Sagittarius featured at film festivals!

The music video for Quilla’s song “Sagittarius” was directed and produced by s/n (Jennida Chase & Hassan Pitts), in conjunction with the Media Studies Department at the University of North Carolina Greensboro (see full list of credits below).

In January 2020, Sagittarius was officially featured at the Portland Underground Film Festival (PUFF 2020) as part of the “Meow Mix” Short Music Video showcase. See details here.

In 2019, Sagittarius was officially shown at the Indie Visions Film Festival in August, and the Västerås Filmfestival which took place in Sweden in October. Coming up in February 2020, this music video will be featured at the Hollywood Verge Film Awards.

Music Video Credits
Music and lyrics by Anna Luisa Daigneault. The video was created in a production course in the Media Studies program at University of North Carolina Greensboro. It was directed and produced by s/n (Jennida Chase & Hassan Pitts). It was edited by Jennida Chase and Jamira Adams. Choreography by Esha Hickson, dancers include Esha Hickson, Nayirah Harris, and Devin Simone. Wardrobe Design and Styling by Ann Tilley. Cinematography by Hassan Pitts, Steven Baggett, and Mitchell Townsend. Assistant Director Arielle Smallwood. Make-up by Melissa Grier. Production Assistant Zariyah Tate. The project was funded in part by the Office of Undergraduate Research at UNCG.

Live Performance on “The State of Things”

RADIO EVENT
Tune into radio station WUNC on Tuesday Jan 14th, 2020 to hear “The State of Things” program. Quilla will be playing live interstitial music between the segments, which is broadcast live from The Triad Stage in Greensboro. You can stream the radio show anywhere in the world via https://www.wunc.org/ and the show will be available for podcast soon after its airing.

The last segment of the program will discuss “Shifting Worlds: Displacement and Forced Migration in Modern Times” – a conference that takes place on Friday, Jan. 17, 2020 (9 a.m. to 5 p.m) at Guilford College. Quilla will also be performing from 4-5pm at that event.

CONFERENCE INFO
Join Guilford College, UNCG’s Center for New North Carolinians, and Elon University for a gathering that will bring together various grassroots, governmental, academic, activist, volunteer, and other organizations and individuals to address and respond to contemporary (im)migration and refugee issues with a particular focus on mental health. All are welcome to attend this unique opportunity to engage in dialogue on current resettlement trends, U.S. immigration policy and practices, community support, advocacy, and more. Registration and attendance are free, but advanced registration is required.

New single “Boom Bada” out now!

Out now! “Boom Bada” is available on all digital platforms:
https://fanlink.to/boom-bada

A live music video for “Boom Bada” was featured on
UNC-TV PBS (Public Media North Carolina) in May 2019 during “MUSE: The Arts Show.” Many thanks to director Morgan Potts for bringing this beautiful concept to life. The music video was filmed at Skateland USA in Greensboro, NC.

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

Thank you to everyone involved in this production!

View more videos from “Muse: The Arts Show”
https://video.unctv.org/show/muse/

“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.

“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