Tampa Bay-native and now residing in Los Angeles, Quinton Storm has been previously covered in the pages of M.I.Q. as a songwriter, but his hustle also as an independent recording artist and social media influencer is certainly noteworthy.
You had a full-length project out two years ago, along with a single featuring Lil Zane. Being an independent artist you got some traction, considering you didn’t have any real machine helping you promote it. How does that make you feel?
I felt that it was quite an achievement for me knowing I didn’t need a ton of marketing dollars in order to make people care. Knowing that you can get your music out to the people on your own brings you a different type of joy as an artist. Especially knowing that the project was specifically meant to be just a mixtape; so it amazes me even more.
“Nobody” was the title of an up-tempo song you recently released. What is your plan for the song, and is there a full-length project on the way?
I recorded “Nobody” while just having fun in the studio with [producer] Cameron Nadler. Anytime anyone stepped into the studio and heard the song, there was a certain energy about it. We felt like we needed to put it out for people to consume since I hadn’t released any music in over a year. I am currently working on my official EP slated for this year. The song is also featured in the opening of a pilot episode of Romp, a made-for-TV series that’s expected to get picked up later this year.
What else are you working on?
Right now I am in the process of auditioning for different film and TV projects. I just did a little bit of work for Chocolate City 3 which was my first experience on the silver screen. I am also in talks for a role on a TV show that I am really excited about but I can’t say too much about it yet. I’ll be back to give you the exclusive.
You seem to have a penchant for meeting and hanging with lots of producers, songwriters, and other young artists. How important has it been for you to be out networking and mixing it up with other artists and celebs?
I feel as though expanding your network will expand your net worth if you use your contacts properly. However, quite a few of the entertainers and producers have become personal friends of mine.
You’ve been working for quite some time with T-Boz on her TLC comeback. How did you two meet? And what’s it like working with her?
I actually met Tionne on set during a job that my friend Chris Gees was working and he happened to be T-Boz’s hairstylist. I became friends with her and we began building a working relationship which started off with me emailing her songs that I had been working on. I am in the process of trying to put together some records for her solo project. I love working with T-Boz especially getting to see behind the curtain with things that she is personally passionate about like, T-Boz Unplugged, which raises awareness for sickle cell.
Who else have you worked with? And who would you like to work with?
I’m currently working with Rufus Black (Destiny’s Child, Omarion, Jhene Aiko) and Chris “Tek” O’Ryan (Justin Bieber, Usher, Ariana Grande). I’ve also been fortunate enough to work with people like Troy Taylor who discovered people like Trey Songz. I have also been working closely with Andre Merritt who has written smash records for Chris Brown and Rihanna. I have been blessed to work with so many people of influence. I would personally love to work with Timbaland and Missy Elliott; just the simple fact that Missy knows who I am is mind-blowing because I’ve been a fan of hers since childhood. Usher and Justin Timberlake are honorable mentions as well.
How is it that you’re so effective at using social media?
Social media was one thing I learned to take advantage of going as far back as Myspace – where I learned that interacting with the people that support you leads to them supporting you in a deeper way. In some ways they’ve really become extended family following everything that you do and sharing your work with others. I also began taking advantage of the viral skits. So, between Instagram and Facebook I have done videos that have accumulated close to four-million views.
You’ve posted quite a few shirtless or provocative pictures of yourself over the years. Are you ever concerned that the pics or your sex symbol image will overshadow your music?
It’s funny you ask. It’s a question that I often get and have even wondered myself but amazingly no matter what I post there’s always the “where is the new music?” comments. I’ve learned to dance on that thin line between the music and the illusion of being a sex symbol but truly I’m really just a nerd at heart.
Like so many artists looking for major success, this has been a journey for you. How do you remain optimistic about the future?
I’ve learned to focus on the small wins because they do add up. My journey is not the journey of another artist. I’ve been around people like Chris Brown before “Run it” took off or someone like Future who I met while at Hot Beats Studio in Atlanta. Seeing the rise of stars like those guys could be intimidating or it could cause someone to be jealous but I am not that type of person. I have done amazing things without the machine. I’ve been on the Billboard Charts five times and have been No. 1 [Indie Charts] on there, respectively. I’ve done a lot of things that I never thought I could do. It’s very humbling.
Who gave you the best advice so far and that you would pass on to others?
I would have to say through various conversations with Missy Elliott, Brandy and T-Boz, they’ve basically all told me, “To stick to your guns no matter what the rest of the industry is doing.”