Dillon Matthew sits down with Quinn XCII for a Wolfie Exclusive at the KAABOO Del Mar Music Festival.
Local Wolves: Are there any songs that you wrote during the process of The Story of Us that didn’t make the cut? If so, how did you curate what went into your debut album?
Quinn XCII: There definitely were a handful that didn’t make the album. By the end we made 20 songs but ended up putting 10 on the original release + a later bonus album with 4 extra songs. The ones that didn’t make it were for two reasons: sonically they didn’t feel like ones that would fit the rest of the songs and/or message-wise they didn’t move me the way the others did. The Story of Us is basically about experiences that I’ve gone through and the first 10 songs truly captured who I am as an artist and person.
LW: Do you plan on releasing them at some point?
Quinn: I don’t know, I still like them I just don’t think they fit my current sound.
LW: In relation to that, would you ever pull from your collection of unreleased songs on a future EP or album?
Quinn: Possibly, Yeah. For this next album I’m going to look at what worked [in the first album & EPs], in terms of what people gravitate more towards, and maybe use similar instruments, cadences or tempos.
LW: How do you see your style changing over time? Do certain genres of music inspire you?
Quinn: I want each song to be a different story and feeling. This new album…it’s very experimental and takes a dive into different genres. I think it’s interesting because it allows people who are fans of different genres, like hip-hop, reggae, or rock and roll, to connect with my music.
LW: Who are some of your favorite artists & who has inspired you since making your own songs?
Quinn: I’m a huge Michael Jackson fan. He’s my biggest inspiration. As for current artists, I love Jon Bellion. He’s such a good guy and truly a genius. Twenty One Pilots and Years & Years also come to mind.
LW: You’re someone that proves that through determination, one can turn a passion project into a profession. Obviously, the road wasn’t easy. What do you believe are the main aspects of your music that resonate with people so well?
Quinn: This is a question I get asked a lot but I’ll never know truly know the answer. My music is easy going, digestible and has a message behind it. However, I believe that all age-groups connect with my songs, which is cool because I’ll have fans from 14-40 coming to my shows. I’m never trying to be someone that I’m not, and I think that’s what my fans relate to.
LW: Do you see a difference in your approach when working with other artists on songs vs. your own music (Illenium, Louis the Child, etc.)?
Quinn: Definitely, I try to stay true to my formula, if there even is one, but I stick to my roots and put my own sound into whatever I’m working on. When I’m making music with Louis the Child, for example, the process is very back and forth. It’s a situation where everyone is on the same team and is working toward making the best song possible.
LW: There’s a mutual respect!
Quinn: Yeah, I can give them advice to “Hey move that snare drum this way” and equally with them if they want me singing something a certain way they’ll tell me. Everyone still sticks to who they are, and in a sense, two sounds are coming together to make something new. It’s a really cool process from the ground up.
LW: As an artist, what’s the best way for you to get into the headspace of creating? Do you have to go into isolation?
Quinn: It always pops in out of nowhere. There isn’t a room I go to where I sit down and go “OK. I’m going to write a song today.” I think that’s the worst thing you can do. I don’t think it’s healthy to force the creative process. It can be discouraging when weeks go by without new ideas, but I’ve learned patience to let things flow. Even so, if I have an idea I’ll jot it down until I work on it later, or hum to a tune that comes in my head.
LW: Where does Quinn XCII go from here?
Quinn: The next album comes out at the top of the year this January. I’ll go back on the road to Europe, and eventually back to the states until May when I’m getting married. It’s crazy because in music you know what the upcoming 5-6 months to a year looks like and what you’ll be doing until the cycle begins again after you finish. There are very few breaks but everything is so exciting. Fans can expect a lot more coming soon.
LW: Is there somewhere you’ve always wanted to play?
Quinn: Yeah, actually I had always wanted to go to Europe, which was something I was able to do this last tour. Copenhagen and Dublin were beautiful! It was surreal to go to a different country and see people know my lyrics at shows.
Interview & Photos by Dillon Matthew