On-the-rise hip hop artist Kid Quill recently released his third studio album, Sunset Diner. Sunset Diner is a concept album that tells a story from beginning to end. Set somewhere in between the 1970s and 1980s, the 13 tracks pull listeners into the world of a night out at a diner, the ’Sunset Diner’, as imagined by Kid Quill.
I got the chance to talk with Kid Quill about how he would describe his music without using genre names, where the concept for Sunset Diner came from, why he wanted to have his high school marching band do an interlude for the album and much more. Keep reading to see what he had to say!
Tell me a little bit about how you first got into making and performing music.
Long story short, I grew up in Indiana and grew up listening to music. I thought, “Damn, it would be fun to make music.” I fell in love with the process and the rest is history.
Was there a specific moment or person that made you realize that music is what you wanted to pursue professionally?
I fell in love with the euphoric feeling of finishing a song. Then that’s even more heightened when people respond to it positively, especially during shows.
I’m always genuinely curious about what artists want to convey with their music. If you had to describe it without using genre names, how would you describe it?
Empowering. Thought provoking. Happy. Fun.
Going off of that, who are some of your musical influences?
I have a very eclectic taste of music. I listen to everything except country and death metal. I draw inspiration from all these genres, whether consciously or not.
Let’s talk about your new album, Sunset Diner, which is a cinematic concept album set somewhere in between the 70s/80s that pulls listeners into the world of a night out at a diner. Where did this concept come from?
After Mac Miller passed, I wanted to make an album that felt like a high. So musically, I was naturally drawn to the 70s and 80s. I didn’t want to explicitly say what it was, so I chose night and day to represent that feeling. What is something someone did during the night/day in that era? They gathered at diners. That’s what this album stands for.
What was the recording process like for this project? How long did it take for this to come together from start to finish?
It took a little over a year to completely finish. We’d always make the beats first then I’d write the songs to them. The bulk of it was made by 4 people: Connor May, Travis Moore, Jetton Barnes and me.
I absolutely love the album’s leading track, “Jukebox”. What inspired this song?
Sonically, it was the most 80s inspired song on the album.
What was the songwriting process like for this song specifically?
We made the beat first. And I knew that overall I wanted it to be a rebellious song, so what’s a better way to tie it to my concept than “make me feel like I’m in high school”, when things were easier and we broke the rules because there was nothing else to do in my small town.
How did this project being a concept album affect your writing process? Did you write “Jukebox” first or one of the other songs on the album first?
When making a concept album, I just write under an umbrella and only right when I get back in the headspace I need to be in. All the songs were written from a specific energy. I can’t really put a finger on what that energy is, but when I was in it, I’d stop what I was doing and write. I can describe it as very loose, I guess. “Door Closed” was the first song I wrote for the album, but it was also the one we worked on up until the deadline.
Was there any major changes to “Jukebox” that happened once you got into the recording studio, whether it be in the lyrics or something sonically?
Man, this song changed so much. I had like three different concepts for it. I had like 2-3 different artists on it too before it became what it is. I really like the place it ended up at.
I also love that you had your high school marching band do an interlude for the album. Where did that idea come from? Was that something you always envisioned?
I had the idea after watching Dazed and Confused, the scene at the end when they’re all on the football field. I wanted to capture that kind of energy sonically and I thought what better way than to have my high school marching band on the album.
You’re still relatively new to the music game. What are some music industry-related goals or benchmarks that you’re aiming to reach in the next couple of years?
Continue to push myself creatively as an artist. The rest will fall into place.
Lastly, we’re called Talk Nerdy With Us because we all have an inner nerd so what is something that you’re currently nerding out about?
I love the video game Apex Legends right now. I literally play it for an hour or so before I go to bed to decompress for the night. Wattson is my character of choice.