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Q & A: Quentin Chen


Rising Brisbane singer-songwriter Quentin Chen has been turning plenty of local heads since the release of his debut single Mountains. We asked the multi-instrumentalist and busker about the influences behind his music and what we can look forward to from him next year!

You recently performed I Believe for Soi TV, Brisbane. It’s an uplifting and feel-good song, what’s the inspiration or story behind the song?

I Believe is a song that I started writing after a chat with a friend. He told me about how he lived in London and seemed to be living the high life, owning a house and partying lots, but he became depressed and left everything behind to come to Australia to travel for a year.

It’s also partly based on my own experiences of going through some of the worst points in my life, to slowly healing and getting better and better. The song is a little bit of journey in itself, starting off very melancholy and then focusing on how there’s “So much in this world to see/So many people to meet”, something I really believe!

You’ve learnt how to play piano, viola, guitar, singing, and have a background in both jazz and folk. What kind of music is your favourite to play?

Because I make a living as a musician I tend to play a lot of covers, which can range from pop to folk. These days I do a lot of guitar and singing, but it’s always nice to sit down at the piano and bust out some classical tunes, which can be so refreshing since it’s so much more musically complex than the pop I play.

But… it’s very important for me music has soul and energy, which sadly can be a bit lacking in today’s music where a lot of it is computer-generated, as opposed to real instruments which have a very organic and genuine sound. I do love me some EDM/electronic though!

Just a few months ago you release your debut single Mountains, what can we look forward to from you in 2017?

At the moment I’m just sort of going with the flow with my music and not trying too hard, but I would really like to finish a proper album of original songs in 2017.

I want to make the album a special one, and I’d like to record it in ways that are a bit different from the status quo these days. Make it as genuine and authentic as possible is my plan. These things can be hard to predict though, so I don’t know how the whole recording process will turn out. Just know that I will put my heart and soul into it!

Aside from that, I’ll continue to hustle hard with gigging and busking. Feel free to come to one of my gigs, I tend to pop up everywhere in Brisbane and there’s no better way to experience music that up close in real life!