Video: AQ – The Captain
“The Captain is a song about upholding legacy and influence. Expect more raw and melodic tracks from me” –AQ
In The Captain, the first single from his upcoming EP, AQ advises on taking control of your present life. While growing up in Connecticut, Ireland and Texas, he listened to Blink-182, The Shins and The Beatles, eventually finding his love of hip hop through artist Kid Cudi, who has helped him sonically become a man of his own moon. AQ continues to grab inspiration from artists like the late Mac Miller, Lil Wayne, and Southern groups, Three 6 Mafia, ABN and UGK.
Don’t be fooled by his gap-toothed smile and boyish looks, 25-year-old rapper, singer and songwriter AQ has been through life, death and countless metamorphic moments while creating his debut EP. With a spirited knack for leaning into different soundscapes, he is finding strength in his versatility, dexterous flow and relatable perspective.
Adapting his artist moniker from his name Austin Quinn, AQ first began making music while attending high school in San Antonio, Texas. While diving head first into his new-found appetite to create music, his hip-hop-leaning, melodic sound was born and he received an outpouring of encouragement from his peers. Having had a successful response on the song “Plug”, which he collaborated with fellow San Antonio rapper and long-time friend, Andre Richardson, aka Madjik tha SoulRebel, led AQ to consider a career path as a professional recording artist. Upon his graduation from Ithaca College, AQ lied to his parents, assuring them that he was using his bachelor’s degree in business to apply and interview for advertising jobs in NYC. In reality, he retreated to his “recording studio” (a roommate’s closet in Harlem) and began recording. AQ spent a lot of time in Harlem polishing his original recordings and filling up more than a dozen Moleskine notebooks with lyrics.
In December 2016, one of his tracks caught the attention of Pusha T on Instagram, who promptly reached out and offered a reaffirming co-sign. After gaining the attention of the record executive and Grammy-nominated hip hop artist, AQ hired his friend, former Austin-based ScoreMore Shows coworker and tour manager for Toronto-based producer Murda Beatz, Casey Brecker, to be his manager. In February 2018, the pair packed up all their belongings and moved to Los Angeles, in hopes of finding a record deal AQ couldn’t refuse.
A year later in February 2019, that worldwide distribution record deal was finally offered and inked with ADA/Warner Music Group for AQ’s forthcoming debut EP. AQ’s brief moment of celebration quickly turned to tragedy when, two days after signing his deal, his manager Casey passed away unexpectedly in their LA apartment. AQ made a promise to himself to both uphold Casey’s legacy and finish the journey they started together.
Whether he’s crooning over an atmospheric beat or switching up his delivery and flow, AQ is welcoming the next chapter of his career with a pen in one hand and a blunt in the other.