Perth based singer & songwriter Queency stops by THEAUSSIEWORD.COM.
How and where did it all begin for you? What drew your interest to the music industry?
I have a very clear childhood memory of watching the music video of “Wannabe” by the Spice Girls and telling myself, “That’s I wanna do” and that feeling never went away! I started making music with my cousin who had a bedroom studio in our early teens in Reunion Island, and then started writing songs on my keys in my late teens after a break-up… Pretty cliché… But music started professionally with me joining Soukouss Internationale as their front guy, which introduced me to Perth music industry and later saw me start my personal project as Queency.
What motivates or influences you in your quest to make great music?
I am an absolute sucker for a great vocalist and I aspire to become just as good. It’s funny, with music like any other skill you can acquire in a lifetime, the more you know, the more you know you don’t know! Technique-wise, singing will always be a work in progress, but I guess my influences in songwriting come from lived experiences, relationships with people, but also the relationship I have with myself. But look, to put it simply great musos in the like of Prince, Stevie Wonder and my number one Whitney Houston have inspired me to make music, and continue to inspire me to create and evolve.
What are some of your biggest goals you hope to accomplish?
I would love for my music to be heard and appreciated not only in Australia but back home and across the globe! I’ve always told myself, one day I’ll tour the world! I’m also the biggest stage whore so my dream would be to play l’Olympia in Paris one day. I would legit die!
What can we expect from you in the coming months? Any plans to tour?
I am going back home for an overdue holiday in December for a couple of months after 3 years (thanks Miss Rona…). So no tour plans for the near future, but who knows about the coming year? 😉
Tell us a bit about your latest release Purple Diamonds and how would you best describe your music?
Purple Diamonds is a shameless synth heavy and vocally stacked retro pop track modernised to 21st century’s flavours. It’s definitely an ode to 80s pop, but I wanted it to be seasoned to the taste of today! And I like it extra spicy. So we turned the heat all the way up! More generally I would say that my music would fall under rnb/soul/pop genres. But never say never! It’s about what I’m feeling at the moment.
Give us an insight into your creative process. What gets you writing songs?
I’m an unwavering believer that having a strong melody and a solid hook is the key to writing a good song. So I guess I tend to put the melody at the forefront of the creative process. I can be inspired by a run I’ve heard a singer do, a song I’ve heard, or just a riff my guitarist throws during a live performance. I sometimes wake up in the middle of the night because I dreamt of a melody and I don’t wanna forget it! Haha! But at times, lyrics come first when the intent is to get something out. I feel like making music is selfish because it is my way to reach catharsis and I sometimes use songwriting as a form of therapy. It’s also generous because I get to share it with people and they hopefully get to feel something too. In most cases I’m driven by intense experiences I have gone through in life. I wrote songs about bad break-ups (don’t we all?), about my dad leaving and breaking my mum’s heart, about a friendship ending in rage, but also about falling in love, and having amazing sex!
Is there a hidden meaning in any of your music?
Well… I’m glad you asked! “Purple Diamonds” is a metaphor for what you have most precious to give to someone you find irresistibly attractive. You know, when they’re just your type and the chemistry is right, you just wanna give that person purple diamonds all night! This song is about feeling so in tune with your partner that you’re ready to truly express yourself in the intimacy you have built and may even fall if you keep entertaining this situation. It’s about being vulnerable yet insatiable! Look, let’s stop sugar coating: it’s a booty song! But I did not want it to be the next WAP, so it’s dirty, but not explicit!
Success, what is the secret to it?
Doing what you love, and keeping on doing what you love no matter how hard it may get. Success is never giving up.
What has been your biggest career highlight so far?
Recording my first music video for my song “Too Late”. It was a shady one, but super fun to make!
Which stars of the music industry do you find inspiring?
My holy trinity is Whitney Houston, Stevie Wonder and Prince.
Are there any new projects in the pipeline?
Yes yes yes and yes! I am sitting on a bunch of songs I have written and are pretty much ready to go, but first things first, we had to release this single and the EP coming up at the end of the the month. So expect a lot more music coming out next year too! 🙂
The music industry is constantly changing, where do you see yourself in a few years?
I’m planning to move to New York to experience the big Apple and its vibrant artistic nightlife. Play the late night sets, meet sensational musos and soul singers (we don’t run the streets in Perth unfortunately), and see where this leads me! I’m ready for a new adventure!
What is your favourite and least favourite part about this line of work and why?
I just love everything about music. I love singing and most of all, I love performing. Like everything there’s ups and downs, but such is life, and you always have to remember that you are doing it because you love what you’re doing, fuck the noise, and keeping doing what you were born to do.
Name a few of your favourite Australian artists.
Kaiit, Hiatus Kayote, Sneaky Sound System (they had some bloody bangers in their days!), Kira Puru, Abbe May, Odette Mercy & her Soul Atomics, Meg Mac, Grace Barbé… I’m an absolute sucker for a strong female vocalist, and all these ladies can SAAAAANG.
The shape of the music industry has changed significantly over the years, including the use of social media. How do you feel about the industry as a whole and what does it mean to you in getting your records out into the public eye?
The music industry has not stopped to drastically change since the beginning of the 2000s. Today social media plays a crucial part into a musician’s career, and I’m not gonna lie, it’s a double edge sword. On one hand, the ability to go viral can make someone’s career overnight and it gives upcoming artists leverage against big gatekeepers in the industry who used to decide who was to be given a shot (eg: big labels…); but on the other hand, musicians have to also become avid content creators constantly pushing new material out, and this is seriously frustrating. It almost feels like music has become secondary. But hey, it is what it is, and I am conscious that I’m gonna need to up my TikTok game sooner than later to be able to reach a whole lot of people.
How will you continue appealing to the international market?
My idea is to release upcoming singles in an English and a French version (as I happen to be French-Australian). And that would be my way of still feeling a connection back home! 🙂 And of course becoming more savvy and consistent with my use of TikTok.
Do you collaborate with others? Who is on your wish-list?
I’d love to collab! Look, I would die to do a collab with Kira Puru. I’ve been insatiably obsessed with her since day one. Not only is she an absolute badass and a kick-ass vocalist, but she can write the living hell out of a hook!
What advice do you give for other artists wanting to follow in your footsteps?
Keep doing what you love, keep learning, keep writing, keep working at your craft, become the perfectionist you owe yourself to be to improve, and most importantly: NEVER GIVE UP!
A message for your fans. How do you best interact and respond with your followers and fans?
Thanks for supporting me and listening to my music! It’s thanks to you that I get to do what I passionately love. And please hit me up on Insta, I always answer! 🙂
Any last words?
Again, I’m so excited to share this single and the upcoming EP with the world, I hope you enjoy it just as much as it brought me joy to make it.