Every year hip-hop’s focus for a week is in Austin, Texas for SXSW. This year carried a statement among many of past attendees that SXSW has changed for the worse, a narrative that has grown over the past year or two. The belief is an interesting one as it can be attributed to a few thoughts: not enough big names are coming, too many big names and companies coming, there is not enough focus or in quantity of new artists. With the rollout of lineups coming as the music portion drew near, the latter was proven false and also canceled out a major question held from various past experiences “What about the major Austin artists?” Taking the stage all across Sixth Street, Quin NFN is not only doing it for his hometown on their yearly shining stage but is making sure that you keep your eyes on Austin when everyone goes home.
Speaking from his home in Austin, the young star knows the time is big for him. Quin closed out 2017 on a hot streak that was led by an onslaught of records. Was there a strategy behind it? He would answer no, just a focus on putting out quality resulting in the buzz, an evergreen following and the growth of a team around him. “I really didn’t even know what I needed to be successful until it came. They just provided basically a structure for everything I’ve got going on.”
The unit surrounding Quin NFN has catapulted him to those aforementioned stages and made him one of the must-see artists – in the case of Say Cheese TV “must meet” – but also has him with a difference in approach in regards to his output. SXSW serves as a preview to new fans who will shortly after be able to indulge in his first mixtape, Demon Child. Releasing during the festival, the project gives you a listen of what to expect from Quin, hard-knocking bangers, but most importantly to him a good project and introduction.
At age 17, Quin has departed from a formal education but his rise in his home state and on the radar of others comes with plenty of lessons. Most notably when it comes to his first project noting that timing served as both a lesson and a creative hurdle.
“The hardest part about making this project was timing,” Quin shared. “It’s some stuff that supposed to be, should have been on there that didn’t make it because of certain situations but it didn’t affect it being a good tape overall.”
Learning experiences are now going from beyond the booth to the stage. His first year as a performing artist, SXSW provides Quin with homecourt advantage, an extra perk that will go hand in hand with what is already a confident demeanor to show that he can be better than all of those who will be visiting. “I got to go harder than them. It’s a must. This is where I’m from. I’m going to feel more comfortable anyway because most of the people in the crowd will be rocking with me.”
The success and fanfare haven’t hit Quin yet mentally. Alluding that it feels like a dream, the support of a large number of people in Texas is also a new experience. Everyone shows love and it’s warming for him to grow in but he doesn’t allow that to cloud his judgment on what is next for him. He knows that he and his peers in Austin must go harder for them to not solely be known for when SXSW Austin City Limits arrives. When this year’s festival ends and the mixtapes and handouts will be cleaned up from Sixth Street, Quin details Austin as a place that mirrors anywhere else in America, people living day by day. For him, it’s more time in the studio.
“I’m supposed to be here. It’s uplifting to be on a list like Say Cheese, it was lit to me. But that mean I’ve got to go hard.”