We first met Brey Quick on a summer night in Brooklyn and have been itching to feature him on the Arcade ever since. Lucky for us – and for you, today we are premiering Brey’s new track “Cumulonimbus,” from his hands to yours. Along with the exclusive Arcade-only track, we also got Brey, a true Renaissance man talking on his hometown, making art, playing ball in Iceland, and doing what he does best – music. If you are in NYC catch Brey Quick tonight at Rocksmith Presents: Run CMJ.
We read that High Point, North Carolina is the “Furniture Capital of the World,” beyond couches, tell us about growing up in your hometown!
Haha yes, High Point is in fact the furniture capital. We have all the finest couches and wooden dining room tables! Seriously though, growing up in High Point was fun, motivating, and scary all at the same time. Even though I am an only child, I grew up with four cousins all around the same age as me, and a gang of friends around my old area Eastwood in High Point, NC, so it was fun… having all my homies around. HP was motivating because I saw so many stories of success in my small city yet it was scary because I saw so many stories of downfall also. I was lucky enough to see both sides of the fence. SkyedUP.
What is the “SkyedUP” movement all about?
SkyedUP is basically an idea I came up with to motivate the world’s people. Main ideas are: be yourself. Embrace positivity. Attack your goals with full force. Work hard for what you want. Live and learn. Intelligence is key to growing… Always grow and like Bruce Lee says, “be water.” Just some real life, motivational life shit. Some people think it’s about getting twisted, and I’m not gonna say that’s not included in the lifestyle. We ain’t in the building, we above the building! SkyedUP!
When did you start making music and what got you into it?
I started producing music at the age of 15, rapping about 17, but not seriously. Music took hold of me in the 90s. I was obsessed with Nas, Snoop, Pac, Big… all the greats. Nas’ Illmatic and old school RnB really influenced me. In my room as a kid I would record my favorite songs off the radio on different tapes and make my own mixes. I was the neighborhood tape man at like 12. Additionally, I had a karaoke machine, and I would record myself rapping to old Busta Rhymes instrumentals. All of these things definitely lead to me making music, but the desire to rap on my own original beats is what really pushed me towards producing.
You studied Studio Fine Art at High Point University, what type of mediums did you work with? Are you still making visual art?
Correct. I studied sculpture, figure drawing, painting, print making, in all mediums. I’m into using pen, pencil, charcoal, paint, all at once. I like to bring together various techniques and make one master piece. That’s just me. I’ve recently gotten back into my own visual art. I’m doing a lot of graphic pictures in Photoshop and paintings at the moment. I am creation. Feel me? SkyedUP.
It blew our mind to hear that you played basketball in ICELAND! Please explain how this came about and tell us a little bit about your experience over there!
Well, I received a full four-year basketball scholarship to High Point University. It was Division 1 and despite being in a smaller conference, we played all the bigger schools like UNC, Michigan, Clemson, Kentucky, Florida State, etc, which was all great for exposure. After that I was blessed with an offer to play professionally in Iceland in their top basketball league. My experience over there was very surreal. The scenery was crazy… there would be a huge mountain on my left side and a huge ocean on my right while driving on what seemed like an infinite highway. It was on some Lord of the Rings shit. As far as the actual basketball over there… Icelandic players are TOUGH! They don’t really do well with American players. Games had their fair share of shit-talking and shoving matches, but nothing really got out of hand. My stint in Iceland definitely opened my mind to world travel and since then I’ve developed a deep appreciation for the European culture. I have a track I just finished up called “Passport Stamps” that will be on my upcoming project Light Year, and this is an ode to the whole overseas experience.
The track “Cumulonimbus” refers to a certain kind of cloud. Whats the story behind the name?
Yes! “Cumulonimbus”… I just want to define it here via Wikipedia: “a towering vertical cloud that is very tall, dense, and involved in thunderstorms and other inclement weather. These clouds can form alone, in clusters, or along a cold front in a squall line. They create lightning through the heart of the cloud.” I always remembered this term from grade school, science class. Truthfully I feel like a Cumulonimbus cloud a lot of the time.
You sampled James Blake for this track, what drew you to this sample?
James Blake is just such a different type of artist on some other shit… like, can you even compare him to anybody? My whole reason for existence is to be my unique self. It seems like JB lives by that same motto. The sample says “Beacon, don’t fly too high…” and that connects to my goals that I’m confident are attainable even if they reside amongst the clouds.
What does 2012 have in store for Brey Quick?
…I’m feeling like Leonardo Da Vinci or Jackson Pollock or Salvador Dali right now. The ideas are flowing and the music that I will be releasing should hold the public down for a while in this age of content A.D.H.D. My new project Light Year should be out by the end of the month or early November… definitely some of the most SkyedUP shit I’ve ever created.