Sitting Down With Quinn XCII: Song Inspirations, ‘Grimy’ Venice, & Daily Doc’s

Sitting down in the dimly-lit press tent at Firefly Music Festival, my heart beating slightly out of my chest and onto the table, nervous for the interview ahead of me. Not only was I about to meet and interview someone in which I’ve belted out his hits in the middle of my shower time, but I was about to do so drenched in sweat, glitter residue, and drinks spilled on me from the tailgate thrown earlier that morning in the festival parking lot. I know, I’m a hot mess. What else is new? No matter what, though, I was determined to sit down with the one, the only, Quinn XCII.

Known as Quinn XCII on stage, the rising star seemed quite eager to talk about his efforts within music and future endeavors. The twenty-five year old singer is about to release a new single in early July 2017, attempting to top his already successful hit singles such as ‘Straightjacket‘ and ‘Another Day In Paradise‘. I got the opportunity to wipe the sweat off my brow and sit down with him to discuss the most important details of his career, and what inspires him the most to get up and perform in front of thousands.

CasElizabethCecilia: ‘First of all, how are you enjoying Firefly?’ 

Quinn XCII: ‘I love it so far. One of my good friends, A-Ok, performed yesterday and it was amazing seeing the crowd that he performed for… it was like thousands of people and just such a cool, positive environment. And that’s what’s so cool about festivals, everybody’s just trying to have a good time… I love that stuff.’

CasElizabethCecilia: ‘So, what is your favorite part about performing?’

Quinn XCII: ‘My favorite part about performing is just seeing people’s reactions in the crowd, I think. It’s one thing to connect with fans on social media, but it’s another thing to see them in person and see how happy they get. It’s really indescribable. It’s super humbling.’

C: ‘What’s your biggest inspiration when coming up with songs?’

Q: ‘It’s super weird because song writing is super sporadic and there’s really no formula to making a song– I would say, though, past history and moments that I’ve lived through are definitely inspiration. I also like to take inspiration from what my friends or family go through and speak on that.’

C: ‘That’s awesome. What makes you the most motivated?’

Q: ‘Honestly, doing shows like this makes me the most motivated. When I do a show like Firefly, or a festival, even headlining shows wherever they may be, you know, it makes me more hungry to get back in the studio and make better music and then go back on stage and perform that music.’

C: ‘Great. Now, I know this is kind of off-topic, but what do you like to do in your free time? You know, like when you’re not performing, when you’re not interviewing… what do you do to unwind?’

Q: ‘You know, I love playing video games, I love playing Fifa… Now that’s I’m in California, I love trying to hit up the beach.’

C: ‘What’s your favorite area of California?’

Q: ‘Definitely Venice. There’s something about Venice–it’s kind of grimy but it’s great for people watching.’

C: ‘Oh, you like people watching, too? We’d definitely get along. Okay, so, speaking of free time and being in L.A., being a blogger I’ve seen your presence in Justin Escalona’s ‘Daily Docs’, can you tell me a little bit about your relationship with him and if you guys feed off of each other for artistic collaboration?’

Q: ‘Yeah, of course. So, Justin was using my music for his videos and one day he messaged me and we started talking online. One day he asked me where I was from and when I said L.A., he said he was from L.A. too. We got lunch one day and all of the sudden just became friends. And now, I see him pretty often now. It’s crazy what the internet can do about bringing people together. I can attribute a ton of fans to him because of his skills. His market is kind of similar to mine, so that crossover is very valuable.’

C: ‘Can we expect some new songs coming our way anytime soon?’

Q: ‘Oh yes. You can expect a single coming out July 7th, another single in August and my album comes out later on. I’ve been working on it for the past year, so just being able to put out an album for the first time under a major label and giving it the proper treatment that I always hoped that it would someday, it’s so humbling.’

C: ‘Have you ever wanted to collaborate with someone and didn’t have the chance to, or are you looking to collaborate with somebody in the future?’ 

Q: ‘Definitely, yeah. It’s weird because I don’t do a lot of collaborations– not because I don’t want to, I just feel we haven’t really felt about reaching out to anybody and now being with the label, we have more connections to do so. I’ve always wanted to work with Jack Johnson, or not the typical feature with someone that you see everyday. But, there’s also guys like Jon Bellion, who I love, and Chance The Rapper, Twenty One Pilots– I could go on for days.’

C: ‘So, speaking of Jon Bellion… a lot of your fans have compared you to Jon Bellion saying that you two are similar in style. How do you respond to that, and how would you classify your own style of music?’

Q: ‘Going into [my career], I knew I was going to get those comparisons. I don’t mind it whatsoever. He’s one of the guys I look up to. I would describe my genre, though, as pop music, but it’s a melting pot of different genres to be honest. I think the industry’s going in a way that’s leading to the term ‘genre’ losing it’s meaning, in a way.’

C: ‘Personally, I’m a huge fan of ‘Straightjacket’. Can you tell me the inspiration behind it? Is there a story that we should all know?’

Q: ‘Yeah, so I dated a girl who a while ago who was–?’

C: ‘Who was crazy?’ 

Q: ‘Yeah, pretty much. Essentially she was just was two-faced, and acted totally different in public than with me, and pretty much was a goody-two-shoes in public and behind closed-doors was so different. I think one of the worst qualities in people is being fake. I think that’s why people like the song so much, because the topic resonates with so many people.’

C: ‘A few of your songs touch on some pretty intimate concepts of relationships and love– do you have anybody special in your life?’

Q: ‘I do. I have a girlfriend of two and a half years. She’s awesome. I also have family members, siblings… I don’t like necessarily writing specifically about them, which is kind of weird because a lot of artists do that. But, what I like is just taking inspirations about their feelings and thoughts and spinning it into a song.’

C: ‘Do you have any advice for future artists?’

Q: ‘I guess I would say just to be yourself. You don’t have to conform to what the popular person is doing. I think it’s so easy to want to be swimming along with the trends, and the more you don’t do that, the more you stick out and that’s what I try to do. I think that’s probably the best advice I could give.’

C: ‘Alright, last question but a fun one at that. If you could visit any country, which would you pick and why?’

Q: ‘Oh, gosh. I’ve never been to Europe, so I want to go there next year for shows and stuff. I’ve always wanted to go to Ireland– I have a couple friends who have gone there and they all say it’s beautiful. I also like Scotland and England.’

Well, Quinn (although we all know that’s not your real name), it was a pleasure speaking with you. Quinn XCII’s album drops later this summer, so make sure to check it out on Spotify! Make sure to follow my Instagram and Quinn’s as well!

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