Quadron Record New Song With ‘Humble’ Kendrick Lamar, Prep New Album
Soul duo Quadron, comprised of singer Coco, 24, and producer Robin, 30, bid farewell to their friends and family in Copenhagen less than two years ago to follow their dreams of music stardom in L.A. Together they’ve made moves that landed them a deal with Epic Records and have been preparing the release of their stateside debut ever since.
Lauded producer and songwriter Tricky Stewart played a pivotal role in making their name a more recognized brand when he placed “Baby Be Mine” — a Michael Jackson cover the Danish team recorded back home — on the Think Like a Man soundtrack. Sitting on a project next to the likes of Jennifer Hudson and John Legend is fitting for Quadron considering their work is replete with the same emotive lyrics and original craftmanship those artists have tirelessly demonstrated. Coco and Robin, who met due to their shared passion for creating music, are aiming to hit the same marks their peers have while providing a solid soundscape along the way.
Read on as Quadron reveal how they linked up with rapper Kendrick Lamar and scored a studio session, why “Baby Be Mine” almost got tossed in the trash and what’s to come on their forthcoming opus.
Why was it really important now to come to America?
Robin: That’s a good question. Wherever you want to make something happen, you really need to be there physically as well. There’s only so much you can do from across the Atlantic.
Coco: It seemed like everything work-related was here. So it didn’t really make sense anymore [to stay] besides family and friends in Copenhagen.
How’s the music scene over there? Did you feel limited in the access you had to get your music out and heard by people?
R: It definitely relates to the reason we moved as well. When we were starting out, there really wasn’t a scene for the kind of music we were doing. It’s slowly coming together now. You see more of it now. At that point, there was definitely more interest from the U.S. so it just made a lot of sense to pursue that instead of trying to knock doors in in our home city.
I heard your song “Baby Be Mine,” which was featured on the Think Like a Man soundtrack. How did that song come about?
C: It never really came out like that. It was kind of a coincidence. There is this dance company in Copenhagen that I have some friends who are working in. They did a show and they wanted to do some Michael Jackson songs and they asked us to do a remake of one of them. I was like “No, I would never do a Michael Jackson song. That’s ridiculous. Why would you even wanna do that?”
R: That’s the holy grail.
C: [My friend] was like “Just do this.” So we were like “OK.” So we did this demo version of it. After the show was done, I was like, “What am I gonna do with this? Should I throw it out?” So we just put it on YouTube. Suddenly it got a lot of views. It was a little embarrassing. Actually the song that is on YouTube is the demo we did in one take.
How did “Baby Be Mine” get on the Think Like a Man soundtrack?
C: Tricky Stewart, we’re working with him now. He put together the soundtrack. He wanted to introduce new artists on Epic [Records]. So he thought that was a good way and mostly he really likes the song. He just felt like the world needs to hear it.
R: Also Michael Jackson was on Epic so there was that relationship, making it easier.
Watch Quadron Perform “Baby Be Mine”
Have you been in the studio with Tricky?
R: He’s been in the studio listening to songs and he’s been very supportive. That’s been really, really great. So far it’s just been the two of us [Coco and myself] and that’s how we made the first record as well. We’re still working on it.
For people who are unfamiliar with your sound, how would you describe it?
C: It’s soul music. Maybe with a modern twist. Many people think of soul music how it was in the ’60’s but it’s not sounding like that. I’m the singer and Robin is the producer. We write and record everything together. Everything we do is a collaboration. That’s the key word to our work. I’m asking him all the time for ideas for lyrics.
R: The same with me also. If there’s something I want her opinion on, or I want her ideas on chord progression. Is the tempo right? Or should it be darker? Or brighter? All those things.
Who are some of the artists you are inspired by?
C: Oh my God there’s so many. Michael Jackson in so many ways. He’s the reason I do music but I don’t feel like I sound like Michael Jackson. [With Michael Jackson], like when you’re younger, the way he’s an artist is so appealing to you. He built an empire. Sade is a big influence as well. Lauryn Hill. Erykah Badu. Mariah Carey. The list can go on and on forever. My mom was a big fan of Sade. I used to say I grew up on Sade and breast milk when I was a baby [laughs].
R: Michael Jackson’s music, as well, I really find inspiring. A lot of music from the ’70’s, ’80’s and even the ’60’s. I love those compositions, the arrangements that are put into it. The time and effort that are put into it. I’m just a great admirer of great songs, where you can hear that they spent the time to put in something unique and worth listening to more than once or twice.
Coco, I noticed that you mentioned you were a fan of Kendrick Lamar’s “The Recipe” on your Twitter page. Are you a big fan of rap?
Well the thing is, I didn’t know of Kendrick before he asked to work with us. So I hadn’t really heard any of his songs [before that]. But he asked to work with us and we went to the studio with him. He was really, really sweet. And he was so different than other artists that we maybe worked with that we don’t know. He was so humble. The song we did was good. After that, I just became familiar with him. I heard the song he did with Dr. Dre [ “The Recipe”]. I like the whole old school, West Side feeling. I live in L.A. now and I drive in my SUV [laughs].
Tell me the story of how Kendrick got put onto your music.
R: I know that a producer had put him on to a project that we [Coco and I] kinda met through — a Danish electronic soul collective called the Boom Clap Bachelors. He had heard Quadron as well. [Kendrick] was really nice. We asked him, “So, what do you want to do?” He said, “The stuff you’re doing.” It was a lot of fun and easy to collaborate with.
C: When I met him, I asked him, “What are you listening to right now?” He said “Quadron.”
Can you speak on the song?
C: It was meant for his album. When you’re working on an album, you do so many songs with different artists, you don’t know what it’s going to be. I think also, a lot of times, it’s just an introduction as an artist, to each other. What he’s gonna do with the song, we don’t really know. [The song] is about love, bad love. I don’t really remember because it’s not even done yet. Robin produced it.
What’s the direction of the album that you two as Quadron are working on?
C: I think what really interests us is we want our music to sound very musical. We wanna have live instruments playing and horns and violins. I think it’s interesting to make something that sounds fresh and modern but it’s made out of traditional ways, of arranging stuff and having real players come in. I think modern music now is just very upbeat-oriented. A lot of stuff on the radio that is really popular is very just, kinda simple without the bad. It’s easy to make music now, it’s easier on the computer. So we want to pull on more old school, original ways because we find that interesting.
R: And challenging ourselves to write in a more classic way. Not try to skip the corners of how it’s done these days.