Quincy Griffith describes “Overtime,” his first release, as “that same old young love story where you’ll do anything for that person.” His themes might be well-worn, but his sound is fresh. With clear hints of the artist’s Caribbean background — styles which have always typified the Toronto sound — Griffith is setting a firm foundation for an exciting future.
The 22-year-old Markham native is a graduate of Fanshawe College and previously studied classical vocals at Western University. After living and studying in London for five years, he has returned to Toronto to work on his music and connect with artists living and working in the area, many of whom he first connected with while in school.
When I first connected with Griffith, he cited Chris Brown, Eric Bellinger, and Lucky Daye among his biggest influences. In a subsequent email interview, he told me that it’s hard to be an R&B or hip-hop artist in Canada without recognizing the impact of artists like PARTYNEXTDOOR, the Weeknd and Drake before reflecting on some of his earliest musical memories.
“When I was a kid, though, my mom had a Michael Bublé CD, and we would listen to that every day on the way to and from school. So I’ve definitely been impacted by his music,” he wrote. “I have listened to a very wide range of different genres throughout my life. Growing up, my parents were playing a lot of old-school R&B and hip-hop; artists like Stevie Wonder, Biggie, and Usher were big influences for me. I also come from a Caribbean background, so genres like soca and dancehall play a huge part in my creative process. But like I said before, I’ve studied classical music too, so I find myself subconsciously taking little bits of all these artists from all these different genres and incorporating them into my music.”
Having studied music production and performance, it’s no surprise that Griffith produced, wrote, and recorded “Overtime” himself. Though he admits he is his own harshest critic, he’s happy with how the single turned out and continues to be excited about the next project.
A part of this compulsion to make changes to the track no doubt comes from his openness to experiment and listen to a wide array of music. When I asked Griffith to reflect on what “Overtime” represents in terms of his development as an artist, he was incredibly thoughtful in indicating that he’s always looking for new things to incorporate and possesses a willingness and enthusiasm for working with different individuals. “Listening to what’s new in music always gives me the inspiration to try new things and look at things from a different perspective,” he wrote.
Most of all, however, Griffith is looking forward to getting back to performing live and being able to share his music and his perspectives with the audience directly.
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