Quinn XCII Discusses Who ‘Story of Us’ Is About

Pamela Jew, Managing Editor of Under the Arch

WSN: Is this your first time playing Governors Ball?

Quinn XCII: It is, yeah.

WSN: How do think today’s set is going to go?

Quinn: I hope it goes well. It’s colder than I thought it was going to be. It was really hot yesterday. But I’m kind of relieved it’s a little colder because I was playing Shaky Beats down in Atlanta recently. It was literally 90 degrees during my set, and I nearly passed out. This is refreshing because we’re not going to have a repeat of Shaky Beats. I think New York is a really cool spot, and every time I come back here I feel welcome and respected by fans.

WSN: What are some pre-show rituals you have?

It’s not too much — our crew’s kind of boring in that sense. We kind of do a group huddle and then maybe say some words of wisdom just to get everybody amped up, but that’s the extent of it I would say.

WSN: What do you think fans have the most to look forward to during this set today?

If fans in the crowd today have come to see my show before, they know that it’s just very high energy and it’s just very positive. It’s truly a rollercoaster of emotion. Some songs are slower and some are faster. It’s just really all over the place, and I’m always jumping around. I try to interact with the crowd as much as possible. Just in general: high energy and a good time.

WSN: You recently released your debut album, “The Story of Us,” who is ‘us’?

So “us” has a bit of a two-part meaning. Us is a metaphor for experiences I’ve gone through with relationships and family members and friends. On the flip side, it’s also about, speaking in terms of my fan base, this community that is gathered around my music and has gotten me to this point. I wanted to shout them out in a way and be like thank you guys for getting me to the point that I can put an album out on a major label and with a proper platform and everything. It’s about the fans but it’s also personal to me.

WSN: At this point in your career, what moment have you said to yourself, “I’ve made it”?

Quinn: I don’t know if I’ve had that moment yet. I never use that term because I always think that my goal is getting bigger and bigger. When I achieve one thing, it’s always onto the next big thing. I never totally feel fulfilled, which I think is a good thing because it keeps me challenged and wanting to do more. But if I had to pick a point, I would probably say that I’m doing Lollapalooza this summer, and I’m from Michigan. Growing up I would go there as a kid. IT’s not like a made-it moment, but I think that’s going to be a big moment for me because it’s so nostalgic and full circle being on stage compared to like just watching it from the crowd. Oh, and we also just played Red Rocks which was amazing.

WSN: Did you always think you were going to do music?

Quinn: No, not really at all. I was a student at Michigan State University, and I got a degree in Advertising. I was doing music on the side. I always loved music. I wasn’t like totally sure it was going to pan out, but then I started seeing this community of people and started gravitating toward it online back when I was just uploading music to SoundCloud. This was pre-Spotify dominance. All these free outlets I was seeing and using, and I was like ‘“wow. There’s really a fanbase of people who like my stuff.” I just went full force after I graduated. I had a job at an insurance company for five months, and I hated it and said that I definitely need to do music because it was too boring. I went on my first tour five months after that and just never went back. This is such an uncertain industry, and I had my doubts but I eventually started becoming more confident and making music after school.

Email Pamela Jew at [email protected].