready to share more new material with us on her upcoming record, Dream Girl, out September 1.
We had the chance to chat with Quiñ about her approach to music, dream collaborations and what to expect from the upcoming release, below.
The new EP sounds great. Let's start with "Harley Quiñ." It sounds different from the other tracks. How did you go about producing that song?
"Harley Quiñ" was a mood so it was very bubbly, and to me, it kind of sounds like a race car game. It's basically about having a crush and admitting that it's not something you're used to. And you're trying to figure out why you've been thinking about this person all day long. It's kind of annoying, but you like it at the same time. You're basically on your way to find your bae because you're just following your feelings. That's what that's about.
How did you end up collaborating with Buddy on "Happened to Happen" and Syd on "Sticky Situation"?
Well, they're my friends, so it was as simple as that. It was no brainer to have Buddy come through, and he's been in and out of the studio for a while because we're friends. With Syd, I always wanted to do a song with her because I'm always down for the girl collabs, and there's not many of them. And because we're friends, we just hung out and listened to beats.
Since you mentioned there aren't many girl collaborations out there, who are some women artists you would like to get together with and make something happen in the studio?
Oh, man. They would be my friends, and it's not even just singing. I would collaborate with all the people who are truly close to me. I would work with Sade on a track though. Sade and me killing it on a track. That would be awesome. There are so many people in the world. It's hard to choose.
What's great about this EP is that there's not just one sound and you can't really put it into a box. You've made the music you want to make.
So who do you listen to when you make music?
Just myself. And it's not to be selfish, but I don't think [there's any specific] music that influences me. This is crazy, but I move in silence a lot. When do I listen to music, obviously it's my peers and all the people coming up right now and my friends and all the classics. But at the same time, I listen to music with no words and meditative music and tribal drums and classical. I was the kid who could listen to music with words and be productive. My brain doesn't concentrate that way. So it's being out in the world and experiencing things, that's what influences me—and coming back and letting my soul talk about it. I also let my imagination go and daydream for so long. And the only way I get through the daydream is by not having anyone's words influence me. So if I know a song too well, I couldn't do homework too well.
I am really appreciating the come up of conscious music right now, and I'm really grateful that we're doing our jobs. I was at a Daniel Caeser event [recently], and he's such an angel. There's so much hope for new music right now. That's why I created a whole genre called "fantasy soul music" because it's about feeling things right now and communicating them properly through sound. I'm really happy that we're doing what we're supposed to be doing.
What's the first song you ever wrote?
My mom told me that the first song I ever wrote was when I was really young, and my sister was just born. It was apparently in country/western form. Somehow I knew when I was writing a sad song, what it means to feel that way. So it's about my sister and me getting blamed for something I didn't do. And when I get those lyrics, I will share it with the world. I told my mom to find that journal.
But in my adult years, the first song I wrote I couldn't even remember because I always just wrote. I would sit in study hall and write songs with my friends. We'd play Spice Girls, and I'd always be Posh [Spice]. And the first song I collaborated with krysshun on was a song that's called "Thinking About You," which is on my SoundCloud. And the second song we ever made was a song called "Solo," and that ended up on GALACTICA. There are just so many songs. It's like your first kiss: you can have it over and over.
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