Fantasy soul is how rising star QUIÑ describes her music. After you listen to her sophomore EP Dreamgirl — out today (Sept 1) — you’ll see that her description is remarkably accurate. Her sound is soulful with a tablespoon of pop. Electronic with a pinch of hip-hop. When you listen to it, you’ll feel like you’re in a dream state on another planet, a place you’ve fantasized about escaping to.
“Sticky Situation,” the album’s lead single, is a perfect representation of that. A collaboration with The Internet‘s Syd, “Sticky” is a breezy, summer groove that has both singers vocally tangled singing on the hook: “Stuck up in a sticky situation/ A really iffy situation/ Can’t you tell, caramel, you’re losing your flavor/ And sugar honey, I ain’t got the patience.” And the video finds QUIÑ entangled with a same-sex lover.
Billboard caught up with QUIÑ to talk about the video, her first-ever performance at AFROPUNK and her sound on Dreamgirl: “I think there’s an infinite amount of moods and colors and that shouldn’t have to fit into a box.”
Where does “fantasy soul” come from?
Fantasy soul is many things without putting it into a box or category. My mind lives in a fantasy land, and my music comes from my soul — because, well, I’m writing it. And sometimes my soul exists in a pretend world in my mind that I draw from.
Speaking of soul, you’re sort of redefining it in a way, no?
There’s no way there is a box for sound. My music is soul music because I’m writing it. It comes from my heart, my reflections of where I am and the things I’m experiencing currently or in the past. I think there’s an infinite amount of moods and colors, and that shouldn’t have to fit into a box.
In your video for “Sticky Situation,” a woman portrays your love interest. Not to put labels on you, but, can you talk to us about that?
Well that song is inspired by a real-life, sticky situation and a love that lost its flavor. I worked with the director to create something that was me –colorful, girly, fun, cute and flirty.
Have you received any reactions from your LGBTQ fans?
It’s been very positive. At the end of the day, we’re all connected. I love that people can relate and feel connected through my art and that it resonates with them. I believe there are many flavors of love and I’m glad to be able to share that through my art, music and visuals.
Your new EP is called Dreamgirl. Do you have any dream girl duets?
My favorite singer growing up was Céline Dion. It would be incredible to sing with her. I also have a water sign connection with Erykah Badu. I would love to just vibe and connect with her. That would be amazing. I also love Brandy, Sade and Beyoncé. Those would all be amazing!
We’re totally going to @ Erykah Badu and all of these women to make this happen!
Yes, that would be amazing! Do it!
What was it like performing at your first AFROPUNK?
It was a dream come true, because it was my first festival billing. We all had a moment and we all cried. I feel it’s the start of a whole new beginning of the rest of my life.
What did the performance mean to you?
Every performance means everything to me, because it’s an opportunity to bring everyone up to my consciousness, so we can all share a moment together as one.
Which performances did you enjoy?
I love Leikeli47. She’s a good friend of mine and I hadn’t seen her in a while. It was great to hear all the new music. The drum line she had was my favorite!
Did you have any celebrity run-ins?
I met Willow Smith! She was adorable.
Tell us more about the inspiration behind Dreamgirl.
It was born out of a 19 year-old dealing heartbreak. When your world is flipped upside down, you can start to see yourself a bit more clearly. I spent a lot of time listening to my spirit, finding myself – being alone really helped me with that. And in this process, I challenged myself. I learned to create, developed confidence in myself and in my work and I just went for it. My mood is infinite and there are infinite colors in my sound. I think people will enjoy the journey and feel connected to one another.