Communications major, Quinn Ayers, shares his experience as both a college athlete and an up-and-coming musician.
My name is Quinn Ayers. I'm a communications major here at UNC. I play baseball and I'm also a musician artist as well.
I guess we should just start off with asking how did you get into baseball and or should I say rapping?
Rapping, music, it all works.
Yeah, so we'll start with baseball. My dad played for UNLV for four years and he was a four year starter there as a pitcher, left-hander. And then he got drafted by the Chicago Cubs and he played ball there. And then, so like tradition with my family has always been baseball first. Like, my whole life, I've always been surrounded by that. And my dad's not his biological father, but the one who raised him was really into music. So I've always kinda had that knack of music around me in the sense as well from baseball being in that. And it was called, I was like all intertwined until high school came around and I had my brother showing me CDs of like One Republic, Coldplay to Kanye West to the Ying Yang twins. And then my dad's over there showing me other stuff like the older genres is like Nirvana and different stuff. But it was cool, I mean it kinda just kinda grew into kind of a passion, like not really like in the point where I was recording in high school, but I was always really centered around music. Like if I wasn't playing baseball, I was always listening to music and I always just kind of found like niche's and like why I like it. And I always hung around friends that produced music and that kind of just grew over college. And I was like, I want to try this music thing out. And I tried it and it was cool. I mean, as anything starts to start slow and I mean, not everyone, like - you got to give someone a reason to listen to you and if like I'm just coming out of baseball, like that guy, why should I really listen, you're a baseball player or vice versa, what do you know about baseball? You play me, you make music? So it's like, it's kind of a two edge sword. But I mean ever since it kind of took off and I made my a song Lemonade was what it was. It hit like, I think it's almost like a hundred thousand streams in terms of all platforms.
Spotify, Apple Music. Anything you have it on. Amazon Music. It's on all platforms. Even YouTube if you want to want listen for free, but you can't do it with your phone and do other stuff. So you can't listen to in the background. But, yeah, so once I dropped Lemonade on all platforms, I actually dropped it on SoundCloud at first just to kind of give it like, all right, let's see if it does any numbers.
Yeah. And it did. It was like, I think that's sitting at like 36K right now. And I was like, geez, I can actually do this. Like at first was just a hobby.
Real quick on the 36 K in, how long has it been out?
It hasn't even been a year yet. It'll be a year up here in March 18th will be a year for it.
Okay. And then rewinding back to just you and your friends, when you say producing music, was it just like beats like kind of like garage band?
Yeah like Garage Band, just kind of dillydallying. I mean, we really did have a clue, just messing with keys, messing with the EQ, the compressors limiters, all the sliders, all that stuff we really didn't know we were doing. We were just like, this aint Zaytoven or Metro Boom so let's try it ourselves. And it kinda just grew on us. And then I kinda took it into a passion and I was like, let me try this out. I didn't even know I could sing. And then I started to sing and then that's what like caught and it was like a little pop thing with the whole lemonade and I was like, all right, that's cool. And then right now I dropped after Afterglow in October last year, which was like my first like mixed tape project type deal, which was, it wasn't my best work, but it was just mixed. Like it was like I only recorded when I went home. So like, think about it, I'm out here to on like Thanksgiving breaks a lot of the time, and winter break is when I go home and then the rest I have is season so I don't really don't get to go home. So I was really making those on like two, like two weeks. I made that project and I put that out for like a test and people loved it. It was like 11 tracks and I kinda was like, all right, I'm going to sit down. And then I actually met a producer out here in Greeley named Adam Hague and he's, he goes by Potions and he's literally just helped me with producing like, it's like, like none of that I've ever had. Like it's very professional and it's taken me out of my realm of just how just wanting to do this as mixed tapes and just mix stuff and maybe it will pop, into like, I can really do this as a career. And then people have caught on. And I met Eli from the Moxie theater who's been a huge catalyst along with Potions out here with helping me grow. And he's had me do shows I've had, I mean my first opening was for Best Believe and it really wasn't like the kind of concert I should have been opening for but I got the opportunity to sold a close to 120 tickets, 120 heads he had there in that night that he wouldn't have had. So it kinda grew. And then he threw me on like the main stage out of nowhere, man. Just gave me a headline. I had my boys late night, Trey and Sean Mack from Vegas that I used to make music with back home. I still do. I had my boy Goop, who takes pictures. He's very good at that. We had him out and we had some local support with Cardi Ferrari, some other people from like around this area and it was just, it was, it couldn't have gotten any better. I was stressed out cause I mean your name's on the board. If this goes bad, it's all on you. It doesn't matter if it was a different cause so I was kind of stressing out. I got the real taste of the industry through that.
It sounds like you've got a posse though, a supportive posse that comes with you. I mean to come all the way up from Vegas.
And this university. I mean being a student athlete obviously is you have a scope on you regardless, no matter what you do. I mean you're held to a standard cause you're a student athlete. I mean I don't really think anyone's higher than anyone. I think I'm just like every other student on this campus so there was really nothing special about everyone's here. Everyone's living, everyone puts their pants on the same way. It's nothing special, but that's just how the ball rolls and I mean I get, I get watched a little closer than a regular student. So I mean, and being a musician it's kind of having that voice. So I've kind of been centered around that student athlete thing have kind of been under a scope. So it's when I do this, my music stuff, I know people are watching and I know people go to me to listen to me whether they're having problems, whether they're happy, whether they want to get in a mood. So ever since like I realized that side of music I was just like, wow, this is, this is like a beautiful thing. I can really speak to people. Not that like at first I was like, I mean as anyone, like it's like we're doing this podcast, like who should really listen to this? But it's like we put this out there and in someone that connects with one person, we did our jobs.
Right. Mission accomplished.
Exactly. So that's kind of how I look at it.
Real quick on just being a student athlete. What position do you play?
I play infield like third, short, second, first. I've even dabbled around the outfield a little bit this past Fall. So I mean they've had me going everywhere.
When you're up to bat, do you play your own song?
I did this summer. I did this past summer for the first time I played Lemonade and it was funny cause the catcher was like, what's your first walkup song by Post Malone, and I like stepped out and I was in the middle of a bat and I started laughing. I was like, 'that's me man.' That's me. I love post Malone. So yeah, I'll take that any day. And he's like, nah, he wasn't buying it. So we finished the game and I ended up going, he ended up coming over and asking me like, Hey, like let me see that song. And I showed him and it was me and he's like, geez man, this is good. So that's the kind of stuff that's kinda like keeps me pushing in the direction of like, let's make this a career and let's get after it.
Yeah. All you need is just those, those little bits of support from just small people.
When it comes to writing songs, do you have some sort of inspiration? Do you do something in particular or you just kind of like thinking about it 24/7 and you just patch it together?
It's kinda like, it's just life experiences as a whole. Like whether it's, cause people are always like, Oh, did you read that song about your ex? Like, nah. It's really just about nitpicking experiences from different relationships. I have kid, it doesn't even have to be with girls all the time. It's life.
Yeah, a collage.
A Collage. And, I mean obviously I have my influences in terms of music. Like I really look up to Nirvana. I mean Kurt Cobain obviously there's like here's the genius.
I mean you have a Nirvana shirt on right now.
Yeah, Nirvana is one of my favorite like classics because out you always gotta mix in a classic, you know what I mean? I mean Queen's awesome too. I mean they, they just kinda did it their own way. Um, but as well as just even new artists like Post Malone, Playboi Carti, XXX, like once of all, a lot of new artists. I'm influenced by a lot. There's really, you can't really box me in, in terms of what I like to let,
But you shouldn't be boxed in.
Yeah you can't be boxed in cause if I get boxed in so are my lyrics and I'll start to be this one, this one sound and it's like, I don't want that. I want different sounds because we don't have one mood. We have a bunch of different moods - that's what you do with your sound.
Here's a preview of Quinn's latest track, Feeling Have Ceilings.
If you were to give yourself kind of like a genre, if someone hasn't heard of you, have you thought about maybe you would, which mixture of artists you would sound like?
I've never really sat back and been like, I sound like this. Like you know what I mean? Like it's just kind of saying this is weird to me to think that way. Cause I feel like I just sound like myself, but other people, other people are like, you sound like Post Malone. You sound like a Khaleed. He's another good artist. And those are the two. I've gotten a lot. I even got a Sway Lee, I don't even know who got the Sway Lee but I mean, I didn't make, I didn't say these names, but they're, they're awesome. They're artists. I listen to them, I'm inspired by us. So it just happens to be that the trickling my sound a little bit, but at the end of the day, I sound like me, but I've had those comparisons in terms of like the style of music I make in terms of pop alternative, et cetera.
That's great. Yeah. So what's, what's next for you when it comes to music?
Uh, what's next to me and music is I'm working on my project feelings, have ceilings and I'm actually dropping my single, so I dropped roller coasters on January 11th, which was my first single from that project to kind of give him a taste of what the new stuff was. And then actually this Wednesday, so tomorrow at 10:00 PM so New York time it drops at 12:00 AM.
Thank you. I'm dropping feelings have ceilings, the single, it's a single, but it's feelings have ceilings, but that's the project. That's the name of the project as well. But the name of the project feelings, those feelings will be dropping. Like that whole like 11 song, like whole album you could call it or project. I like to call it albums but cause I want to have like my first studio album. Like when I really get into it, I got, I'm still in a studio. But I mean like in terms of like LA, like getting into a studio, haven't they name like all that stuff. But I mean it's still an album. To me, feelings has ceilings that 11 tracks or that will drop early March and it's, it's some of, it's some of the best music I've ever heard, but I mean whatever. I mean I made it, but it's really, I'm stepping out of the box. I made acoustics, I made alternative sounds, I made pop, I'm giving them a little, I'm giving them some rap, I'm giving it a little bit of everything. So it's kind of cool.
That's great. Yeah. Okay. Fast forward 10 years from now, music or athletics?
Baseball is going to be part of my life for a long time. But I mean at the end of the day you gotta be realistic or yourself. I mean, I'm a good ball player. I'm a good athlete. But I mean at the end of the day, I mean I could've got drafted my first two years at J-Co ball. It didn't happen, but I mean that's not going to be cashing my check. I still did my work to get to the university with this prestige and play with guys around me that are very talented as well as, as well as the coaching staff that helps me improve every day.
I put it like this, baseball has molded me into the man I am today in terms of going, I mean, you won't have any more failure than the sport of baseball and if anyone wants to argue with that, there's a reason why people that fail 70% of the time are Hall of Famers. And so I mean that's kinda, yeah, that's kind of a, how I put it then molded me into the man I am and music is kind of the, it's going to help me say goodbye to that sport here at the end of my senior year, whenever that is. I mean who knows, who knows stuff changes in a year. But I mean music would be, music is my longterm goal as well. But I mean baseball has been way bigger part of my life but music has been right there like I said.
I want to thank everyone. I mean there's too many heads to thank. I mean you included. There's so many people around me that make me who I am. I mean, help me grow into the person I am helping me make these sounds and how, I mean the fact that people care to listen to me is beyond me. So I mean just I always want to say thank you everyone. I mean I'm free. I mean I'm forever grateful for everyone around me. You know what I, I mean, even from the students and my teammates, these people helped me as a human being. And I mean, that's the main goal in life is being a good human.
The university of Northern Colorado has provided me with friends, endless routes of career choices I could have done with the communications department, obviously my degree so I can grow as a student and as a person into the business world. I mean, my coaches, my teammates, every day, they pushed me to be a great human being. Along with everyone included. I mean, the university of Northern Colorado has brought me a whole side of a family I never thought I'd have. So I want to say thank you for that.
Quinn Ayers – Untitled Track
Quinn Ayers – Feelings Have Ceilings