Quanner Blends The Art Of Singing And Lyricism Into His Music
For those who may not know, who is Quanner?
Quanner is an artist from Buffalo, NY, by way of New York City. I’m also a singer-songwriter, father, brother, and mentor.
Being that you’re from Buffalo, NY, when did you discover that you had a propensity for music and performing?
I started off singing in school classrooms. My best friend was the kid that was known as either a musician or dancer. He was always performing in front of people, and I was always tagging along. One night I asked him, “ Yo O, you think I can sing?” He was shocked. The next day, I went to class, sang in front of the whole class and got a standing ovation. Since then, I’ve been hooked.
Over the last few months, you’ve dropped a surplus of singles (Sunny Duet Freestyle Quanner x KotaThefriend, Rolando Freestyle, Lynwood Freestyle, and Indy Amarie Freestyle). How did these songs become the incubator for a full-length EP?
The freestyles were to show my versatility as I’ve always been drawn to different sounds. Being an artist, I’m always inclined to blend different things that I like from a musical standpoint. I’m not a one-dimensional artist, so I want my outward appearance and topics I choose to write about to reflect that. I’m also a fan of heavy instrumentation. I wasn’t able to put out a lot of music during the last few years, so I really wanted to attack this year wholeheartedly.
Talk about the concept behind your debut project, Mo Betta Blues, which is set to be released on September 8.
This was a long time coming. I’ve always been a fan of so many different Spike Lee movies, and his filmography speaks for itself. I was initially going to call my first EP Mo betta Blues, but I decided to change it at the last minute. I’m still in possession of five to six more songs that had more of that vintage jazz aesthetic, which is so prominent in many of his films. I just wanted to put my own spin on the titles of his films. This is my story, and I wanted to show my true artistry while maintaining a contemporary sound.
Talk about you dedicating Mo Betta Blues to your cousin L Boogie and your recent photoshoot in New York.
L Boogie is the heart of this. He’s the vessel and the essence of why I do music. It’s important for me to continue honoring the legacy of such a phenomenal person. He was the first person in my family to support my talent as a singer. He was a smaller guy in stature, but he had a lot of heart. His life ended tragically, but it was the start of something even greater in my own life. He let me know why our story needs to be told and why we need to become bigger than our past circumstances. I couldn’t think of any other better way than to honor him by being successful in what I love to do. If he were here, he’d be sitting right next to me doing this interview.
What are some studio essentials that you must have with you at all times?
In the studio, I’m more inclined to just be with the engineer. A lot of you guys know my engineer as David or, Turn me up some please David. That’s my little brother. Aside from him, a good cup of tea or water and the dim lights are all I need in the studio.
Name three influential artists (from any genre of music) that you find yourself referencing back to the most.
Ro James, Charles Perry, and Nas
Being that you’re an artist who sings over trap and bass-heavy beats, what are some ways that you continue to keep your sound pristine?
Now it’s about not being repetitive or even flat. The standard of singing has changed from its traditional flat-footed roots of yesteryear. My greatest task is to now stay true to myself while keeping a commercial appeal. It’s about showcasing my potential. People are going to see this as the cornerstone of my growth as an artist, and they get to come along with me on the journey. It’s kind of cool, you know?
Aside from Mo Betta Blues, what are some other creative projects that you’re currently working on?
We’re going to drop more freestyles and some more original music to end the year. At the start of next year, my friends Marz Vader and I have a joint EP that we will be releasing. And I’ll be releasing a new album titled, Songs For Words I Can Never Say.
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