ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: QUHAD LAWSON
Interview: Elena Charis
In a recent interview, I had the honor of engaging with Quhad Lawson, a talented singer-songwriter hailing from Newark, New Jersey. Lawson's music channels a nostalgic essence, evoking the golden era when CDs reigned supreme, seamlessly blending the worlds of hip-hop and R&B to create enduring tracks that became the anthems of our past car rides. During an exclusive conversation with TKK Radio, Lawson provided profound insights into his musical odyssey, offering a glimpse into his creative process and inspirations.
TKK RADIO: Let’s start from the beginning of your journey and what got you to the point of where you’re at now. What is the driving inspiration behind your choice to embark in a career in music and how when did your story begin?
Quhad Lawson: Well musically, my journey began around 2008-2010 when I started recording & releasing music with a group at the time. A few years later, I started pursuing a solo career in music. I was born with a gift in the arts such as graphic, drawing, & picked up on skills like photographic arts in high school. Even though music came to me later in my life, like photography. Music came to me naturally like any other skill... Music is very therapeutic to me, I’m allowed to freely express myself creatively… Like any other art form. When I started… I wanted to be heard & I felt like music was the outlet for me to be heard... So in the beginning that was the source of my inspiration to set a path in this career.
Your music style is quite diverse. Not only do you sing but you’re a straight up lyricist who no doubt has bars. I’m curious… which musical artists shaped your early years and influenced who you are as an artist today?
I grew up on all genres of music but I always preferred R&B & HIPHOP. I believe musicians like Static Major, Max B, Tory Lanez, and Teddy Riley had some-what of an influence on my music to be honest. Anybody that knows who they are should understand my approach to music a little bit more now.
Static Major is an excellent artist and songwriter who has written for the likes of Aaliyah, Destiny’s Child, & Ginuwine. A lot of the talent you mentioned we’re from the 1990s era of r&b and hip-hop. Reflecting on those days, can you recall your first concert experience?
To be honest I’ve never been to a concert…Always wanted to go but never had the time.
Getting back to the music that you create from songwriting to collaborations, to solo projects - if you could only enlighten our listeners about one particular song, which song would you choose and what makes it uniquely significant?
The song FASHIONNOVA by me. I believe this song is one of the most unique songs that has dropped. The title of the song is not even what the song is about. The way the verses transition into the hook is top tier songwriting & storytelling in my opinion. Not too many artists take that approach in their music.
FASHIONNOVA is one of my favorite songs… in fact, the music video was directed by Bachpapi Q and yourself. I can see that you put your heart and soul into this project. Upon delving deeper into your artistry though, it's evident that you harbor a profound passion for fashion, particularly in the realm of modeling. Who are some of your inspirations when it comes to fashion?
Honestly, the greats like Kanye West, Virgil Abloh, & Pharrell Williams.
Since the beginning of your music journey was roughly around 2009, I’m intrigued to what came first - music or modeling?
The music came first.
In this era of advanced technology, individuals in the spotlight encompass more than just their primary talent; they evolve into comprehensive brands, essentially becoming business owners managing multiple projects.You seem to have found a way to merge your love for music, fashion and entertainment through founding the WestWard Collective with business partner and fashion content creator, Quimir. Could you share more about the inspiration behind launching your label?
Being from Newark, New Jersey you see, experience, and have to overcome a lot of things. But once you’re above all the things that’s meant to keep you down you're supposed to give back… and that’s only part of what The Collective is about. One of our goals is to create opportunities. Generally speaking The Collective is more than just a record label. It includes clothing, gaming, TV, beverages, etc. and other outlets we have or are getting into. Me & Quimir have had multiple hustles since we was younger so he’s someone I trust & partnered with before. When things started picking up I called him & we came up with the idea of launching THE WESTWARD COLLECTIVE.
That’s wassup! Navigating the roles of a business owner, artist, and model can get pretty hectic. There are celebrities who don’t know how to divide their time between their brand and personal life. How do you manage to strike a balance between work and personal life amidst your active lifestyle?
Over the years I learned to set priorities & boundaries. I advise others to do the same, respectfully. Life gets crazy & the business element gets even more crazy. Self-care is important… you can’t operate life properly if you ain’t in the right space mentally.
That’s so true and that’s actually some great advice too. Across your extensive career, you've worn multiple hats as an artist, songwriter, record label owner and even model. What are some valuable gems you can drop for someone just starting their music journey?
Stay focused & keep creating. The two are essential in your journey to become the best.
In December of 2022 you released a single called “Coup d’etat” featuring producer and influencer, DJ Gucci Money. What sets this project apart from your previous endeavors?
I feel like my previous work was more contemporary music & this track was flat out hip-hop. I was showing off my skills as a lyricist, showing how witty I can be with punchlines, etc. Shoutout DJ GUCCI MONEY - every time we collaborate it’s something different.
Collaborating with producers and artists is the name of the game but is there any producer or talent that you haven’t worked with yet… perhaps an emcee on your bucket list today?
Not really, but I have a few producers in mind…such as Timbaland & Metro Boomin.
You mentioned Kanye West earlier who created the iconic lines Yeezy, Donda and KKW Beauty. Like Kanye you have your foot in both the music and fashion worlds. Do you think you’ll ever incorporate modeling and music, perhaps a clothing line in the near future?
Certainly, we dropping another clothing-line this year.
Speaking of the new year. Time sure did fly by quickly and we have now officially said goodbye to 2023. What was one of the most significant lessons or insights you were able to gain from last year?
One of the biggest lessons I learnt this year was… Focus on self, you can’t help everybody.
As we step into 2024, what musical endeavors do you have lined up for the new year and can we anticipate more collaborations in 2024?
Definitely, I have a few big collaborations, shows, & EPs on the way.
That’s great. I am ready to hear some new music from Quhad in 2024. As we come to the end of our interview before we go, I would like to ask if there are any individuals you’d like to acknowledge who have been incredible supporters of your music and brands?
Yeah big ups to DJ GUCCI MONEY (Music Entrepreneur), QUIMIR (Creative Director/Fashion), EAB/BVC (Business/Investments), Olivia Anita (musician), ESSENCE GOLD (Clothing), ZHANE (PODCAST), 6wurvo (musician), DREAMALITY (Non profit organization) and Clifford Michel (Photographer).
Fantastic. The Kuldesac Krew Radio is all about giving independent artists a platform to promote their brand and collaborate with other talent throughout the world. We enjoy connecting talent, small businesses and entrepreneurs together. In this new year and first quarter of 2024, are you open for features, bookings and modeling opportunities? If so, how can our readers connect with you?
Yes, anybody tryin’ to get in contact they can email me at QuhadsManagementTeam@gmail.com
Or via Instagram @Qvhvd
QUHAD LAWSON | https://www.instagram.com/qvhvd/
YOUTUBE CHANNEL | https://www.youtube.com/@quhadlawson4231
DJ GUCCI MONEY | https://www.instagram.com/djguccimoney/