Opening for MØ and RAC in the same month, James Quick’s already 80,000 monthly Spotify listeners is bound to take a giant leap.
I sat down with Quick in his apartment, a spacious window-covered one-bedroom that immediately lets a visitor know Quick likes to keep things tidy and minimal. With animal skin carpets, a bottle of Jameson, and a few succulents, the only other thing present in Quick’s apartment is the constant music coming from his recording studio. “I like recording everything by myself”, he tells me as he opens his closet and pushes his winter coats aside to reveal a recording microphone. “The acoustics are great in here,” Quick laughs.
He is dressed in a black flannel and black ripped jeans, an outfit I recognize from his breathtaking EP cover for “Oceanside”. His new EP will be released this December and he can assure his followers it is just a little taste of the “tons of content coming soon”, as his Spotify page promises.
How often do you write new music?
“I am super backed up on music right now. I write a crazy amount…I am just pumping out about 2-3 songs a week.” He tells me his creative time is late at night when it’s super quiet. Quick jokes of his nocturnal habits saying, “I tend to write and record from 11 to 2 am…I hope my new neighbors don’t mind that.”
How do you get your music out there?
“I have my Spotify, SoundCloud, and Youtube channels right now,” Quick explains. I did further research on Quick, noticing he humbly failed to mention his streams on SoundCloud are over 200,000.
Over the last couple years, he has played several concerts around New Orleans from Gasa Gasa to The Willow, but when it comes to booking gigs like opening for MØ at Tulane’s Fall concert and RAC at The Republic, he gives thanks to his managers Connor Ellison and Dan Helfers.
PHOTO: Keegan McGuire
How do you define yourself?
“I want to be the guy who releases singer/songwriter songs but I also produce my own beats…I want to be a musician who works with other musicians” he says. However, Quick has not plans of signing with a label anytime soon: “I am definitely trying to go the Chance [The Rapper] route.” Quick believes being unable to define himself right now is a good problem to have, “I love writing whatever comes to me and I don’t want to stop that just so I can try to market myself as one type of musician.”
Working with his managers allows him to release a love song one day and a beat he is swearing over the next. It becomes clear Quick isn’t one to easily define in a few words as, amidst our conversation about love songs and EDM, the music playing in the background is classical.
What is the next step?
“I’m all about going at this pace. I’m going to keep releasing music, playing as many shows as I can…but I am not trying to blow up right now,” he says. Quick explains that he likes taking it slow so that whenever he welcomes an external force into his music career, whether it be collaborating with a famous musician or simply just handling his first couple hateful comments on Youtube, he is ready for it. “I know I’ll move to LA eventually but right now this is the place I need to be to write music.”
If you could tell your listeners anything, what would it be?
“Because I want to produce so many different types of songs, I want my listeners to know that even if the first thing you heard wasn’t your favorite, I guarantee the next thing you hear from me will be your style.”
Quick is off to South Africa for a month so we can only imagine the music he’ll have for us when he arrives back in New Orleans. For now, check out his last release, “Brushed Down Kilos”
Cover Photo: Keegan McGuire