Starting out as a DJ in the underground venues of Leeds, Yorkshire born-London-based Ross Quinn is now making a name for himself on the ambient electronic-pop scene. With his debut EP ‘Away with Me’ out today, featuring lead track ‘You’ co-produced by George from Alunageorge, we caught up with Ross to discuss what listeners can expect from the release, North Yorkshire fiddle music and his less than flattering namesake.
What’s lockdown been like for you? How have you been holding up?
Lockdown has been an interesting one for sure. I’ve learnt a lot about myself… it’s been great to spend time on the important things that can sometimes be lost with everyday life getting in the way! On the plus side I got to make music all day everyday day… the dream.
What tracks have been getting you through?
At the start of lockdown Rufus Du Sol was my life soundtrack, anything uplifting was helping me adjust to the new pandemic life. But I really enjoyed how connected I was to my friends in music even though I couldn’t see them. We would pass music to each other most weeks for feedback or just to vibe to. That definitely got me through some parts of lockdown.
You’re now living in London but grew up in Yorkshire. What’s the scene like there, what did you grow up listening to?
I’m sooo glad I grew up in Yorkshire, I played drums in some fun Indie bands growing up and then went onto DJ the majority of the clubs in the north of England. It has been really sad to see a lot of my favourite venues close, especially as the north contributed so much towards who I am as an artist today.
What do you miss most about Yorkshire?
Apart from my family, I miss the colour green and the air!!! I think I definitely took open spaces and the countryside for granted living there. But on the plus side there is so much more going on in London and so many amazing people to meet. Trying to hold a conversation with a sheep, it’s not easy.
I’ve read that you’ve been drumming on pots and pans since the age of two and that your whole family is musical. Apart from being generally supportive and inspiring, how has your family affected your music?
My brother, sister and myself all found a HUGE love for music from an early age. We were never pushed into it, just massively exposed to it. We all found our love music at different ages for sure, and although I was on the pots and pans at two, I was always hoping to be a footballer in the beginning!!
You seem to have a soft spot for North Yorkshire fiddle music. Any chance you’ll be incorporating this, or any other interesting instrumentals, into your own tracks soon?
HAHAHA I love that this has stuck. Although this was completely a joke there is a certain ring to it no? I have so many plans for my music and where I can see things developing, I would like to think I’ll be adding lots of different musical inspiration into the future records!!
You’re multi-instrumental, playing drums, keys, guitar and bass. Is there one which comes more naturally to you?
Drums were my first instrument, I think having rhythm has helped me learn all the other instruments, so I suppose drums are the most in my comfort zone. I taught myself all the instruments I play, so I play everything a little odd compared to most… but it works for me! Nothing beats sitting at my family piano at home for hours.
Are you aware of another Ross Quinn, a man who has been jailed after swindling his customers out of money so he could afford Richard Branson’s ‘flight to the moon’. If you could go anywhere, money no object, where would you go and why?
I am not aware, it’s nice to know I’m not the craziest Ross Quinn on the earth. An amazing question, I have a cemented love for Mallorca, there’s something that magnetised me to the island, but I would love to travel around Asia. My two best friends are Mongolian and Nepalese so those countries are definitely on the bucket list!
What’s your favourite story from working as a studio assistant at MJ Cole’s Gin Factory?
Everyday was always an interesting or fun day in that building. I remember meeting everyone for the first time, sat around a table with the industry’s BEST. I was struggling to pay attention to the job I was being offered as I was still slightly mesmerised by what was going on.. that building brought me so much and I’m forever grateful to those guys for giving me a helping hand.
So you devised and cast the music video for your track ‘You’, a song about the steamy beginnings of relationships. What was this process like and what was your inspiration behind the video concept?
As much as I would love to take all the credit… The team behind this video were amazing. Such a young group of people and all extremely talented in their own art, a group effort for sure. The concept for the video came from the lyrics and mood of the track. Meeting someone for the first time can be so exciting, you picture where you see this new relationship going, and that moment of imagination kickstarted the concept and from there we built more of a visual idea. Any excuse to jump in a pool too…
You’ve got a new EP coming out at the end of this month, alongside a brand new track ‘Breathing’. What can listeners expect?
I want people to hear it for the first time and have their own take on the music but I suppose you can expect some emotion, some energy, some highs, some lows, some peaks, some troughs.
Many people have the opinion that 2020 should be cancelled. What are your thoughts on this, concerning all the exciting things that are happening for you?
It’s been bittersweet. 2020 has allowed me to introduce my art to the world, but it’s also been the year that has brought so much pain to the world. But I’m a true believer of taking something positive from anything. We can all learn from all the issues that 2020 has awoken us to. My main hope is we have all felt something that can contribute to equality moving forward!
What does the rest of summer have in store for you?
I’ve had a taste of what it’s like to get music out and I LOVE it. So this summer I just want to write more and more music. Come up with as many new ideas and concepts as I can and enjoy the sun if it decides to stick around. Also, I can’t wait to spend a week up north again, it’s been a very long time!!