Quincy Brown Talks New Song ‘Stay Awhile,’ Joining Forces With Kendre & Diddy’s Advice
When you have familial connections to both Diddy and Al B. Sure, chances are a music career isn't a far-fetched dream. Quincy Brown, who's the son of the latter late '80s and early '90s singing sensation and also looked to the Bad Boy Records founder as a father figure, is fulfilling a goal of commanding the stage with his new song, "Stay Awhile." The smooth R&B number, featuring his crooning pal Kendre Berry, is a quality project, considering the two gentlemen prided themselves on being rappers in the past.
The singers have grown up in the spotlight, so their welcoming the success of "Stay Awhile" with open arms. Quincy's mom, Kim Porter, was once romantically involved with Diddy, which meant visiting the studio while people like Mary J. Blige and the Notorious B.I.G. were recording was a regular part of his life. Kendre, on the other hand, was a childhood actor, honing his skills playing Jabari Wilkes on the hit TV series "Girlfriends."
Now Quincy, 20, and Kendre, 21, are joining creative forces in the studio, producing material and laying the groundwork for projects to come. Read on as the dynamic duo talk teamwork, their influences, Diddy's advice and plans for the future.
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How do you come together for the song "Stay Awhile"?
Quincy: Us being both in L.A., doing the music thing, of course starting out as beginning artists, we're attending every event, attending every little charity event, showing our faces, just getting ourselves out there, introducing us as artists to let people know who we are. We ran into each other numerous times – three, four, five, six, seven times – before we actually even spoke and had a real conversation. The funny thing is me and him were both rapping at the time. But we both could sing but we just didn't do it. We got together and kinda shared stories and was like why don't we just get together and sing, put the rap thing to the side. He said he was gonna send me some stuff and to tell him if I liked it and to be honest. He sent me "Stay Awhile," plus a couple other tracks. "Stay Awhile" stood out to me. I fell in love with the track. Immediately we got together and started fine-tuning everything.
Who produced the track?
Kendre: The track was produced by some producers out of Toronto, Canada. Frank Castle and Beat Merchant. Whether people know it or not, them dudes are gonna be legends, I promise you that. They sent me the track. I'm sure me and Quincy both get people sending us beats all day long. We can't always listen to 'em all. If we do we're not always feeling every one. I caught that [beat], thank God.
Why were you both apprehensive to showcase that you could sing?
Q: We do a lot of rapping and a little singing. The little singing was getting a lot more response than the rapping. We did a mixtape, 10 songs. The one song we sing on it and everybody's talking about that one song we sing on. It's kinda the same response we were getting on both ends. I listened to [Kendre's] previous mixtape and only track that really stood out that I loved and that I sung in my head was the one he was singing on. Very similar stories and it was just only right. That doesn't mean we're not gonna touch the rapping at all, but we're definitely just establishing ourselves as singers. It's all about having fun. Once we get out there and people respect us as artists and as singers, of course, we can switch it up a bit and throw in some rapping here and there. It's good to experiment.
Since you both grew up in the public eye, how do you feel that's helped you in your music career?
K: As far as growing up in front of people eyes, it's a responsibility of course, especially being a young person. You have to be in a certain mindset, you have to be aware, be on your Ps and Qs at all times 'cause you have people watching you, people looking up to you, people who may want to work with you depending on how you make yourself look. It's a responsibility but it's fun to me. It's something that definitely wasn't given to me. That's what my parents always taught me, everything I ever wanted, I don't care if it was a pair of shoes, I had to earn that. If I had bad grades, I wasn't getting that game I wanted. It's like that in our careers as well.
Q: It's not like we're new to the scene and kinda have to learn to respond to the public attention. Growing up [in the public eye], that was kinda like school for us. Up until this point now. I'm grateful that we were in those situations so where it's not a shock to us now 'cause that would be a whole other process. Some people tense up during interviews, some people don't know how to act in public.
So Quincy is "Stay Awhile" something you're working on for a debut album?
Q: Actually me being in the beginning stages of being an artist, I'm just getting my material out there. I'm focused on singles, back to back singles. Don't want to cram music but don't want to keep [the fans] guessing, like "When is he coming with something new?" Of course maybe a five or six song EP. Maybe an album in a year but I don't want to tell y'all nothing then I don't produce anything.
Who have you been in the studio with recently that you can speak on?
Q: Between him and I, he's incredibly talented with his pen game, writing, and as an artist as well. Definitely I believe we're gonna create something new. I doubt it'll be featuring him again, or him featuring me, but definitely the mixture of our creativeness, writing, he produces as well, so we definitely have things in the works. We vibe out in the studio.
K: Basically, either way, if it's my project or his, whether you hear me on it or you hear him on it, I still might have something to do with it or he might have something to do with mine. The team is what it is and it's gonna be like that forever.
So what are some of your musical influences?
K: Oh man, my musical influences are straight up the '90s and everything before that. Jodeci, Silk. I listen to a lot of old school music. The music today is fun. If you just want to let your hair down... you listen to the music of today. If you want to feel good and feel a certain time and know what timeless music is, I go backwards. I go back to the '80s, I go back to the 90s. Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson. For the most part I stick with the '90s now. I'm a '90s babies and that's where I come from and that's what feels the best to me. I'm on a journey to bring that feel of music back with a little touch of it today.
Quincy, I know you're a fan of the '90s era of music too. Does that have a lot to do with your dad Al B. Sure's influence?
Q: I mean definitely from him. And meeting people back in the day. Everything is just comes in a big circle. I used to listen to it back in the day, not really knowing what I was listening to, and now it's coming right back around 'cause this is what I'm using to influence me to produce what I'm doing now. Mary J. Blige, her production of music and her style of it. Biggie, I had a chance to be in the studio with him. I was little so I didn't really understand much but I can look back on it now, like how he produced words and came up with this and that, it made me be like, "Wow, I want to have that mind. I want to think this way." It's all about a creative process.
Has Diddy given you some advice on your music career?
Q: I told my pops, like with his past with the rapping, and he was like, "Yo why did y'all even rap before? If ya would've known ya could sing like this, 'Stay Awhile' coulda been out!" He just was definitely shocked by the whole singing. From that obviously he was like we had to take that route. He said stay in that singing and steal them ladies' hearts. ll