Name: Quinn Christopherson
Genre: Indie rock
For Fans Of: Lucy Dacus, Big Thief, LaLa LaLa
Why You Should Care: I am a little bit obsessed with NPR music and religiously check out their Tiny Desk Concert performances. There’s something so intimate and vulnerable about them and seeing an artist perform stripped down in this setting really tells you a lot about them in a short amount of time. So naturally when I saw that NPR announced their Tiny Desk Concert winner, I was immediately enthralled in learning about the winner – who is none other than Quinn Christopherson.
Quinn was announced as the winner in May after the judges sifted through over 6,000 submissions. His entry includes a performance of his single “Erase Me,” a track about his experience living as a transgender male and his journey over the past year and a half.
It seems like it was a perfect fit to feature Quinn as Chicago Haze’s AOTM for June since it’s Pride Month. I think it’s important to give voices in LBGTQ music a platform and I’m happy to feature an artist who is making and sharing music so personal to him and it was really an honor to interview him for Chicago Haze.
Check out my Q&A with Quinn below.
Chicago Haze: Your submission for NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert contest was selected over 6,000 other applicants. It’s a basic question, but how did that make you feel? I personally feel as though NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts are for the selected few very talented artists and always love seeing acts being showcased in such an intimate setting. Was that performance scary?
Quinn: I felt like I was creating a scene because I got the call from Bob [Boilen]while I was at work- & then even crazier because they swore me to secrecy for a whole 3 days so I couldn’t tell my co workers why I was so excited. Performing at the tiny desk was intimate, and vulnerable but that’s kind of the shows I live for so I was actually more nervous for the tour.
Chicago Haze: I’ve read that you have a day job as a counselor for youth in Alaska. How does your experience transitioning affected your relationship with those you council?
Quinn: It’s all peanuts to an elephant with my youth – they’re so much more woke than adults lately.
Chicago Haze: Going off of the question above, how does your experience affect your music and songwriting?
Quinn: My songwriting is my way of telling stories about my life and the people I love. When I write about transitioning I’m just trying to be visible & transparent hoping maybe someday people won’t be too concerned about it because there’s more interesting things to talk about.
Chicago Haze: The way you describe your transition into a position of power and privilege as a male is very powerful. Is there anything specific you hope to achieve with your platform as a musician?
Quinn: I wrote Erase Me the day after Alyse Galvin lost her campaign to be Alaska’s first congresswoman. She was the better candidate & that just made me think about my position now and the newfound privilege I have.
Chicago Haze: It seems as though everything is happening for you as a success very quickly. Is there anything you’re hoping to accomplish this year with your music?
Quinn: I’m just taking things one thing at a time for now, best I’d hope for is to keep writing songs.
Chicago Haze: Like I’ve hinted at above, your perspective as an artist is very unique. Are there certain artists or performers that you are inspired by that influence your music?
Quinn: I get inspired by so many artists lately! That’s the thing right? We have so many choices and new music coming out everyday it’s amazing how easy it is to get inspired. Music gets me through certain times or experiences and with all the highs of winning the tiny desk and anxieties of playing for people in a way I never have before, ‘proving myself’ to be worth winning- I’ve been stuck on Julia Jacklin’s Crushing album.
Quinn has upcoming shows with Courtney Barnett, Portugal. The Man and Lucy Dacus. Click here to see a full list of tour dates.
Photo Credit – Ash Adams
Thanks for reading,