It’s tough to pin Quincy down. He’s not just an actor. But he did have a memorable role as Jaleel in Dope which led to a recurring, multiseason role on Fox’s Star. He’s not just a musician. But he is stacking a rapidly-diversifying catalog of songs built on a foundation of R&B, hip-hop, and reggae. Just look at the remix of his 2020 hit “Aye Yo,” which took a turn towards the global thanks to Shaggy and Patoranking. He’s not a tech guy. But he does have an encyclopedic knowledge of apps, even developing one of his own on top of inventing an iPhone accessory. And he’s not just a model. But he has been the face of several Coach campaigns and is an ambassador for the label’s line of watches.
So maybe it’s best to describe Quincy by looking at his background. Born to the late actress Kim Porter and R&B legend Al B. Sure!, Quincy’s parents named him after Sure’s mentor, Quincy Jones, who is also his godfather. After his parents split in the early ’90s, Porter began dating Diddy, who would later adopt and raise Quincy. Being brought up among legendary artists, producers, and businesspeople taught Quincy that he could follow many creative paths at once, never limiting himself. After talking to him it’s clear he’s taken those examples seriously, something he discussed with us recently, while also telling us about his creative processes, the different mediums he uses to express himself, and why he’s so into this new Coach X Champion collaboration. This is Quincy’s story.
I wanted to start by welcoming you back to New York City. How does it feel to be living here again?
It feels good, being here working as an adult. I haven’t really been here for this amount of time for a long time. It definitely feels like home still, which I love. LA is my home now, and I didn’t want to get here and feel homesick, but I keep myself busy. I’m really focused, so there’s not too many times where I get that homesick feeling.
What brought you back east?
A lot. I’m working on a lot of things. I’m filming—I’m a guest star on the new season of Power: Book Three. We’re based in New York, and this takes it back to the ’90s. It’s fun. I’ll be here for a couple months.
Can you give us any hints about the character you play?
I can tell you his name is Crown. I can’t give you too much, but what I am excited about as far as the whole series: this takes you back to almost when I was born, so I get to really embody a time where I was just a baby. You know, near the birth of hip-hop, I grew up around that. I get to see this brought to life from a script and be in this period piece.
Does your creative process for acting differ from your musical creative process? Are you in the same headspace?
I’d say it’s similar. It all comes from within at the end of the day. When it comes to music there’s a lot of emotions and ways to convey your message, and with the acting you know what you’re aiming for. I think with the music you have a little more freedom with who you are as a person. Acting, you get to show your diversity with multiple projects, not necessarily within a role or something. That’s the best way to compare the process. The music is more personal, because it’s actually me spilling out who I am, what I’ve been through. With acting you use what you’ve been through, so it goes hand in hand.
Do you have any plans for another full length album to drop, or are you just gonna keep going with singles for a while?
It’s interesting that you say that. I think right now is such an important time to really just put the prime focus in the music. That’s going to come with projects, that’s going to come with more singles. I think it’s all about disrupting. I’m definitely going to be putting out a project in the near future, But I want to be able to make sure I’m not shying away from who I am, even as a person in my artistry. I don’t want to fall short. I feel like I did that a little bit in the past. Pretty much I want to now connect everything and be consistent with it to the point where I’m bringing you on this journey. I kind of set my fans up, you never know when you’re going to expect some music but just know you’re always gonna get it.
The main focus with all these upcoming releases, I’m trying to reach and touch my fans in other countries. My last single, “Aye Yo,” the remix, that was like a cool response I got because it was a very different response. I infused dancehall with the hip-hop and R&B we had reggae, so I just want to continue challenging myself.
I know I have a lot in store. I just decided “Hey, I got this dope record, I’m not gonna put this everywhere. I’m gonna just give it to Youtube,” and I shot a video. I want to just start doing stuff like that, showing you that my music presence is here and all over. I like to be unexpected, so keeping that but then still keeping people locked in.
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Music has been a part of your world for as long as you’ve been alive. Are there any specific moments you remember from your childhood that inspired you to want to become a recording artist?
Music has been literally next door since I hopped out the womb. It’s so many memories. In the studio with some artists that you guys listen to today, maybe with my pops, and I’d make suggestions and they’d use my suggestions. Some of those things happened a lot, and that kind of made me think: does my opinion matter?
Early on it was weird, because I was just reacting off of what my body felt and what I heard. I realized my input actually had way more value than I thought, so I started taking that for myself. I’m so interested in how stuff works, in how it got to that finished product. So I think really just being front row, as a student to the industry, when it came to some of the some of the biggest things you see today I was able to be in that creation. It’s weird to be in something and see it out for the world, and see how they respond.
I think between the hundreds and hundreds of different studios I’ve been in, and musical friends that I have, that’s what has really inspired me as an artist. I don’t want to say this to make it sound like it’s not organized, but I’m all over the place when it comes to the music. But that’s because that’s my goal that I’m going for: that global sound. I don’t want you to box me in. Ever.
Do you work with your father, or your biological father, or anybody like that regularly on music?
No, not regularly. I definitely will get some opinions and their opinion matters to me, but I’m not, the type of person to just want to show something just to show it. If I’m going to show you something I have a reason for showing you. I want us to be on the same page. I don’t want to play a song for somebody like my dad, and he doesn’t know the intention I’m going for. Let’s say he doesn’t like it—I don’t want that to get in the way of my vision, my reasons for doing it.
The constructive criticism and stuff I do go to them for would be almost just, “What do you think about this? Specifically, this.” It’s never, it’s never opening up everything. I think I have a strong gut, I have a strong head when it comes to quality. When it comes to my creativity, I know where to push myself and now I know what works for me. I think sometimes a lot of people get a little tossed up in that because they’re going to base everything will work for them.
I’m thankful for my upbringing. I was around all this stuff. So I can kind of step away and do my thing, and then come back and be like “Check this out.”
So, speaking of collaboration, can you talk about your relationship with Coach and why you chose that brand to work with?
I feel like Coach speaks to everything about who I am. There’s the class that they represent—it speaks to the modern style of things. Yet it’s fresh. Their innovation is very similar to mine. It’s just constant. I see myself in them almost just like who they are as a brand and fashion. Like, I relate that to myself as a person.
Coach has this new collection with Champion coming out. Do you have any favorite pieces? And how would you rock them?
With a collab, it all becomes my favorite. They have this reversible leather jacket—I didn’t even know it was reversible at first. That’s one of my favorite pieces, for sure. One of my favorite things to do is like layer stuff. I’m rarely just rocking a T-shirt or just stuff like that, you know?
They just kind of brought together Coach’s heritage, with the craftsmanship and their attitude, and then you’re crossing in with athletics. I feel like that’s almost like an eye opener that fully brings both worlds together. I wouldn’t say necessarily like polar opposites, but you know, to me it feels a little like bringing those together. Bridging that gap. The look that they gave is just impeccable. It’s crazy, because it’s like Coach and Champion, and I think where they went is being discreet, and always eye-catching. Always having that small edge, like, “This is different.”
You’ve also developed some technology, from apps to trackable air pod cases. How did you get started going down that path?
As a kid, that was my thing. Everybody was outside playing basketball or playing tag on trampolines, and I was on a computer. I think early on some of those like websites low key were trying to teach us how to code. Once I got the hang of a little bit of what it was to express yourself personally, you want yours looking different than everyone else. You don’t want your page—your design—to be similar. You want yours to stand out. So I think that’s kind of where it started with the tech side of things.
And then I got more of an interest when I started meeting more people who, this was all they did. This is their life, but this is just a hobby or interest of mine. When I got that different side of it, I became highly interested and started taking trips to San Francisco just because I didn’t want to miss out. I knew I was a little late to the party, but I was like “I gotta play a little catch up because this is the future.”
With my invention, AirPods aren’t trackable once you lose the case. The individual AirPods are trackable within short range, but you lose your entire case, it’s a wrap. All I did was I bridge the gap and create a case that holds a tracker. I first made the case for me, as a prototype, a laser printed version of it. And then people really started responding to it. Friends of mine, even people in public were like “What’s that? What’s on your case?” and I was like “Why don’t I just continue to do this?”
Is there an app or gadget that you’re really excited about lately?
I mean, there’s so many things out there. I’m still obsessed with my Onewheel. I feel like that’ll be a game changer soon within the regular world.
I’m a camera collector. So I’m always on top of new cameras. I’m gonna do some stuff with 360 cameras—visuals for music. There’s so many different things like that. I love the Huji app, and vintage style apps. They just show your personality on your socials and stuff like that. I feel like everyone wants to be on the new tech and be on the new-new and see what’s cool. But it’s part of who I am, you know, it’s not all just about having the cool stuff.
"As a kid, that was my thing. Everybody was outside playing basketball or playing tag on trampolines, and I was on a computer."
So you have some experience with activism, both playing an activist on Star, and in the real world too. I know Coach donated to Feeding America with a past campaign you were involved in. Are you working on anything philanthropic right now?
I actually am. I can’t talk too much on it yet. I will say it’s with Best Buddies. Best Buddies has been an organization that I’ve been a part of for a while now, and it’s one of my favorites. We’ve got some things coming up and will probably make some announcements, hopefully in the next couple months. I’m very, very, very hands on and you know, with us being in the pandemic, a lot of a lot of things are on hold, but they give us time to really make it that much better for when it’s time. But shout out the Best Buddies.
Speaking of the pandemic, when this is all said and done—when you can travel and get together in big groups again—what’s the first thing you want to do?
I want to travel as much as I can for a month or two months straight. Like, five days in a new city for two months. I don’t know where that’s gonna start, but I got a little list in my phone with just a few little things that I’ve seen, whether it’s on Instagram, or I seen on TV, like, where’d they filmed that? I get hyped about stuff like that.
I want to go to some places that I hadn’t been before. I do miss the places that I have been able to go to. But I think when I go on that streak, for sure it’s gonna be a new places, you know, mixing with revisiting some old places that I just miss. Like Mykonos, for instance, Greece. I went there once, and it changed my life. So I gotta go back. Tokyo is one where I’ve only been there to work, and I want to actually go there and just relax and see the city. I’m gonna go to Africa. I feel like there’s gonna be a lot a lot for me to do and see and benefit from over there. I’ve been to Botswana, which is incredible, but it was for work. So I definitely want to hit some more countries in Africa. Copenhagen is another place I’m dying to go to. And then just continue embodying who I am as this international renaissance man.
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