Music and Other Drugs first introduction to QUIÑ was back in 2015, with the release of her single “Thinking About You.” Two years later, the Los Angeles rising star has returned with her newest project, DREAMGIRL. The 5-track fantasy soul-driven project spawned a collaboration with The Internet’s Syd, for the song “STICKY SITUATION. QUIÑ’s popularity rose when she released her debut project Galatica, which featured one of our favorite tracks “I Am.” Music and Other Drugs got to have an intimate conversation with the singer about fantasy soul, who inspires QUIÑ, her collaboration with Syd, and much more. Check out the full interview and her new project DREAMGIRL below.
Music and Other Drugs supports indie artists and making sure they have a platform and a place where they can express and be themselves. We’re all about individuality, and you’ve been on our radar for awhile now. You have a track on your first EP Galatica called “I Am,” can you tell us who is QUIÑ?
Q: The magnificent (laughs), I mean QUIÑ is me, I’m QUIÑ, and that song is really about reminding myself of who I was, cause sometimes we get lost in the world. I sing and dance to that song every morning, it makes me cry, cause that is who I am.
M: That’s great! It’s great to have such a personal song out there, but also too, one you can dance to. Can you tell us your first introduction to music and when did you know you wanted to pursue music as a career?
Q: When I was born, and was a little girl, I sang in church choir. It was an Episcopal church, so it was a lot of head voice, and falsetto, and cathedral[esque] music. I was really shy to sing in front of other people by myself, but I gained a really young appreciation for harmonies and the vibration of perfection [of sound]. I didn’t really notice it; it was automatic. I went to high school I sang in gospel choir because it was a requirement for school. I was being a brat, I really thought I wouldn’t have done it, but we had to do something. My choir teacher said “you’re really good, you’re tripping,” I was like “whatever” but secretly I really loved it. I made a lot of good friends in choir, we would just sing songs all day long in school, but still I was shy to sing alone. He, [choir instruction], would force me to do duets. I moved to the bay and met [my friend] and hung out with her, and she was awesome and she told me “I had a job to do” so I had to get over it. I was deeply afraid of attention, I didn’t like pictures, or any of that stuff. I was cool with my friends, but I really didn’t like [attention.] So I had to make a bet with myself that if ever this stuff comes up, I need to just sit in the uncomfortable [place] until it’s not uncomfortable anymore. When i wasn’t uncomfortable anymore I knew I was good, because I passed the test.
M: Wow, I would never be able to tell. You seem so comfortable now.
Q: Me neither, that’s why it’s so funny. It’s like once you [erase] that fear it’s gone forever. I kept that promise to myself.
M: I love that. Can you tell me who has influenced you musically?
Q: I honestly don’t think anyone has influenced me musically. My feelings have influenced this whole thing. I listen to a lot of Celine Dion, Brandy, and Alicia Keys, and Destiny’s Child. [I felt like] if you could sing along or do that run that would prove to me tha oh shit I could sing. They showed me my ability, because I can do everything that they did.
M: The good days, Destiny’s Child, Brandy, loved those days, the classics.
Q: And a whole bunch more!
M: I’m interested, you describe your sound as “fantasy soul,” where did that derive from and what does it mean to you?
Q: Literally came from my imagination. I was tired of trying to explain my music in a whole bunch of words. I just needed a little sum up, and it came to me one day. I was like this makes sense. People understood what I meant because it opens a little part of your brain that makes you think twice. It’s exactly what you would imagine.
M: I love the “fantasy soul vibe, it is spot on to your music and sound. We got to listen to the new project DREAMGIRL, one of our standout tracks is “HARLEY QUIÑ,” which track is your favorite from the album?
Q: I don’t have a favorite because they are all my daughters and sons, I don’t know. I love them all for different reasons because they’re just such different moods, and they all were a real part of my life at a time. I’m just grateful for each of them equally. Actually “Harley Quin” got taken off.
M: I love that song, it is such a great vibe.
Q: I love it too, but we’ll make it work.
M: You think you will release “HARLEY QUIÑ” in the future?
Q: Yeah, it will get done.
M: You worked with Syd from The Internet on “Sticky Situations,” how did that collaboration come about?
Q: Syd and I are real friends. I was hanging at Syd’s house one day and I was supposed to do a love song one day, and she was laughing at me. We both brought our beats, and we just played some beats to see what happened. We just casually made the song. We just kicked it, and started the song, left to go watch a volleyball game, came back and finished the song. It was a very chill day. It just ended up being a really rad song.
M: Just a casual day with you and Syd, I love it.
Q: No seriously and that’s what happened.
M: The new project is titled DREAMGIRL in all caps, what was the inspiration behind the name of the project?
Q: Honestly these titles just come to me. Galatica, I saw in a dream written in the stars and I was like “ well that’s it!.” I don’t put any pressure on myself with the names, but DREAMGIRL had been a name that was coming to me for a while now. It was an automatic thing I never thought twice about. DREAMGIRL has so many different layers. I’m a dream girl, and also my own dream girl. I learned that I am confident enough to know I am exactly who I want to be, and I’m exactly who the little girl in me always wanted me to be, and although I am still growing and maturing to the best me, I’m happy for who I am. I understand my purpose and that took a lot of work and dedication to eliminating my fears. I am proud of myself, and I think a lot of times we downplay that because we don’t want to sound conceited, or whatever these made up things are. But truly if we’re not proud of ourselves, then what’s the point of our job here?
M: I couldn’t agree more.
Q: I’m just happy to be doing my job here. And with that I am my own dream girl.
M: You are doing your job well. Can you tell me about your songwriting process?
Q: It could be anything. It could be a conversation that me and the producer have right before. It could be a moment in time that I had the day before. It could be the vibe that I’m in at that very moment. I really just like to listen to a track or start something from scratch. Once there’s enough to sing to, I’ll go into the booth and freestyle the melodies. The melodies always have syllables in them, and the syllables always have little words or clues to words, and I figure out what my soul is trying to tell me. I don’t do the writing, I just let my my soul speak, and it comes out like that. It’s pretty amazing.
M: That sounds pretty amazing, just letting your soul speak. I’m digging the vibe. Do you have a dream collaboration, or have someone you want to work with in the future?
Q: My dream is for everybody to be comfortable enough to just sing together. I always expect people to just be happy to sing with their friends, and then the business comes into play. But really, my dream is that everybody didn’t care and just all sing music together.
M: I feel like back in the day everybody collaborated with everyone, now it seems orchestrated.
Q: Yeah just come to the studio.
M: Let’s just vibe out
Q: It’s completive now. I just feel like if I know I have this gift and others do too, we should just come together and sing. I don’t think there’s anything much to it than just sing. That would be the dream.
M: One last question: as you are preparing to release your new project DREAMGIRL, what advice would you give QUIÑ who was preparing to release Galatica?
Q: Stay connected to my creative source, and don’t be led astray so I can complete my task.