Que QnA is a Hip Hop artist and Co-founder of the Las Vegas based music startup Attain Records, Int’l. Que has been performing and singing since he began talking. Que was born in Queens, New York. However, as a child his family moved around a lot and his music has been shaped by the time he spent in California as well as Florida, where his family finally settled, and New York City, where he spent summers. Que publicly performed for the first time when he was in the 2nd grade and discovered his love of rap music several years later. By the age of 13, Que began building his craft as a rapper. He garnered local fame and media attention and built a strong fan base by performing at school talent shows, local events and state fairs in and around Florida.
By the age of 17, Que had inked a record deal with Southern Music Distribution, an independent label. Unfortunately, the deal fell through as a result of creative differences. Soon thereafter, Que’s burning desire to reach his full potential as a musician led him to relocate to Orlando, Florida, where he enrolled in Full Sail, a top-rated music and entertainment school. Again, Que’s hopes were dashed when, after only a few weeks, he was dismissed from the program due to a lack of financial support. Although he always dreamed of re-enrolling at Full Sail, life, and the responsibilities it brings, got in the way and Que turned to the street life in order to make ends meet. But he never gave up on his dream.
Que eventually dedicated himself to perfecting his craft as a hip hop artist ultimately, deciding to partner with two friends to start Attain Records. Que possesses a versatile and honest approach to Hip Hop. Pulling inspiration from his real life, his music is relatable to many. Que is emerging as a rising star in Hip Hop and this is just the start of his new journey to stardom.
1. How long have you been in the music game and how did you get started in the first place?
Que QNA: I’ve been rapping and recording since I was about 13, so about 13 years or so, reducing some of the years because I took off to do life. I was still into music in my off years, I just wasn’t going as hard as I am now. What got me started though was rapping for my friends in cyphers. It was a past time growing up; I was in performance classes and sang in school, and trying to hold a flow in a cypher, I took as personal challenge
2. Who were your first musical influences that you can remember?
Que QNA: My first, first, influence for me in music I have to say, was Michael Jackson, I had the movie “Moonwalker” on vhs and I watched it over and over. That was my joint.
3. Which artists are you currently listening to? And is there anyone of these that you’d like to collaborate with?
Que QNA: Jay-Z, Eminem, and T.I., honestly I would love to work with all of them. That’s a very shortened list because I could go on for a while
4. How did you cope and get over the delusions of your first record deal with Southern Music Distribution, and then having to leave the Full Sail program?
Que QNA: I don’t really want to say cope as if it devastated me, because it didn’t, it hurt but was not devastating. I grew up learning how to let things go from moving allot so, I just figured I’d find another route, I try to see the good in all things, even what most would consider bad or unfortunate.
5. Do you think video is an important vehicle for your music? And how do you go about producing your videos as an indie artist?
Que QNA: I think its an extremely important vehicle, you get a chance to match a face to the voice of the music you hear. I like to be realistic with my video concepts and try to enhance the picture visually, to match what you hear sonically. I also listen to ideas of the people that matter to me and that I work with, so allot of times its not all me, certain people have input that I consider and if I feel it will help paint the picture I’m going for I go with it.
6. Studio work or performing live, which of these do you prefer most and why?
Que QNA: I prefer studio work. I like performing, but I love the creative process more. There is nothing like making something from nothing. So I would have say studio work.
7. Tell us something about the beats and music production on your releases. Who creates them and do you work with other producers
Que QNA: Well a lot of times, I’ll have a song in my head with a melody or words without a beat, so The Knocksmithz, Thorell Turner and Sean Hairston, built beats around my vocals I laid down acapella. For instance “Lill Star”, “Mental Trumpets”, and “Fall”, which are on “America’s Orphan” where built that way. Other songs however come from beats I hear and I’m attracted to, like “Fresh” produced by Believe.
8. On which of your songs do you think you delivered your personal best performance so far, from an emotional and technical point of view?
Que QNA: It’s very difficult to pick one song as my best, they’re all different expressions of how I feel, but I would say the technical wordplay on “Lil Star”. Most don’t catch it; the whole song was a double entendre. Emotionally, I would say “Mental Trumpets “, that’s if I had to chose for the sake of the discussion!
9. Which ingredient do you think makes your sound special and unique?
Que QNA: Again narrowing it down to one particular thing is extremely difficult for me, so I would say diversity, and my raspy rap voice lol
10. If you were forced to choose only one, which emotion, more than any other drives you to stay in this tough business. Is it joy, anger, desire, passion or pride and why?
Que QNA: PASSION! I was finally able to pick one, the passion for making music is natural thing for me, it isn’t forced, it keeps me for the most part mentally sound lol
11. Which aspect of being an independent artist and the music making process excites you most and which aspect discourages you most?
Que QNA: Being my own boss excites me, and having creative freedom to make what feels good to me. The only thing that really discourages me is the over saturation of artists.
12. Tell us something about your songwriting process. What usually comes first the lyrics or the beats?
Que QNA: Honestly, there is no set way on how I write, sometimes I hear the beat and write. Sometimes I write the whole song without a beat and have to find one or have one made. Sometimes I hear a beat and wont write at all, I’ll just record it as I make it up right there. So there no set process, it’s really however I’m inspired in that moment.
13. How involved are you in any or all of the recording, producing, mastering, and marketing processes of your music. Do you outsource any of these processes?
Que QNA: I’m actually heavily involved in all those processes, simply because its me we’re selling, you know! I think it’s a process an artist should be involved in, and Attain Records, my label is very good about that. As far as outsourcing only if it need be, but we try to keep most things in-house.
14. The best piece of advice in this business you actually followed so far, and one you didn’t follow, but now know for sure that you should have?
Que QNA: I think, I’ve received pretty good advice from a lot of people, but one thing that stands out is something my uncle said “save everything”, and as far as rhymes, I have and it’s come in handy. There’s nothing I can think of that I didn’t do that I should of, I’m pretty open when it comes to receiving info that can help me.
15. At this point, as an independent artist, which is the one factor you desire most, and feel will undeniably benefit the your future (for example increased music distribution, better quality production, more media exposure, bigger live gigs etc…)?
Que QNA: I would have to say more media exposure, the more people that get the opportunity to hear my music the greater the potential for fans. I would go with media exposure.
16. Do you consider Internet and all the social media websites, as fundamental to your career, and indie music in general, or do you think it has only produced a mass of mediocre “copy-and-paste” artists, who flood the web, making it difficult for real talent to emerge?
Que QNA: Wow ok, I don’t think it’s fundamental in the sense of, you can’t do without it, but I do think it’s a great tool if used correctly. I do feel though there is an over saturation of artists that make it difficult for some artists, but honestly that would be that way with or without the internet. The Internet just makes it easier to do. Look at the long line of people that try out for American Idol. Thousands of people show up, only a few get picked, and that’s in person, Internet free. Like I said, if used correctly it can help you get your music heard in places you couldn’t typically get to in person early in your career. My twitter @QueQNA, I have a significant amount of followers, and many listener and fans from other countries, so it can help, it just depends on how you do it.
17. Could you tell us something about how and why ATTAIN RECORDS came about?
Que QNA: Well, since I was young I knew I always wanted to pursue a music career, but I really wanted to do it on my own terms. My co-founders and I felt that we could put the ball back in the hands of artists who make good music and music they’re comfortable making. We put our heads together and Attain Records was born in a nutshell. I can say safely though none of my business comrades really ever took well to following the norm or unbreakable rules for that matter lol!!!!
18. What are you ultimately hoping to achieve with ATTAIN RECORDS? Will you be reaching out to other artists, or is this a vehicle only for your own material.
Que QNA: We hope to achieve artistic freedom and the ability for the artist to have more control on steering where there career goes, while still achieving success. This is definitely not a vehicle for my use only; there will be other artist to come.
19. What do you think is the biggest barrier you have to face and overcome as an indie artist and performer, in your quest to achieve your goals and wider spread success?
Que QNA: I think the biggest thing I have to overcome is, scheduling time for business with personal/ family time and making sure one doesn’t fall victim to the other. I personally feel like, if your house isn’t in order it’s difficult to organize your business. I think what I need to work on and make sure it stays tight; family plays a major part in my success.
20. What is the ONE thing you are NOT willing or prepared to do, EVER, in your quest to achieve a successful musical career?
Que QNA: LOL, Sell my soul or compromise my artistic integrity and make music I’m uncomfortable with for the interest of money. Any project I take on or am a part I have to give it a piece of me, the real me!