Interviewing Quelle Chris @ SXSW

Interviewing Quelle Chris @ SXSW

April 15, 2023 in Features

by hierba malita

Quelle Chris

Quelle Chris is THE MAN, a perfect example of an experimental free-spirit. Producer, Rapper, Singer-Songwriter with over 15 albums under his belt. We could all learn a thing or two from Quelle Chris in some shape or form. Originally of Detroit, he is from everywhere. Musically - the same way, but his artistry is incredibly intentional, pompous, and honestly... straight up raw. I love that about him. He is no different from his music, a burst of childish energy tied alongside the wisdom of experiencing true life. Quelle Chris is real and you can feel it.

I first heard of Quelle Chris on a song with Mndsgn, Popeye. You probably heard of it!

In 2020, he released a MASTERPIECE of an album alongside Chris Keys. Good god, I remember this album being my top for MONTHS. It has so many crazy good features, important lessons, skits, on and on. It is so creatively well-rounded in ways people typically dont even think about. I would recommend Innocent Country 2, TO ANYONE AND EVERYONE. Send link to ur grandma! Now!

My top 3 might be Make It Better, Living Happy, and Moments... but that could change since I like them all a lot, lol. (Honorary mention: Sudden Death)

Dirty Looks Presents: The Authentics

March 17, 2023 @ Shangri-La

Quelle Chris might have called this one of his sloppiest sets (his words, not mine!), but to me - it was one of the best sets out of ALL SXSW. He really commanded that event space. Initially fully clothed, ended up shirtless and with everyone screaming random animal noises to the top of their lungs. It was so fun, interactive, and contained every single emotion you could think of. Quelle Chris really knows how to go with the flow and give a good show. Shout out to mans, forreal. I am so happy I got to interview him after his set.

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Luya Moreno


Aye, my name is Quelle Chris. I'm from Detroit by way of New York, by way of Saint Louis by way of Chicago, by way of Oakland, by way of all up and down California. By way of New York. By way of, you know, again, again and again, and again. Yeah.

Out of all those places, do you have a favorite?

That I've lived on? Sheesh, I mean clearly, I would say Detroit. The other clearly would be New York, because that's where I met Jean. Well, I can't really weigh them out. Saint Louis, which is where I started rapping. 3-1-4 Day was just a few days ago. My love for Saint Louis is die-hard, and really some of my favorite artists are from Saint Louis to this day. It's hard to say. I love them all equally. You know, like a lot of people always go like, where are you from? I always say Detroit, but like every year of my life, in a weird way, it's harder to say that because my love for all the places is kind of equal, you know? Yeah.

Somewhere you want to go, but haven’t been?

I haven't done any of Asia, I haven't done Australia, New Zealand, none of those. So I mean anywhere I ain't been. I want to touch ‘em, you know. I want to walk down those streets. Yeah, boogie down on them.

Go-to Dance Move:

Oh, I do the wop a lot. I do old people dances. I do like any dance that you see people do on the Soul Train line. That's what I do. Back when we were kids in New York, I won a duplex running man contest. That was my first, like, real dance experience. Yeah, I beat that running man up.

Energy when creating:

You know, this is something I've been talking about a lot. Everybody always goes “you need pain, you need stress. The best music comes out of pain.” I made a lot of great music in pain and under stress over the last six years. What I've really realized is my favorite place to make music is from a place of peace. You know what I mean? And I really wish artists didn't feel like they had to make music from a place of pain or from pressure. They always say you're supposed to be struggling like the struggling artists. It shouldn't be that way. We should be able to make art from a place of peace and comfort and stability, you know? So I think my favorite place to make music is from a place of peace.

How do you ground yourself to find that peace?

Things I can't even say. The things I shouldn’t do. You know how it is with artists and with people, we got all these vices and things, so, you know, I'm still trying to work on my woosah, my meditation, and all those types of things to find other ways. Unfortunately, I still find my peace in a good pack of Marlboro cigarettes and some incense. But, yeah, I want to find it in another place. Oh, and kicking it with my cat, Littles, shout out to Littles. He's my rock.

Do you have any dream collabs?

To be honest, I've collabed with a lot of my favorite artists, even from coming up. One of the biggest moments that happened with me recently was- we were out in London and Alchemist, Earl, Boldy, and Action had a show. My brother was there and just the thought of being able to have my brother come up on stage while Alchemist is on stage like, you know… These are the people I came up listening to. Everyone that I love, I've worked with, and all the other people that I love, that I haven’t worked with. I'm okay with never working with. Everybody wants to work with their idols, but I guess the era I’m from, just magazines and, like, only knowing some. I don't want to know them all. It's not like Pokemon for me. I don't want to catch them all. I like being a fan of music, you know? I like being just like an outsider, you know what I mean? Everyone I worked with that I admired coming up, it happened organically, right? And if it doesn't happen organically, then I'm okay with that. Like, for example, Redman, one of my favorite rappers ever. I've never met Redman. I almost feel like if someone was to be like, “Yo, like, come over, Redman is here” I'ma be like, Nah, I'm good. Cause I just want to just be a fan from afar. And I'm okay with that.

[Agreeing] Sometimes when you’re too big of a fan you can’t even…

Yeah! Like Thom Yorke put 3 of my songs on one of his latest mixes. And I was like, [gibberish] know? I mean, like, I don't even know what to do with that. Cause I've been listening to Radiohead since the bins. If someone was to be like, yo, “Thom Yorke wants to do a song with you.” I don't even know what I would do. I think I would decline because I just like being a fan sometimes. With social media and being able to just reach out, I think people have forgotten just about, just like being a fan. You don't have to know everybody. Just enjoy their art. Unless they're a shitty person and then throw it right away, you know what I mean? Walk away! Lol


Hopefully, I can get dragged back out to Texas sometime soon. The last show I did in Texas that I remember was when I was on tour with Black Milk. That doesn't make any sense. I need to be out here more often. I love being down here, real talk.


I've never done SXSW before. I don't think people are afraid. Texas is as big as a motherfucker. So if someone wants to do Texas, you got to, like, do this like a whole tour in and of itself, You know what I mean?

What's your favorite song to perform?

It really depends on the night. I always like doing Obamacare and I always like doing Alive Ain’t Always Living, which is what I open the set with. I can't let go of Symbolic, which is off of Shotgun & Sleek Rifle, which is out right now on vinyl and CD and there's merch through Street Corner Music. Go cop it! I just love all my songs, really. I love them all equally. Like, I can't say I have a favorite son or daughter, I love them all.

Shout outs:

Shout out Kiki, shout out…. [laughs] Yo! This goes out to Kiki!!! No, um.
Shout out to anybody that's living to live better. That's really it.

Thank you so much for your time Quelle! Your show was amazing and talking to you was great too! Wish you many safe travels anywhere and everywhere you go <3 Thank you for coming to Texas and hope to see you back here soon!!!! SHOUT OUT TO SXSW FOR BRINGING HIM AS AN OFFICIAL ARTIST! MORE OF THIS!!

Check out more of Quelle Chris Music here:

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