It’s not very often that you get to interview one of your best friends, but Quiñ is someone to be on your radar if she’s not already. Whether it’s her most recent “Dreamgirl” EP, the talented roster she’s created including G-Eazy, Syd, & Miguel, or the NASA campaign you might’ve seen her in, the multifaceted artist knows how to put you in a dreamlike state. She’s created a new sub-genre within her ethereal world where she’s a fairy who loves a cup of mango sorbet with extra Chamoy and Tajin.
Tell me a little about yourself.
My name is Bianca Quiñones, and I go by Quiñ. I make music and I call it “Fantasy Soul”.
When did you start singing and songwriting?
I’ve been singing and writing songs since I was a baby. My mom put me in choir when I was four so I learned how to harmonize with other people at a young age. She would write for me too, she’d be like “What’d you just say?”, and she’d write it down. She said I would write sad country songs when I would get in trouble, I would say stuff like, “You ever get in trouble for something you didn’t do?”.
That sounds like something you would write now.
Yeah, and she has all the notebooks full of my little songs.
How did that evolve as you got older?
There was a moment where I felt almost “too cool” for that, so I would only do it in the privacy of my home where no one knew. But I started writing a lot more when I was in college and was less distracted by roommates around 24/7. When I got my own room—that’s when I evolved as a writer. I wrote before, but I was so constricted by my surroundings. So when I finally moved to The Bay, I started writing a lot more and realized, “Whoa, I’m really good at this, maybe I should pay attention to it more.”
And what about singing?
I was painfully shy most of my life, but in college, I met my friend Lauren (who’s still one of my best friends) and she heard me humming in math class. She was like, “Hey, you sing. I sing. We should be a group.” I agreed and she actually helped me a lot. I had grown up in choir, but with Lauren, I finally had a singing friend again and that was everything to me. Who doesn’t want to harmonize and write songs with their best friend? Lauren was kind-of that reintroduction to me singing again and we would go into the studio to record little songs together.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
From every single thing, whether it’s a rainy day, a sunny day, when my feelings are hurt—I mean, any emotion that exists. I have a lot of things to choose from.
And what about traveling and your environment—does that play a huge part?
It’s so huge. I feel like people come to LA to make music, but honestly being from here, I want to run away and make my own things somewhere else. Not that it’s not beautiful, I just like the change. Lately I’ve had opportunities to get out of LA and that’s really helped a lot. Even if it’s just for a second, even if it has nothing to do with music, it’s like I’m downloading all this information while I’m away so I can report back.
I feel you, I went through the same thing when I lived in LA. What was the process like when you decided to focus on your creativity full time?
I made a bet with myself that I would come back to LA and make music. I didn’t really have a set-up, I just had very clear intentions and I moved back out here and became this musical magnet for friends that wrote and all types of things, so I just ended up always in the studio. I spent a lot of time singing songs my friends wrote before I realized, “Why am I not writing with you guys?”. So I started writing with other people, which was really good practice. After that, I ended up having a lot of songs to play whenever anyone would ask me what I did. I just kept pressing play, and that kind-of led me to where I am now.
Walk me through a typical day in the life of Quiñ.
Wake up, play with my cat, probably practice my piano for a second, make some tea, finish the show that I fell asleep with the night before, go to hot yoga, and I’ll go get a poke bowl after that. On a creative day, I’d probably go sit somewhere quiet to make things, call one of my friends to make things with me or call up one of my sisters.
That sounds nice, plus your sisters are fun.
They’re so funny. I feel like I raised them perfectly to be mine, and they’ll forever be my pets (respectfully).
Is there anything you’re working on this year that you’d like to share?
I’m putting out a project called “Lucid” in the next few months and that’s going to be cool ‘cause it has a lot more visuals than I’ve ever done. Chuck Inglish and I are revisiting a project that I wrote years ago with him, so we’ll see what happens with that. I’m really just trying to set up all my music for the next couple years, like get everything recorded and done, get the visuals completed, and just have things to put out over and over for however long. I’m going to be traveling a lot and we’ll really see where the music leads me, because honestly that’s the fun in it all. I have no idea what I’ll be doing in the fall, it’s a mystery so I’m excited to see what happens.