Artist Spotlight: Quiñ is the New R&B Artist You Need to Watch
Updated: Mar 25, 2020
The Berkeley B-side
A slow-burning candle. Clouds colored in a deep, dusky rose. Dried lavender crumbling through your fingers.
Forgive me for playing a bit of word-association, but the above phrases are about as close as I can get to defining the term QUIÑ uses to describe her music, “fantasy soul.” Compared to the likes of Sade and Erykah Badu, QUIÑ’s vocals are both precise and delicate. She rarely belts, opting instead for a sweet, growling tone which snakes through warm synths and echoey melodic beats on her two EPs Dreamgirl (2017) and Galactica (2016). The combination creates plushy, luxurious-sounding tracks that are intensely feminine and intimate.
Her 2017 song “Sticky Situation” with The Internet’s Syd explores entanglement in a relationship that has “lost its flavor,” and received attention from top media outlets like The Fader. The video shows the singer adventuring through a sandy desert with a female lover, abruptly interrupted with songless, stale scenes capturing QUIÑ’s disenchantment. Sunset hues tint the desert scenes as she runs between dunes, with slow motion and point-of-view shots that are as pleasing as she says in the refrain, “candy.”
QUIÑ’s star value is obvious — often styling herself with eccentric accessories and colorful make-up, she evokes a mysterious, entrancing aura. Her instagram is flooded with sweet personal photos and videos between typical promotional material, creating a sense of intimacy between her and listeners. She is even known to respond to fans in the comments and over DM, sharing their choreography and artwork. Though she hasn’t yet reached the popularity of idols like Beyonce and Brandy, she holds herself with the confidence as if she has, balancing her connection with fans and starpower with grace.
Recently she and her boyfriend 6LACK released the song “MUSHROOM CHOCOLATE,” a seductive groove with a melodic backing track. “OTW” singer 6LACK has been getting extensive radio play in recent months, an exciting development for those of us who have followed him since his 2016 album FREE 6LACK. The chemistry between the two is tangible on the 2019 single, and hopefully, if the stars align, we’ll be seeing collabs between the two soul singers in the future.
As for QUIÑ’s solo career, it seems the world has only seen the beginning. Yet to release a full-length album nor another EP since 2017, fans are patiently awaiting new music. Whatever happens, I’m excited to see what’s next.
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