Bae Tokyo Feature: Qrion

By Ann Irvina Ravinther on Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

 

NIGHT OWL BAE

Sapporo is the 5th largest city in Japan. Famously known for its beer and skiing, there’s another name that deserves to be on that list. Qrion.

As a teenager, Saturdays would be spent in CD shops, digging through Japanese rock and punk albums. The adrenaline-fuelling rock gigs she went to, helped her out of her shy shell and gave her immense satisfaction and joy. Being a kid of the internet age, she discovered Skrillex on YouTube and immediately connected to his music. No doubt because his older stuff held remnants of his post-hardcore band days. Through him, she got into electronic music and now you’ll find her playing dreamy, chill house with hints of her roots in the bass lines and arpeggio riffs.

After a 3-year wait, she released a two-track EP “A Part of Life” last month. “Hush” was made during a show in Vancouver while “T&C” was done in San Francisco. Both songs bring back distinct memories to her. One of working at a friend’s house and the latter drawing from her daily life in San Francisco. The EP plays on nostalgia which she hopes to give to the listeners, too. That these songs will be a part of life.

TELL US ABOUT A MOMENT WHEN MUSIC BROUGHT YOU BACK TO A TIME AND PLACE.

When I listen to my favorite rock band from my childhood, I still remember being on my way home from a test at school in autumn, planning on going to a convenience store to grab milk tea, tired from the exam, still before 6, wanting to take a nap…. now those songs in my old MP3 player are just a part of life. Nostalgia is the greatest feeling — I want to give you this feeling through my songs, too!

YOU BRING IN NATURE SOUNDS INTO YOUR MUSIC. WHAT MAKES YOU WANT TO INCORPORATE AN ORGANIC SOUND INTO SOMETHING ELECTRONIC?

One of my favorite electronica artists is Haruka Nakamura. He uses a lot of environmental sounds behind his pianos, and I had never done that before, like the sound of the ocean or waves or something like that. It makes a song so deep and we can feel the story behind it. How amazing! So, I tried that with my songs too and now it’s contributed to my style.

WHAT’S THE BEST THING ABOUT THE INTERNET?

The people who I’ve not met yet in real life are there. One of my dreams is meeting all my fans all over the world in real life at my shows. People who don’t know my face and know only my music. We can talk and communicate through the internet from different places. The possibility is limitless. In a vine, I danced to Zelda x Juicy J song made by Hitmane, and it went viral 2 years ago. Many people reached out to me, and that’s how I got signed to my previous agency and manager. It also helped me to get a visa for living in the US. Like just a 6-second video changed my life! Now Vine is gone and I miss it. Also, the freshest things are on the internet. Music, of course, culture, memes, so much of content. It’s so fun seeing and finding these things. And it means we can share everything. The internet is fresher than a local organic farmers market.

SHARE WITH US A LIFEHACK TO COPE WITH STRESS.

When I’m stressed out while making music or working, I just do an easy workout like sit-ups, then I go to a park in my neighborhood, buy tuna melt sandwiches and just breathe deeply, then I cook something. I feel like cooking is similar to making music, preparing the ingredients and building stuff from scratch. It always removes my stress. Even when I’m so tired from a long flight or have a cold, I just cook a soup by myself at home. So, staying healthy mentally is the best life hack!

SO FAR, WHAT HAS BEEN A PINNACLE MOMENT FOR YOU IN YOUR CAREER?

I played a set on the same stage as A-trak, Cashmere Cat, Ty Dolla $ign, and so many other incredible artists at HARD festival last month. That was so incredible and a truly precious time. I was able to play with a lot of world renowned DJs! My mom from Sapporo texted me, “You’re gonna play with Ty Dolla $ign! Are you kidding? So proud of you!” My mom loves Hip Hop. I was glad that my family said that to me.

YOUR DAD WAS A MUSICIAN SO MUSIC WASN’T COMPLETELY FOREIGN TO YOU. AS A CHILD, WAS THERE AN ENCOURAGEMENT FOR YOU TO PURSUE MUSIC?

My dad was a pianist for Japanese idols on TV. He didn’t talk much about that to me. But, his life definitely inspired me. He went to a prestigious high school but he dropped out, left my grandma’s house and started working as a jazz pianist at a fancy restaurant. Then he got a professional pianist job, moved to Tokyo, and lived with roomies. Basically, it sounds like my life. I’m so proud of my dad. We didn’t talk much because I was fucking annoying and rebellious when he got sick. He passed away. That’s the biggest regret of my life and will be forever. But, I really hope he’s happy that I’m doing the same kind of job and living the same lifestyle as his. I can’t forget about how he showed me Garage Band with his Mac when I was about 14. I was like, “wow, this is so futuristic”. He even taught me how to put samples on project files.

GIVE US THREE TRACKS THAT YOU’RE LOVING.

Ninajirachi – Pure Luck (feat. Freya Staer)

Ellie Herring – Forgot Right

Nadine Carina – Flow

LASTLY, WHO IS YOUR NEXT BAE FEATURE SUGGESTION?

Nadine Carina, I met her at RBMA Tokyo 3 years ago and I love how she sings.