Casey Quint on her sonic project K C Q and crafting the ‘Former Teen Model’ EP

"Me dad loves Tricky and so I had a heavy diet of "Pre-Millenium Tension" growing up. That explains why I like those thick sounds and fuzzy beats"
8 May 2024

Collaboration, and navigating the contemporary music landscape

In this captivating conversation with London-based rapper Casey Quint, a dynamic 20-year-old artist and the creative force behind the sonic project K C Q, we explore her imaginative world through the surprisingly fresh and alluring EP, Former Teen Model.

She shares insights into the inspiration behind her music, her passion for drum machines, and her collaborations with other artists. Quint discusses how influences like Duran Duran and Tricky have shaped her unique sound. We also explore her upcoming summer pub tour, thoughts on the music industry, and the artistic ethos that drives her songwriting. 

Big fan of Duran Duran. I heard that one song with Janelle Monet when I was wee and it made an impression. And my favorite sound? Nothing beats a kick drum.

“All me videos are by the same director, Calvin Kiggs, cept the US one that’s Marilyn Eggerton. One day I hopes to work with Jordan Peele though – fingers crossed!”

Can you share the inspiration behind your debut EP Broken Stays Broken and your latest EP Former Teen Model?

Broken Stays Broken were demos to get me a record contract, so they’re a bit older. And Former Teen Model is some newer music to keep me blood pumpin’. I like them both but FTM is more how I sound now. I’m only 20 so me body, me mind are changing all the time. BSB was also a wee bit of a rescue ‘cos the first version was crap and I wanted to take what I learned into a new set of songs.

“Playlisters got too much control. Way more than DJs did. And they don’t have good taste!”

Who are the members of K C Q, and what are their roles in the music-making process?

It’s just me, Casey Quint, plus some of me mates from London. Los Angeles producer man Darren Callahan likely does the most, in that he mixes the songs and adds a lot of bells n’ whistles. These days I’m making noise with Tom Bartholomew, who plays about everything except drums. Marcus Nemuro from THE LOUD BANGS plays the drums on five of me tracks.  

Your music often delves into themes of personal fear and failure. Can you discuss how these themes manifest in your songs?

See I was wee I always did rhymes that were really personal. I share too much sometimes, and that gets me into trouble, but I don’t know any other way, you see? I mean its the whole reason to do it. Even if people think I’m mad or a drooling depressive, I have to do it this way. And I SHOULD be fearin’ failure. I don’t have a lot of options! So far no one’s really listening so I might as well be my true self before I get all old and embarrassed like.

How did your collaboration with THE LOUD BANGS on ‘The Jamie Situation’ influence your solo work, and how did it come about?

Aside from Marcus playing drums, the main influence were their being cool cats! Sees, I’m basically a nepo cos my family knows Shoeplaze, the label for TLB. They were seeking something for me to feature on. My lyrics are all about anxiety and Alice from TLB’s lyrics are about anxiety, so the idea of a collab floated and I was like, Yeah, mates, let’s do it! I’m lots more into beats and real thick production than they are, though, and my stuff is simpler. They’re about the layers when I’m really about a big fuzzy thump thump.

Could you expand on the concept behind the music video for If You Can Make It and its connection to the intense and alluring track?

Black Astronaut spun that up with two versions of the video – one for the UK and one for the US. The UK one is super weird and has lots of boobies so the US one is more of a short film. All me videos are by the same director, Calvin Kiggs, cept the US one that’s Marilyn Eggerton. One day I hopes to work with Jordan Peele though – fingers crossed!

Can you share some thoughts that encapsulate your artistic ethos, particularly regarding your approach to songwriting and creative process?

Against opinion, I do play piano and do have an arsenal of drum machines, so it’s not all producer-trickery. I do my raps to a click and then put some music under it. Not to much, cos I like to leave room for Darren or the band. Lots of times I end up crowded up the track with too many words and Darren like cuts things out and moves things. Every Word is Heavy is a good example of that cos the first track was talk talk talk and the new one is just some here n’ theres. K C Q approved, though, and I always give notes and direction. Maybe in the future I can produce meself but being only 20 and these being my first records I got a ways to go.

What major influences have shaped your sound, particularly the impact of artists like Tricky and Massive Attack?

Me dad loves Tricky and so I had a heavy diet of Pre-Millenium Tension growing up. That explains why I like those thick sounds and fuzzy beats. I like all the imperfections and the fact that it sounds sorta not finished like. I usually rhyme real soft and that’s a lot of Massive and Martina Topley-Bird type influence. Also, Portihead and Cocteau Twins and newer stuff like Cities Aviv or Kendrick Lamar. Reviews of my stuff be like, “it’s so retro,” but to my generation all music is now. Streaming lets us do that. Everything exists right now and there really is no modern pop style of its own. Kid’ll be like listening to Blur and Drake or something side by side and have no trip.

“Against opinion, I do play piano and do have an arsenal of drum machines, so it’s not all producer-trickery. I do my raps to a click and then put some music under it.”

If you could change anything about the music industry, what would it be?

Playlisters got too much control. Way more than DJs did. And they don’t have good taste!  Poor gits have to listen to a million tracks a day though so guess they’re not criminal like. Got to be exhausting.

What’s next for you musically?

A summer pub tour! Schedule soon!

What’s your musical guilty pleasure, and what’s your favorite sound in the world?

Big fan of Duran Duran. I heard that one song with Janelle Monet when I was wee and it made an impression. And my favorite sound? Nothing beats a kick drum.

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