Meet TJ Quinton

T.J. Quinton is a Brisbane-based songwriter and guitarist. His music and performance can be described as folk songs meet hip hop and spoken word amongst award-winning guitar work. Underlying his music he fosters an awareness of social, cultural and environmental factors.

What are your first memories of playing in The City Sounds?

 I've had a lot of different experiences playing in the City over the years, from our first gigs circa 2007 with The Deckchairs at VERY questionable establishments, through to some of the fanciest events including City Hall. My first experience of City Sounds is always remembered fondly, mostly for being Autumn, playing music anywhere outdoors in Autumn is the best.

How did you hear about The City Sounds? What do you think about the program?

Plenty of my friends have been playing The City Sounds regularly of the last few years and I started playing alongside Ahliya Kite last year when we started our duo. I think The City Sounds is a great initiative and really sets Brisbane aside from other cities in Australia, most who don't have anything in place that shows such a commitment to both curating live performance in public areas as well as being a strong support for local artists. 

Where do your musical influences come from?

Musically I have really diverse influences. From masters of guitar to whom I will always be grateful for their musical expression, poets and hip hop artists, soundscape designers and more. Musicians who make material that I would never wish to replicate are particularly influential too!

What are you working on at the moment? What has been your focus as an artist?

I'm working on new material for my next album. Still in the early phases of production I'm trying to tick a lot of boxes with this one, getting together with other artists for all the collaborations I've been putting off for years, really focusing on my guitar pieces as well as branching out into different areas of production I haven't really used before. 

How would you describe the music scene in Brisbane? Do you think it has its own distinct flavour?

I seem to get asked this question a lot and maybe that’s because over the years some of Australia's most famous bands have come out of this relatively small city. For me however, most of these bands represent the tip of the iceberg of the vibrant music culture here. Once you get out to the local scenes we have so much more variation. But the music scene is still defined by the artists appearing in the press or at the most popular venues and overlooks the beauty of local choirs, the community of the folk sessions and the expression of some of our buskers.  

 T.J. Quinton’s Top Brisbane picks:

There are some really wonderful people out there though and to list a couple I'd throw IamD in there, of course Ahliya Kite both for their strength of character as artists, it's not easy to create your own identity in amongst it all and both these artists do a startling good job. The Joynt in West End is my local when I'm in town and anywhere along the river has always been special to me.