Every so often you hear a voice that demands to be heard again. Quayke’s first release ‘You and This I’ is nothing short of mesmerising; beautiful vocals backed by equally harmonious production from Josh Mason. The track itself is pure and raw emotion on display. Yet Quayke has the deft ability to turn such emotional material into something wonderful; or in her own words she is ‘better not bitter’. I had the opportunity to speak to Quayke about her debut track and when we can be expecting more.
Can you tell me a little about yourself? (Who you are basically)
I grew up in a small town in Melbourne’s west – the kind where everyone knows everyone. I had a pretty normal upbringing – my parents were cool and I was the annoying little sister I’m still surprised my brother was able to tolerate.
I was heavily into art subjects, graphic design and fashion textiles being my thing, but decided to skip uni at the end of high school. At 18, I bounced around different internships from doing social media work for an online label to being a buyer’s assistant for a fashion brand all while working full-time yet still had no idea what I wanted to do.
Just after I turned 19, I felt super lost, so I booked a one-way ticket to London. I met a bunch of people working in hospitality and decided to quit my job in fashion and made the swap. My friends and I created our own pop-up restaurant in the heart of Shoreditch and I started working at a really cool hotel.
I was learning so much about this new industry, but missed creating things. Through Instagram, I got in contact with my now producer – Josh Mason, and we began writing music together. We jammed in his home studio in Peckham into the late evenings for six months until my visa ran out.
I’m back in Melbourne now and last week released the first single Josh and I had worked on. I’m feeling so blessed by the response of the track and so excited for what’s to come.
What got you into music in the first place, and who/what inspires you?
Growing up, the neighbours would complain about the music coming from my house. My parents would sing in the kitchen and my dad always had a bunch of instruments in his study. My brother started his music career as a drummer and my house was the one his bands would rehearse at. I’d sing in the shower, but being an anxious kid, my voice never left my privacy.
Over the years, my brother’s instrument of choice changed and he is now a producer. We only really started to bond when I got a little older and we found ourselves liking the same kind of music. We worked on our first track together nearly 4 years ago, and after the release, I realised that writing lyrics and singing was something I wanted to pursue. He opened my eyes to how creative you can be with music. When I describe his style, I like to say ‘expect the unexpected’ – he has this crazy way of putting unique sounds together to create a beat. He is so talented.
I remember calling him from London one night and telling him I was feeling really lost. He told me to go out and buy a midi keyboard to start making a sound to express it all – he then told me not to come home until I’d written an EP. So I found my producer Josh Mason and that’s what we did.
You said your latest track is the story of your time in London, can you give a bit more of the back-story?
About a year ago, I woke up to a really unexpected situation. I found out through Snapchat that someone very close to me had left London and, coincidentally, moved to Melbourne.
‘You and This I’ is a story about growth and how important it is to stay strong when things don’t go how you expected them too. It feels really nice to have been able to turn something that once hurt me so badly into an art. Be better, not bitter hey?
Would you say your time abroad influenced your style of music at all?
Absolutely. London has this incredible music scene that I found myself in love with from day one. Living in East London, music wise I was spoilt for choice. We’d head to jazz bars, listen to buskers and sit at Boxpark on a Sunday to watch the acoustic sets. Wherever I seemed to go, music would always follow.
I fell in love with so many different genres which was something that made finding my own sound really difficult – but then I saw Tom Misch live and it all made sense.
Can we expect any more releases in the near future?
Yes! For the last six months, Josh and I have been working on a number of tracks that we will be dropping late July/early August. It’s super exciting and I’m really looking forward to sharing the rest of the story.