INTERVIEW WITH QUIGLEY
story / Erica Russell
photos / JordanVoth
For about a year, Midwestern pop sprite Quigley has been enchanting the digital realm with an assortment of imaginative (and unexpected) mash-ups: Lorde vs. The Who, Miley Cyrus vs. Meat Loaf, Taylor Swift vs. Color Me Badd… you get the picture. These days, however, Quigley has been focusing on her own personal brand of upbeat, cerebral electro-pop, releasing her twinkling debut EP ‘Initium’ on May 8th.
The release comes hot on the heels of the singer-songwriter’s much-buzzed single “Post Post Apocalypse,” a bubbling pixie-pop gem that sounds right at home alongside Grimes, Robyn, and Ellie Goulding. To celebrate the EP (as well as Quigley’s rising star in general), we chatted with her about the Minneapolis music scene, the albums that shaped her, and her next mash-up remix.
Can you tell us about the story behind your song “Post Post Apocalypse”?
I wrote Post Post Apocalypse as a reaction to a lot of unsettling questions and fears I was experiencing at the time. I think on a daily basis we are confronted with so many things that we don’t understand, whether it’s on a small or large scale, and it’s not always easy being okay with that fact. The unknown is terrifying, and I wrote this song as a reaction to that fear. Maybe you don’t know and that’s ok, and you can’t really do anything about it so you might as well just choose to be happy and dance your way through all the shit life throws at you. That’s what Post Post Apocalypse is all about!
If you were in charge of the end of the world, what would your apocalypse look like?
If I were in charge of the apocalypse… I think the world would become overpopulated by a variety of small, fluffy, adorable animals like kittens and bunny rabbits. There would be like a gazillion kittens to every human on the planet. Eventually, they would take over the food supply and humans would go extinct. But, at least we would all die happy.
From what I understand, you’re based in L.A. but from Minneapolis. Can you talk a little about the Minneapolis music scene?
Oh, the Minneapolis music scene! You mean my ex-boyfriends? No, for real. Minneapolis is such a cool city. I was so lucky to be exposed to such great music and talent early on. There are essentially two worlds of music in Minneapolis. There are the veterans, people who worked with Prince, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, etc. And then there are the young, hungry indie rock kids. I can, without a doubt, say that those two groups influenced my style of music making and tastes, however, I never really felt like I fit in, so I moved to LA!
Artistically speaking, which albums or songs growing up have had an impact on you as a singer-songwriter?
There are a few records that I absolutely love every song on, and I could listen to on repeat forever. It’s not really based on what I think is the most sophisticated, or what I should pick, but based on the songs that just make me feel super, super good. These records define my coming of age so to speak, so they really shaped me into the musician I am today.
1.Robyn, Body Talk (2010)
This is the record that got me through my first real heartbreak
2. Frou Frou, Details (2002)
This is the record that narrated my first love, and inspired me to make music
3. The Postal Service, Give Up (2003)
This is the record I listened to when I drove my own car for the first time (a Red 1996 Volkswagon Cabrio)
You also produce your own music. What’s your favorite part of the music process: writing lyrics, producing the music, singing, or the visual component?
I definitely take the most pride in my production as an artist. There is just something so magical about the whole process of inventing sounds. I can’t describe it! Secondly, I take pride in a good lyric. Every good song, to me, has to have an “Aha!” moment; a lyric that makes you think, “Damn, I never thought of it that way before!” If I can accomplish that, then I truly feel fulfilled as an artist. I guess it’s fun to sing, but that’s not what really gets me. I actually don’t even really like my voice that much, ha ha.
Another thing I really enjoy is making Pinterest pages to go with the ideas for my songs. I am so inspired by visuals… I hope to someday have bigger budgets for my music videos so that I can really dive into that world!
You create these amazing and often surprising mash-up covers that you share on your Soundcloud. How do you select which songs you want to cover and which will mash well?
I like to take a classic song, and mash it up with something current. The only real requirement is that the two songs have a somewhat similar BPM. It doesn’t have to be exact. Then, I’ll start making a track that is in a key that works for both songs. I like to start with a sample from the “old” song, and use that as a foundation for the track. It’s really easy!
Is there a particular cover you’re looking forward to doing?
I’m about to start working on Annie Lennox vs. Spice Girls. I’m open to suggestions, too!
Your debut EP, ‘Initium,’ is out now. What are you most excited about regarding the release?
I’m really excited to finally be able to share what I have been up to with the world. It’s been two years in the making, and to finally put everything out for people to see and hear feels so cathartic. I can’t wait for what’s next.