“Greys” – A Compilation to Benefit the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees

Out today! Leverage Models and Anachronisme Records present, GREYS, a 21-track compilation benefiting the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees (“MVRCR”). Quilla is thrilled to have contributed a track to this album. She remixed Leverage Model’ euphoric masterpiece, “A Scout’s Prayer” (see track 4 on compilation).

Contributors used material from Leverage Models’, Whites (2018) as a creative starting point, recording new work, including thoroughly unorthodox re-constructions and original music in some form of lyrical / musical ‘conversation’ with the originals. Greys features new work by a crowd of idiosyncratic and brilliant independent artists/producers. As with Whites, the Greys album has a wide wingspan — from the dance-floor to the bedroom floor — amplifying its ecstatic, dark and fragile notes, and pivoting around themes of inclusion, privilege, abuse by caregivers & authorities, and a stubbornly persistent belief in social hope. 

100% of album sales and streaming royalties will be donated to the MVRCR, an organization in upstate New York’s Mohawk Valley region that assists refugees, immigrants, and “limited English proficient individuals” through a range of community-centered programs in order to help them achieve independence and self-sufficiency. The organization also enacts programs to build a more multi-cultural and understanding community.

Download / stream

Cover of “Greys” – out now on Anachronisme Records

Artists United to End Poverty in Greensboro, NC

It’s been a busy time of year on my side! Happy to be serving my community in various new ways this year. The track “Wild and Kind” (by Molly McGinn and I) will appear on the massive “Artists United to End Poverty” compilation, a 50+ song album featuring musical talent from our corner of North Carolina. 

All proceeds will be donated to United Way of Greensboro to help raise awareness about poverty in our community. Greensboro ranks 31% above the national poverty average, and 1 out of every four kids are growing up in poverty.

Pre-order is now available now through iTunes!
Album will be officially available on Friday, September 6th, 2019

This compilation was compiled by The Culture Pushers – they have worked so hard to bring this project to life! Many thanks in particular to Andreo “Fanatic” Heard who brought so many artists together for this initiative. This photo represents the beauty and diversity of Greensboro and all the amazing artists who live and work here. 

“Artists United to End Poverty” – compilation coming out Sept 6th, 2019

Album artists include:
Vanessa Ferguson, Bishop Bryan J. Pierce, Sr., Mount Zion Gospel Choir, The Hamiltones, Mayor Nancy Vaughan, John P. Kee, Laurelyn Dossett, Autumn Nicholas, Fanatic, Andre Fenix, Demeanor, Jordan Hawkins, Shelby J, Sybil, J. Timber, Molly McGinn, Quilla, Josh King, Jaron Strom, Citizen Shade, Tigo B, Jessica Mashburn, Josephus Thomson III, The Collection, Abigail Dowd, JBlanked, Debbie “The Artist” Long, Chris Meadows, AND MANY MORE!

#FromPovertyToPlatinum #CulturePushers #LiveUnited #SoGSO #NorthCarolina

Artists United to End Poverty
“Artists United to End Poverty” – Cover Art

The Making of “Beans Beans Beans”

Quilla

Thank you everyone for the recent love on my song “Beans Beans Beans.” Here is some insight into the background of the song.

I created this song as a one-word mantra elevating one of my favorite foods, the humble bean. Both a carb and protein, it has long been known that the bean is kind of magical, and can be used and consumed in so many different ways.  With a colorful past and diverse array of manifestations, the humble bean has saved many people from starvation, and is still a staple in our diet today.

My plan with creating a loop around the word “beans” was to make various stacks of vocal melodies and percussive elements that helped the listener picture one dancing bean (symbolized by the initial bass line “beans”), then two beans, then three, and soon a cascading waterfall of beans pouring down from the heavens and surrounding you with a multifaceted world of glorious beans.

I thought about the sensation of dipping your hand slowly into a huge container of dried kidney beans at a market, and how the texture of those beans feels soothing on the skin. I wanted the song to be soothing, hypnotic and silly but without being overly ridiculous. I suppose it sounds like I planned this piece out a lot, but in reality it came out rather quickly in one of my loop practice sessions in 2010, and I stuck with it.

I remember playing it in my Center Camp set at Burning Man in 2010 and hearing people shriek with sheer joy. After that, I just kept throwing it into my live sets to see how people would react. I loved seeing their expressions of hilarity or incredulity when they realized the entire loop song only had one word in the lyric. Each time I played it, it came out a bit differently, and I learned how to improvise and push myself just a little bit more.

Recording this song in the studio with my engineer Mike Garrigan was a fun and spontaneous process. We didn’t make the studio version until 2014, which was four years after I composed it. By that point, I had already test-driven this song live on my vocal looper many times in front of random audiences (some receptive, some not!). In doing so, I had figured out the exact tempo that would work; too slow was a death sentence, and too fast made the song totally inaccessible for people. And I had to settle on the underlying layers that would loop well. Once those were established, adding new layers and improvising new melodies and beatboxing on top was a pure delight.

Mike and I laughed a lot in the studio, and often referred to recording this song as one of the more carefree  production sessions over the years. I had been writing and recording a lot of vocal tracks for EDM producers around the time (between 2012 and 2015). Even though my vocal lines in those songs may sound simple or obvious to the listener, those EDM projects were very actually very meticulous and hard to put together. The projects could be stressful when there were looming deadlines, fussy producers to deal with and various labels and stakeholders to please. “Beans Beans Beans” was the antidote to all that, and it represented the type of freedom I needed in that moment.

Thanks for listening, and for reading my story.

Sagittarius out now!

Quilla - Sagittarius

Sagittarius is out now! This was a huge project to bring to life. I am really excited about the song itself, and the collaborative spirit it took to make the video. I have so many wonderful people to thank for the video’s fruition, see full credits below! Thank you to everyone who was involved. Everything was produced and filmed in Greensboro, NC, and I am proud of the balance and diversity that was embodied in front of and behind the camera.
 
This song is dedicated to the strong and luminous Sagittarius ladies in my life: my mother, my sister-in-law, my best friend, and my niece. Now we have a Sagittarius anthem. 🙂
SONG
Buy / stream Sagittarius today on all digital platforms:
Cover art photography by Hassan Pitts.
 
VIDEO CREDITS
Directed and produced by dynamic duo Jennida Chase & Hassan Pitts in conjunction with UNC Greensboro‘s Department of Media Studies.
 
Music written and produced by Quilla with vocal recording by Mike Garrigan and mastering by Holger Lagerfeldt.
 
Edited by Jennida Chase & Jamira Adams
 
Choreography by the amazing Esha L. Hickson with beautiful dance performances by Esha, Devin-Simone DevLoppe and Nayirah T Harris.
 
Wardrobe design, geometric suits and styling by my dear friend Ann Tilley who inspires me on a daily basis. Make-up by Melissa Grier.
 
Cinematography by Hassan Pitts, Steven Baggett and Mitchell Townsend. Assistant Director: Arielle Smallwood. Production assistant: Zariyah Tate. You were all awesome to work with!!
 
Thanks for listening.
Quilla Sagittarius Fanlink

June 2019: Upcoming Shows and New Release Coming Soon!

Hi Quillabytes!

I have two upcoming shows in North Carolina:

Saturday June 8th at Monstercade in Winston-Salem NC, with electronic artists Tide Eyes and Ships in the Night.

Friday June 14th at a secret spot in downtown Greensboro NC, in partnership with SoFar Sounds. This event will kick off the SoFar Summer Series and will feature two other North Carolina electronic and low/fi acts.

New music on the horizon! My upcoming single “Sagittarius” (Ritual Fire Records) will be available on all platforms next week, on Friday June 14th, with a brand new music video!

Directed by Jennida Chase and Hassan Pitts (the dynamic duo also known as s/n), the music video for “Sagittarius” was made in production with third-year students in the UNCG Media Studies department and it features incredible dance performances by Greensboro talents Esha Hickson (choreographer), Devin Simone and Nayirah Harris. Stay tuned!

Here are some sneak peeks from behind the scenes:

The Raw Electricity of Taylor Bays

I knew Taylor Bays because of his fierce presence in the Greensboro music community. We shared the bill at local venues and parties many times, and we knew the same folks. He gave the best hugs and really cared about his friends and fellow artists. He sang in a way that was raw, electrifying and f*cked up.

Taylor was a complicated being. At times otherworldly, at times wound up and gritty with the world’s pain, he was silly, profound, self-deprecating and uplifting all at once. He caught people off-guard and did unexpected things, which led people to find him weird and eccentric. His charisma usually won people over. Difficult and outspoken, he did have a dark quality to him, and some people remember that side of him too.

I never found him that strange; I thought he was really unique and not afraid to be himself, and I admired his tenacity. He was one of the few people who truly did not give a sh*t what people thought of him. I sometimes wondered how he ended up on Earth. He was different and highly perceptive, behaving as if he came from another place.  

He formed close connections with those struggling to make to their art. Since his passing, the musicians I have spoken with about him all say the same thing: Taylor was unconditionally supportive of their music. He would regularly reach out to see how they were doing and was ready to give them constructive, meaningful feedback about their songs. The world needs more people like that.

Taylor was a true friend for many people, and an enemy to some. He listened to people with an open mind and appreciated what he heard. He resonated with people’s pain and felt everything on a deep level. He spoke up when he felt something was problematic or unfair, and towards the end of his life he caused rifts. He left a controversial legacy behind.

He struggled on a daily basis (physically, spiritually and financially) and channeled it all through his music. One of my favorite songs of his is entitled “Pencil Song” (on his album Whatever Dude, recorded in Greensboro at On Pop of the World Studio). I remember seeing him and his band The Laser Rays perform it at The Blind Tiger a few years back. I was so so enthused, so happy to hear someone playing something so unexpected and original that I cried and laughed at the same time.

The lyrics perfectly capture his joyful yet reckless spirit, punk ethos and his supreme closeness to his friends:

I want some ice cream
I want some pie
I want to stick my finger into my eye
so I’ll have a reason to go to the ER
I hope on the way there I don’t crash my car

Cuz I’ll be driving with one eye
Pumping gas with one dollar
I can drink a gallon of orange juice
with one swaller
If there’s a problem
I’ll just call my crew
and they will kick the sh*t out of you

Taylor Bays, you will truly be missed. Your smile was contagious. Your lyrics were genius. I feel like your spirit and music will live on for years to come.

Photo of Taylor Bays draped in a flag by Carolyn de Berry.

Quilla featured in Triad City Beat!

Photo of Quilla by Todd Turner. Geometric suit by Ann Tilley Handmade.

Thank you Triad City Beat for the excellent in-depth article, and the wonderful photographs by Todd Turner, with clothing designed by my friend Ann Tilley. I am thrilled to have worked with such great local artists for this piece.

“She’s a bona fide Sagittarian: expressive and fun-loving, a knowledge-seeking wanderer of the earth and firmament alike.

Quilla, the performing name of Anna Luisa Daigneault, is a vocalist, songwriter, electronic music producer and performer living in Greensboro. She debuted her newest single “Boom Ba Da” on UNC-TV from the floor of Skateland’s rink on May 2, and on June 14 she will release “Sagittarius,” a new track celebrating the fiery sign she shares with so many women in her life, with an accompanying music video, in collaboration with UNCG Media Studies professors Jennida Chase and Hassan Pitts, and their third-year students.”

  • – Lauren Barber, Triad City Beat (May 2019)

Read more here.

“Boom Ba Da” on UNC-TV!

I had the pleasure of being on television for first time last week; it was very humbling and exciting! I was on UNC-TV / PBS (Public Media North Carolina) on May 2nd during “MUSE: The Arts Show” which will also included segments on A/V Geeks and Art-o-Mat.

I was featured in a super sweet 4-minute segment during which I played my new song “Boom Ba Da” (which will be out on Ritual Fire Records in July 2019). The track weaves a fun tapestry vocal loops + Latin rhythms + live piano. I was accompanied by three amazing roller skaters: Brandon Powell, Marquis O’Brian and Chase Clark. Directed by Morgan Potts, the segment was filmed at Skateland USA North in Greensboro NC. It was a glorious experience to work with such talented folks. I will never forget how much fun this production was.

Thanks to everyone who wrote to me with kind messages about seeing the segment on TV! I am super thrilled.

CREDITS
“Boom Ba Da”
Written, produced and performed by Quilla

Dress by Ann Tilley

Director & Editor
Morgan Potts

Camera
Dan Powers
Jonathan Duran

Audio
Nathan Shepherd

Lighting
Mike Milstead

Skating scout
Keeva Savage

Skaters
Brandon Powell
Marquis Darnell Brown
Chase Clark

Quilla on UNC-TV!

I’ll be on TV for the first time next week, it’s very exciting! Tune into UNC-TV / PBS (Public Media North Carolina) on Thursday, May 2nd at 8:30pm, and I’ll be on during “MUSE: The Arts Show” which will also include segments on A/V Geeks and Art-o-Mat.

I’m featured in a super sweet 4-minute segment during which I play my new song “Boom Ba Da”. It weaves a fun tapestry vocal loops + Latin rhythms + live piano. I am accompanied by three amazing roller skaters: Brandon Powell, Marquis Darnell Brown and Chase Clark.

Directed by Morgan Potts, the segment was filmed recently at Skateland USA North in Greensboro NC. It was a glorious experience to work with such talented folks.

The song “Boom Ba Da” will be available world-wide in the coming months, will keep you updated on that! 🙂

quilla unctv
Quilla filming a segment on UNC-TV. Photo by Morgan Potts.

A Storm of Crumbs (Short Documentary)

Happy Earth Day! Directed by Japanese-American artist Stefan K DiMuzio, “A Storm of Crumbs” is a surrealist short documentary that explores my daily life as a new mother, an electronic music producer and collage artist.

Told in colorful fragments that juxtapose creative pursuits with parental responsibilities, this video collage shows tenderness, resilience and overcoming adversity through art.

Filmed in Greensboro, North Carolina, the documentary also highlights the powerful impacts of Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Michael and the emotional toll that climate change can take on new parents.

Thanks for watching. 🙂

Watch here on Facebook and feel free to share!