Queency is the project of Perth-based musician Quentin Thony. Queency’s new EP, Purple Diamonds, showcases the artist’s penchant for making Prince-inspired funk and R&B, while also referencing Whitney Houston, James Brown and classic soul, blues and gospel music.
The five-song collection is out on Thursday, 24th November and we’re premiering it on Music Feeds. In conjunction with the premiere, Queency gives us a track-by-track breakdown of the EP, which was recorded with Tristan Sturmer from Sumo Studios and producers Brian Kruger and Ethan French.
Queency: Purple Diamonds
1. Forbidden Fruit
Queency: I started to write ‘Forbidden Fruit’ with my cousin in 2015, back in Reunion Island long before Queency was even a thought. And it’s only in 2018 that I got the inspiration to finish writing the song. I knew this song was meant to be a ballad and I wanted to keep it pretty pulled back, but ended up stacking vocals on top of vocals, which resulted in these big harmonies during the hook.
At the time, I was in a space where although I had recovered from my previous relationship, I was not yet ready to start a new one. But I was down to play, hence the line, “I won’t give my heart to you / But we can make love all night under the moon.”
It really was a time in my life where I learned to love myself again after having my heart broken, and exploring my sexuality strongly contributed to building back my confidence and just all around feeling great in my own skin.
2. Purple Diamonds
Queency: I wrote the melody and lyrics for ‘Purple Diamonds’ without an arrangement or chords, just knowing exactly what I wanted the final product to sound like. This track saw a lot of workshopping before reaching its final stage. It’s an ode to 80s pop and my tribute to the late and forever incredible Prince. And what better way to pay tribute to Prince than writing a synth-heavy, vocally-stacked, explicitly phrased and shamelessly unapologetic pop track?
We turned the temperature all the way up on this one. “Purple diamonds” is a metaphor for giving your most intimate self to someone you can’t resist, without inhibitions. We all remember the best sex of our lives. Well, that’s what ‘Purple Diamonds’ is about.
The song was arranged by Ethan French and produced by Kruger James, and we dropped a couple of Easter eggs in it, like the cowbell after the first chorus referencing Whitney Houston’s ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’. Can you find the others?
3. I Wished On a Star
Queency: It takes a lot of time to recover from a broken heart, especially when the relationship you were involved in was toxic. The person I was with at the time made me believe I was worthless and untalented and it took me years to learn how to love myself again.
The last thing you need in this process is a new relationship, because you need to fix the relationship you have with yourself before you can truly love someone else again. It took a while, but eventually I was ready to love again and that’s when I wrote ‘I Wished On a Star’, on my piano with a bottle of red, imagining who my person was and where they were.
4. Too Late
Queency: I write songs about intense experiences I go through in my life. We think of a romantic break-up as horrible, but break-ups in friendships are potentially worse. ‘Too Late’ was a way for me to express all the anger that resulted from a friendship that went sour, and a way for me to obtain the closure I was never given the opportunity to obtain from that person, and finally move on.
I wrote it during a rehearsal with my band at the time, when Alfred Bangezhano just improvised on keys in between two songs. I said to him, “Hold onto this, I got something,” and Dan Garner threw in that epic guitar riff. Arvis Mena came up with that sassy bass line and Scott Howard dropped those classic drums in.
Dan Garner composed the horns that tied everything up, and we recorded the song live, including this epic brass section. Definitely channelled my inner James Brown on this one.
5. When Daddy Left
‘When Daddy Left’ is by far the deepest song I’ve written. I’m not going to get into the details here because the song tells the full story of what happened, but with this song, I externalised a crucial life event that has left my family broken to this day. It is a genuinely vulnerable position to let your listeners in on something so life defining, but no amount of therapy would’ve helped me reach this level of catharsis.
My mum cries when she listens to this song because she lived it, and my dad is pissed that I have sung my truth, using a brush that depicts him in a negative light. But this shit happened, and I’m not lying.
For this song to convey this level of emotion, I had to venture into classic soul, blues and gospel territory, which resulted in a simple arrangement building up to an organ- and choir-backed climax at the end of the song. I don’t think I’ve lived enough yet to write another song like this one.
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