by Mimi Chang
The journey of finding one’s self can be one without a distinct beginning or end. Often times a lifelong quest, these existential crises can hit anyone. Since we’re all still figuring our own shit out we sat down with singer / songwriter, Quiñ to talk about her journey of how she re-met herself to realize her musical destiny.
Attending high school in Altadena, CA, Quiñ—then known as Bianca Leonor Quiñones—had issues larger than passing physics or getting asked to the prom.
“Something kept pushing me away from [school] constantly,” she explained, “I was like, ‘What is this? Let me just pay attention to it.’”
This distraction, Quiñ soon discovered, was a talent in music she needed to figure out how to best wield.
“I was really afraid to share my gift with anybody else but me. I knew I was good at singing and writing but I never thought to share it.”
After relocating to West Oakland at 19, Quiñ was able to direct all of her focus into nurturing this hidden talent and things began to finally click.
“I finally understood everything my spirit was trying to tell me all along. It was like, ‘Hey, guess what? You have a job to do, so might wanna get over the fears you got.’”
Since then, Quiñ has dropped an album (Galactica), an EP (DREAMGIRL), and sprinkled singles along the way that shed light on her most personal discoveries.
“DREAMGIRL is kinda like a sequel to Galactica,” Quiñ revealed, “Zooming into the planet and figuring out what happens on it. It’s more specifically a love story. Galactica was me discovering a whole bunch of stuff about myself.”
As evident by her album’s name, Quiñ is a lover for all things outer space. The singer parlayed this fascination into an out-of-this-world partnership when approached by NASA and Apple Music in 2016. This project, called Visions of Harmony, sought to educate the general public on the Juno spacecraft by intersecting science and art.
“I played LightSpeed for [Apple],” Quiñ shared. “They hit me up a couple days later to ask me if I wanted to be involved in Mission Juno.”
By sending digital files of music to the spacecraft, NASA is able to test the command skills of Juno, which basically means the planet of Jupiter is currently jamming to “LightSpeed.”
“It was the coolest thing I’ve ever done,” Quiñ boasts.
Quiñ’s melodic, breathy vocals and dreamy synths are sure to make you fall in love, if you haven’t already. And with vocal features from the likes of Syd of The Internet, G-Eazy, and Compton-based rapper, Buddy, it’s safe to say that Quiñ has a solid backing from her better established peers. But that backing stems from her pure talent, hard work, and perseverance navigating a merciless industry.
“I’ve had people tell me I’ll never be universal or I always say things that no one can understand,” says the singer, “But if I could understand it, that means there are people out there that it was made for also. Maybe others can get there in time. But I never let that affect my work.”
This sentiment gets to the heart of Quiñ’s exploration of her own psyche all those years ago. She seems to finally fully understand herself and is optimistic about her message resonating with more and more people.
“It’s a good example of staying true to yourself and what seeing what can come out of it.”
In the midst of uncertainty and troubling times on planet Earth, Quiñ’s extraterrestrial music provides more than just bops.
“It’s a portal to the beauty in ourselves and being able to have faith in good,” she explains. “Even though there’s so much darkness, the light will always overpower that. I have a lot of medicine in my music. It’s about getting people that consciousness to where they can understand that we can change everything that we wanted to by changing within ourselves first.”
Whether exploring herself or the cosmos, it’s clear that this intergalactic mega-babe is shooting for more than the stars and she’s leaving an intrepid path fxor us to follow. Even if it took some time to get there, she seems to have her shit together.
Hair by J. Evanie Frausto
Makeup by Natalia Lopez de Quintana
Photo Assistant: Michael Pardo
For the full story and more content, get your copy of Phosphenes #4 – “Music”