Probably best known for his 1998 top 40 smash anthem, “Westside,” taken from his impressive debut solo collection, They Never Saw Me Coming, Compton, California’s, own prodigal son, TQ, née Terrance Quaites, is back with a brand-new future hit, offering titled “Coming Home.” Rolling out recently caught up with the 39-year-old singer-songwriter to see what exactly he has cooking up for the remainder of 2015 and beyond.
Let’s hop right into your latest single and video “Coming Home” — how did it actually come to fruition?
I hadn’t worked with Damizza in years. He picked me up from the airport in Santa Barbara, and when we got to the studio this was the first thing I heard. Bro, this one was made for me! Like we had never stopped working.
“Coming Home” comes courtesy of your forthcoming eighth solo collection of the same name. Conceptually, what does its title represent both to and for you?
Just a return to the roots really. I’ve been everywhere. I’ve dabbled in every genre that I love, whether it was through my own records or records I wrote for other people. I’m an R&B artist. My music is “soul” at the end of the day. I chose to dig into some deeper concepts than most. I’m back at it on this album. Right at home.
How does “Coming Home” either differ or compare to your previous efforts?
I think it shows a lot of growth. I think it flows differently than my other albums. There’s a lot of musical space on this one, and that’s not something I normally do.
For it, of course, you teamed up with producer Damizza and his Baby Ree imprint. What particular string of events led to this union?
Man, I think it was us following each other on Instagram or something. We finally got on the phone and decided to get back in the lab. … Here we are a full album later.
In addition, you are working on an upcoming television vehicle titled “Brothers,” what all can you divulge about the series at this time?It’s in it pre-production. We wanna get it picked up naturally, but I figured we may as well give a look inside as we create it. The episodes will play out over my blog, through short clips on my YouTube Channel: TQtheTrojan, songs and music videos. Very excited about it. Follow my blog at: http://therealtq.com/blogs/thugpoetry/.
Also, you recently launched an app, iTQ, talk about that venture.
Analytics are really important to an indie artist. I wanna know who is connecting with my music, where they are, what they like and don’t, etcetera. Mine showed me that most people connect with my music through their phones. I wanted to give them a more streamlined experience where they could come and get everything in one place: Http://TheRealTQ.com/iTQ-app.
What do you feel you offer the music industry that we don’t already have in other performers?
I think there’s that section of people for whom rap and hip-hop is a lil too hard on the ears, but R&B is too soft. I’m here for them. This R&B is all man. It’s not in bright colors or women’s jeans. I don’t whine. I don’t sing like a woman. “I love you, baby” will never be the theme of a TQ project, but I can entertain you in Chucks or a slim Gucci black on black with the loafers to match. In no way joking.
What do you want people to get from your music?
Consistent moments of “Rewind that! Did he say what I think he said?” Those moments make fans. They make people remember you. Most of us creative type just want our creations to be remembered.
If you could collaborate with any one artist, living or dead, who would it be and why?
It’d be a producer … Dr Dre. I just have that feeling. Always have. That’s a hit for somebody for sure.
If you could play any venue in the world, which one would you choose and why?
Probably Wembley (Stadium). I used to play my dad’s live Marvin Gaye album from there. The crowd was going nuts! I’ve lived in London and been there many times, so now I get it. That’d be sick!
To what do you attribute your longevity?
God, knowing how to read a contract, exercise and no pills, coke, heroin, cigarettes, soda, beef, pork, McDonald’s or weird meat.
That said, how have you either changed or evolved, both personally and professionally speaking, since you started your music career?
One hundred ways. You learn through your experiences. When I started this I was a kid. Now, I have 2! Everything is different…I’m all the way grown.
To date, what has been your biggest career moment, at least thus far anyway?
That’s a hard one … I’d have to say being on the “Up in Smoke Tour” or getting my first platinum plaque. Both were f—in’ great!
On a more serious note, is it fair to say that you’re happy with the current state of R&B? And, as an extension to this question, where exactly do you “fit in” when it comes to today’s trending/current soundscape?
No. I’ll be happy when I feel like Marvin [Gaye] and Sam Cooke are looking at each other saying, “Man, their s— is better than ours!” Until then, I’m just writing. Trying to give people something substantial to listen to.
Any parting message(s) for our readers?
Thanks for the support! It’s 2016 basically and I’m an indie artist. A “share,” “RT,” “Like,” “Follow,” “comment,” etcetera, is the next best thing to a purchase because these interactions lead to purchases. I ask everybody to follow me on IG, Twitter, and YouTube: @ TQtheTrojan, and on Facebook at: http://Facebook.com/TheRealTQ.