By Carla Sanchez Taylor (RIPple Puddle)
There is a creative visualization practice that works for identifying beauty that many of us don’t realize we employ regularly. The world around us is good or bad to varying degrees, depending on our perspective and circumstance. But we all know when we experience the “ping” of something uniquely good.
Fantasy soul singer, QUIÑ knows how to deliver that ping.
To say that comparatively she sounds similar to the soulful Erykah Badu would be dismissive of both unique talents, but the vocal semblance is difficult to avoid, as is the familiar warmth it draws from the listener. Her album, Galactica, is not just sound, it is a vibratory experience; the beats are hypnotically atmospheric, slow, and purposeful.
Could you be listening to suggestive subliminal messages? Perhaps. Lusty melodies combined with soft, whispery vocals, speaks like the soundtrack to an intergalactic sexual encounter. But beyond QUIÑ’s sensual delivery, there is a forthright honesty that most commercial pop music lacks. It makes you realize how remarkably quick the brain is at identifying true artistry without ever blossoming to linear, conscious awareness. Whether or not the transmission is affective is dependent upon the truth of the message and the receptibility of the receiver.
Carla:I’ve been listening to your album, Galactica repeatedly over the last few days. There is a delicate sexiness combined with an otherworldly feel. How do you think sensuality and spirituality intersect and how is music a vehicle to delivering that nuanced message?
QUIÑ:I learned to listen to my soul when I was 19 when I moved away from home and every distraction. I was being pushed into being alone, and to be all the way in my own feelings. I think there’s a landmark moment in everyone’s life where that happens. You start at zero where you meet yourself, your future self, and then you know what you need to do to build yourself from the ground up. That came for me a little later in life. I never really knew what I was going to be when I grew up. I thought I was going to go to school, study psychology and become a criminal psychologist, which would’ve been good too. But I had music in my body that I needed to get out. It was once I stepped out of myself and understood that it wasn’t even about me, that I was just a messenger, that I was able to remove the fear from myself. What was I so afraid of? The fear highlighted my gifts in an odd way so I was able to identify easily what I needed to work on to eliminate it. So I would practice singing in uncomfortable places. When people wanted me to sing for them, I would actually say yes instead of trying to avoid it. I began to build confidence, to sit in the uncomfortability of it all, until I didn’t care anymore…and so I think that sensuality is in us all but it comes to the surface through a certain level of confidence. I will always be growing but I think that I found that place in my voice. I’m in my body and in my soul so that I’m able to be a good example of confidence.
Carla:So what you’re saying is that the ego needs to be let go in order to find true expression?
QUIÑ:Yes, it’s about killing it slowly though. Understanding what you’re doing when you say ‘I don’t want that anymore. I don’t want to be insecure. I don’t want this voice talking to me like this anymore.’
Carla:That’s tricky. It’s really difficult to maintain a real-time stasis to noticing when the ego has taken control. How do you hold on to that? I’m also thinking, within the context of our world today, specifically social media, where an anonymous line can be dropped, and negativity inserted so easily. Everyone is vulnerable.
QUIÑ:My perspective is that the game for those that are here on this planet right now is to stay connected, so obviously this is not going to be easy. If it were easy then we’d already know everything we need to know. We’d have nothing to learn. You have to practice it like it is a sport. I know that when I’m feeling disconnected it is because I am naturally being pulled away from that source, the part of me that is true. I can hear when my spirit is getting quieter and quieter and the ego is getting louder. They’ve switched out. I think it’s a matter of maintaining enough quiet time by whatever your preferred means is, whether by meditation or prayer. I like to be able to soothe myself by having my own alone time and routines.
Carla:It sounds like you’ve developed some really affective checkpoints. Still, do you have to detach yourself from the external? It seems like you have to maintain a level of openness to different things that are going on around you for your work to be as connected as it is. You have to keep listening right?
QUIÑ:Living in this world, part of my job is to collect feelings from others. I’m a total empath, so I absorb it all. I’m supposed to feel it and then I’m supposed to let it go. Sometimes that gets really hard. But it’s definitely part of my job to stay connected to everyone’s feelings without taking it personally so that I can deliver the message that needs to be delivered. I’m just a vessel that’s working here. When I’m not working, I feel lazy and not on my job.
Carla:It’s very strange, because when I listen to your music, it feels like there’s hidden information in there. I don’t know how to explain it.
QUIÑ:Oh 100 %. Most of these songs are a conversation between the me that is here and my soul. When I listen back, I won’t even realize what I said. I can listen to a song a billion times and put on everyone’s ears, listening to it from different perspectives. I can hear that there are so many different messages that are not just for me. They’re also there for you too.