Japanese-American tastemaker Qrion releases her debut album, I Hope It Lasts Forever, today (October 29) via Anjunadeep.
The 12-track body of work proves to be sonically diverse, offering electronica, club anthems and inward-looking tracks. From emotive piano chords to upbeat sounds, celestial soundscapes, captivating vocals, pulsing bass and organic sounds, the debut album is indeed a masterful production.
The producer is making her mark in the dance music scene, having released on iconic imprints Mad Decent, Last Night on Earth and This Never Happened. In addition, her work receives support from acclaimed producers, including TSHA, Moon Boots, Lane 8, The Aston Shuffle, 3LAU and Gorgon City. Qrion, who has shared the stage with legendary artists Above & Beyond, Porter Robinson and Deadmau5, takes her next step by bringing her Nothing Lasts Forever Tour to North America.
Here, Qrion shares with Forbes the inspiration behind I Hope It Lasts Forever, her love for nail art, advice she would give her younger self, the song that made her fall in love with dance music and more.
Lisa Kocay: Can you describe your sound in three words?
Qrion: “I would say warm, sad and emo.”
Kocay: What was the inspiration behind I Hope It Lasts Forever?
Qrion: “I worked on this album during the pandemic, so I had very few inspirations like usual, because I also use the memories from the tour or like the beauty in the bus station or airport. But suddenly, I lost all gigs, so all I could be creative about was thinking about my family who lives in Japan. I didn’t see them for two years because the border has been crazy between Japan and the U.S. So I used a lot of childhood memories and some nostalgic feelings to create this album.”
Kocay: Can you talk about some specific memories that are behind the tracks that you created?
Qrion: “For example, the song called ‘11-11’ was about my memory of me and my dad. We used to play piano together when I was like six or seven years old. I really adore those moments and I’m like, why not, let’s use those feelings to finish that song.
“Also, ‘Your Love’ is about my family and the life in Sapporo I had before I moved here—something really warm.”
Kocay: It’s really beautiful how the nostalgia and the memories come across in the album. How did you pick the name of the album? What does it mean to you?
Qrion: “Those were just the names for my project file when I worked on the music. I didn’t decide on a track name before I started working on music, so it was mostly how I can explain those songs towards the words.”
Kocay: What was the first electronic music song you heard that made you fall in love with the genre?
Qrion: “It was Skrillex and it was ‘Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites.’
“I was mind blown away, like in 2011 or 2010 when the EDM community was still kind of small and new.”
Kocay: What has been the biggest influence on how you make music today?
Qrion: “It’s kind of the same about my album: my family and my father are always a big influence and also big inspirations to create new songs.”
Kocay: If you could go back in time to when you first started making music and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
Qrion: “I would say just keep going and really be yourself. But I kind of wish I could have known about house music much earlier, because I started making ambient music and not like danceable stuff. I would say listen to some house music on YouTube.”
Kocay: When you are not working on music, what kind of music do you usually listen to?
Qrion: “I listen to house music or techno, mostly old jungle. Recently I’m into hardstyle.”
Kocay: I feel like hardstyle is such a contrast from what you make. You need the balance. If you didn’t go into music, where do you think you’d be today?
Qrion: “I think I would still do something related to art. I like painting and I like doing nail art, so I would do something that’s art. If I stayed in Japan and lived in Sapporo in a small community, I wouldn’t do any music work.”
Kocay: What kind of nail style do you do?
Qrion: “I really liked rhinestones and the shiny stuff.”
Kocay: Do you always do your own nails? Do you trust other people to do them?
Qrion: “I like going to the salon and exploring the artists.”
Learn more about Qrion here.
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