My favorite thing about Quinn XCII is that his songs are always so personal and the passion he puts through his performances are very evident. As soon as I heard this album, I knew it would be something audiences of all ages would relate to. The album was executive-produced by Imad Royal, and Quinn enlisted esteemed guest producers and musicians such as Jorgen Odegard, Rogét Chahayed, Johan Carlsson, Johan Lenox, Michael Pollack and more. This album is a product of hope, nostalgia and waves of melancholy. I loved getting to spend our quarantine talking about “A Letter To My Younger Self” and learning about his process in creating this project.
Hi Quinn! You created “A Letter To My Younger Self” as a story framed around things you wish you knew when you were a teen. Is there a particular reason you chose this nostalgic factor?
Quinn XCII: I’ve always been a sucker for high school. I watched movies like American Pie growing up, and I think for me, subconsciously, I always wanted to do this.
Which song sticks out to you on the album? Any in particular you’re most proud of?
Quinn XCII: The first song was Stacy that I created. The idea of an album wasn’t in place yet, but I loved this track so much so I decided to create the album around the song and go from there. The song I would say I am most proud of though is, Notice Me. It touches on the shy kid persona I had in high school and I didn’t want to talk about my aspirations to others, but deep down it’s something I always wanted to do.
Do you think that your shyness shaped you in any way?
Quinn XCII: Definitely, and I think that’s why people connect to this record. It’s okay if you’re shy growing up. I also came from a humble standpoint. I grew up in the Midwest so I always naturally had the quality of keeping my head to the ground and being that shy kid reminded me of who I am deep down. Even to this day, I’m confident but not cocky and can be shy in some situations.
What would you tell your younger self?
Quinn XCII: I’d tell myself to learn to be more confident. It’s okay to be outspoken and share your ideas. I was always afraid of what people would think, but I’ve learned that what you think is noticeable, people don’t focus on. Like the pimple on my face, my self image. It’s just a broader scope.
You open up about mental illness in this album in particular. I think this something I think we can all especially relate to right now. What’s something you want the listeners to know and how was opening up about your own journey?
Quinn XCII: To not take yourself too seriously. Back in high school, I remember looking at the lens in a dramatic way. Like, you date the girl, marry her and all the friends you had then will be your friends forever. I want to communicate that while it’s a pivotal time, it’s a small chapter and there’s more life to be lived. I could not have made it this far without that experience. I’m 28, happily married. Just don't get too beat up about your high school experience, because it is temporary.
Has quarantine shifted your perspective at all?
Quinn XCII: In my life, definitely. I’m meditating a lot more and doing more spiritual work. I’m learning to not take life for granted and to slow down.
"At 15 years old, I begged my mom to take me to Walmart to get Taylor Swift's debut deluxe album and I never turned back. This was my very first entry point to stan fandom. Growing up in Memphis, Tennessee I was exposed to a ton of music - from rapping 3 6 Mafia to bopping to Justin Timberlake's solo discography. Now, in LA have a day job working in nonprofit development, but by night, I'm a full-fledged fangirl. I'll listen to generally any genre, but I'm a sucker for a good pop song. If you ever need someone to scream sing Carly Rae Jepsen's E·MO·TION with, I'm your girl. No, I still have not gotten over the One Direction hiatus. Please continue to respect my privacy. Twitter : samfonggg, Instagram : samantha_fong"