In a post-Blonde and Ctrl world, making R&B that stands out is as difficult a task as ever. Whether it be the rap-influenced drum programming or sleek vocals, so many songs blend into each other like a never ending algorithmic playlist. Whenever someone takes that mold and breaks it they have our attention and that is exactly what South Florida artist Q did just over a year ago with the release of his self-produced debut project, Forest Green. Q’s uncompromising voice combined with a myriad of musical influences from acoustic pop to soul and alternative rock displayed enormous potential in the span of seven tracks.

While Q is only 21, he’s been around music his whole life, growing up in and around studios. His father, Steven "Lenky" Marsden, is an influential figure in the dancehall and reggae scene, creator of the legendary “Diwali Riddim,” sampled by the likes of Rihanna (“Pon De Replay”) and Sean Paul (“Get Busy”) for multiple Billboard hits. In a full circle moment, it’s especially fitting that his father has a writing credit on “Take Me Where Your Heart Is,” the lead single on his major label debut, The Shave Experiment EP.

Now signed to Columbia Records, Q spent the last year working on the EP. The music is self-assured and mature, even if the songwriting is still vulnerable and intimate. The instrumentation is funkier and somewhat upbeat, which feels like a departure from his old sound. Q claims The Shave Experiment is one of the “first pieces” of his plans, and we think it’ll prove to be an important one.

We talked to Q about growing up around the industry, his love of sunsets and jazz, his visual art and, of course, his new EP. Read the full conversation below and listen to The Save Experiment on all platforms now.

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