“That’s the kind of gift that I want to give people.”
VQnC is a Somerville-based artist who has brought her unique blend of nu-disco pop and synthy dance-forward beats to the Boston music scene since 2015.
Despite nearly a decade of musical growth and the success of her first album Freedom in 2019, she questioned whether she would release music again after the pandemic hit.
“I was just a little afraid of how to be an artist in a space where people aren’t seeing you be an artist in the same way,” VQnC told DigBoston. “They don’t see you out at gigs. They don’t see you at events. You’re being an artist behind closed doors. And having to negotiate your relationship with that and still feel validated takes a lot of work.”
With the debut of her new single, “Hot ‘N Healthy” on March 14, she put an end to the doubt. It’s the first track off a new album she’s working on that’s set to come out later this year. We spoke about her plans.
What’s the meaning behind the name VQnC?
VQnC is my artist name. I’ve been performing under that moniker since 2015. My real name is Victoria Quinn Corless; VQnC are my initials kind of shoved together and it sounds like frequency, and within music there’s lots of frequencies. I just like the way that it sounded, so that’s the meaning behind it.
What are some of the themes in the new album you’re working on?
So for this project, it really obviously came out during COVID … And during that time that we were working on stuff, there was a lot of changes in my life too, and I really leaned on dancing during that time to make me feel better … And so this project is very dance focused, kind of trying to harness the energy that I was feeling while working on it. And because this has just been such a hard time, and when you’re dancing, you’re just happy. You don’t think about anything else. And so I think that that’s the kind of gift that I want to give people.
What was the experience like when you first started performing as a solo artist?
It was really a weird feeling to kind of settle into because before I was in a band with six to seven people and there’s a lot of distribution of labor and mental capacity for things like, Oh, who’s grabbing this or who’s confirming the email? You can really kind of delegate. But when I started to be like a solo project, all of those responsibilities fell onto me. Which I liked in a way because I had way more control over my image and my sound and how I wanted to communicate things and internet presence and stuff like that. But it was also tricky because it is a lot of responsibility and you have to balance a lot.
Since you’ve evolved as a musician, what is the hardest lesson you’ve had to learn?
The hardest lesson that I’ve had to learn is being comfortable with discomfort … It took me a while to really embrace that. And I think even right now, as I’m starting this new project and I’m working with a new team and things like that.
I’m teaching myself a lot of new skills in the process. And I feel like when you’re learning something new, you’re obviously not good at it, right? And that’s a moment where you can be like, I’m not doing this anymore. It’s uncomfortable. It’s uncomfortable to not feel adequate or proficient in something. And I’ve really had to look that down the barrel just being like, That’s OK. I’m going to keep working at this, and I’m going to get better. And it’s taken me a long time to get there, but it’s been really rewarding.
What are your hopes for the future of Boston’s music scene?
For one, we need stages. And I know that’s a complicated thing right now, especially with COVID, but Boston is a developer city, and there are condos popping up every which way. And a lot of people who get displaced in terms of businesses are like small venues, and we are losing a lot of those stages, which is a shame. So I really hope that we can see more investment in the arts on a city wide basis.
What’s been inspiring you lately?
I would say I honestly think friendship and community has been inspiring me a lot because I came back here in June, and it was really like being with people again and seeing my friends and being able to do things. I know that’s so basic, but it’s like so many things that we took for granted.
Delainey LaHood-Burns is a freelance journalist pursuing her MA in journalism at Northeastern University. She’s written for the Scope, a digital magazine based in Boston, and previously worked as a Digital Content Producer in local television news.