South Florida native Q is one of the most challenging musicians to Google, but the content is well worth the hunt. As a singer and producer, Q grew up around music, subsequently planting the seeds for his future early on. His father, Steven "Lenky" Marsden, is an influential figure in the dancehall and reggae scene, creator of the legendary “Diwali Riddim,” sampled by the likes of Rihanna for her breakthrough hit Pon De Replay” and Sean Paul for “Get Busy.”
With buzzworthy tracks like “Take Me Where Your Heart Is,” whose music video already has 2.3 million views on YouTube, Q is slowly proving that music indeed does run in his family’s bloodline. At the Soul Train Awards 2022, host comedian and actor Deon Cole, viewers can catch the rising star on the amplified stage, but before then, get to the burgeoning artist better.
His stage name is his real name
The rising star has one of the most unsearchable names in the business, but his story is even more unique because he was born Q Steven Marsden. In a vintage interview with Complex, Q told reporters, “My dad named me the letter Q because he just thought I'd be destined for something good, so he just wanted to name me something weird.”
He’s the son of Jamaican immigrants
He spent much of his childhood listening to the tunes of his parent’s native land, including legendary artist Bob Marley. Q’s father produced for Sean Paul, while his mother played alongside Beenie Man and Bounty Killer.
He grew up around music
Q’s introduction to music came at a very early age. His father is also a musician—a producer. His dad would always take him to the studio, where he often heard the sounds of Michael Jackson and Earth, Wind & Fire playing. His mother is a massive fan of the legendary gospel group, The Winans. “A lot of reggae artists like Dennis Brown, Bob Marley,” he was once quoted saying. “Definitely the peak of ‘70s and ‘80s music.”
Creative control is essential to him, but he’s willing to negotiate
Q self-produced his debut EP, Forest Green. The project, while heavily r&b, experimented with sounds of soul, acoustic pop, and many other genres. Having creative control over all aspects of a project is important but he's also open to seeing other creative perspectives.
His dad has writing credit on his album
His dad has co-writer’s credit on his track "Take Me Where Your Heart Is.” In an earlier interview, the crooner shared, “My dad is cut from a different cloth, you know! He's just like “Yo, this is weird, but this is good because I've never heard it before.” Yeah, so he admits this is some weird music. This is this time, but it’s good that he’s like that—he's a very brutally honest person.”
The Soul Train Awards 2022 premieres Saturday, November 26 at 8 pm ET/PT on BET and BET Her.