Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Superman-Clark Kent Dilemma for Artists

"What do you do?" Is a question I get often when I meet someone. What was once such a simple question has become quite complex after years of self-discovery. At the end of this tunnel, I have coined what I call the Superman-Clark Kent Dilemma.

In the streets, at the bus stop, that guy in the cubicle next to you, exist those who have been granted priceless gifts. They sing, they write, they dance, they build, they destroy, they master, they experience but many have been reduced to accountant, lawyer, doctor, cashier, senator, etc. -- single day job title. 

When I decided to pursue my art seriously, I tapped into an inherent power which allowed me to access the most honest parts of myself. There isn't much out there that is more liberating in my opinion. Then when someone would ask me "what do you do?" I found myself reverting to what ever my 9 to 5 job title was at the time.

One day someone asked me "what do you do?" Today I had a change of heart and replied "I'm an artist." They looked at me, smiled and said, "No, what do you do for a living I mean?" I thought and said, "I'm an artist." They then replied, "Well surely you have a day time job?" I answer, "Yes." They then said, "Well, that's what you do." 

This opened up a new plane of thought for me because I had never considered this. For 8 hours a day, I devote myself to a day task which gave me financial stability and at which I contributed much to society but only represented a fraction of my total person. While the artist in me contributes to every part of my societal contributions. While I sat there in the confused dark corners of my mind, I looked up, and there he was. A bird! A plane! No... well, what is he?

I thought about the world of Superman. Now Superman inherited amazing gifts. With those gifts he contributes much to society, but those gifts don't necessarily always grant him personal monetary gains. With all his awesomeness he has to keep up the alter ego of Clark Kent in order for him to act as a functioning member of society. Though it is the Superman in him that contributes the most to society, it is the Clark Kent piece that works as a vehicle for Superman. Since we, as the audience are granted an omniscient position in the life of Superman, I believe most of us identify the "whole man" as Superman and not Clark Kent.

What is your Clark Kent? What is your Superman? Here in lies the Superman-Clark Kent dilemma of identity.

Consider Superman and Clark Kent as it applies to you and others. Are you your 9 to 5! I believe you are everything you do to contribute to yourself and society around the clock no matter what that Clark Kent is.

So I propose, the next time you ask someone "what do you do?" consider these things. 

When that accountant says he paints...
When that restaurant server says she's a dancer...
When that barber says he's a sculptor...
When that construction worker says he's an architect...
When that teacher says he's an artist...

Consider it a great opportunity to understand the whole person. And if you absolutely have to know that person's 9 to 5 vehicle, just ask...

"What's your Clark Kent?"



Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Listen to the new single "Thru the Night" from Mr. Qwes's upcoming album "The Red Light District"

Pass it along if you like what you hear! Thanks and much luv!

- Q

Thursday, January 2, 2014

New Album in 2014

Mr. Qwes is in the studio working on a new album for 2014. The album will be smooth and sultry sounds coupled with edgy instrumentation and content. The premise will be Love, Lust and Fantasy. The artist explains that fans will see another side to him creatively and that he would be really pushing his vocal performance on the album. There will be collaborations with Leaveil "LA" Armstrong (who coproduced the album Isms and Ologies as well as being 1/3 of the alternative Hip Hop trio ReKaSte) and DJ Kal (another member of the ReKaSte production team). The project will be more than a compilation of music; it will be a conceptual album based on a well developed story line. The first single and promo for the album will be released within the next couple of months.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

"Least of All" (Inspired by Trayvon Martin's Trial)

"Least of All"
(Inspired by Trayvon Martin's Trial)

I am a lover
I am a fighter
Im a musician
Im a writer
I'm loud
I am introverted
I'm a little adult
And a big kid
I'm a know-it-all
I know nothing
I'm a jack of many
Master of none
I'm the corniest in the corn field
But a whole lotta of fun
I fight for fairness
Injustice makes me furious
I demand respect
But i dont take me too serious
I'm a freak
...Yes a freak
But a gentleman in the streets
I live to respect my women
But make them melt in their seats
I'm smart
I aint dat smart
I liken learning to gold
I'm a Biznessss Mayne
But refuse to sell my soul
I'm stubborn and radical
Sometimes u can't tell me 'ish
But im always listening though it doesnt seem like it
I'm a brother, a son
A cousin, a friend
I'm a father... One day... Maybe
I am many things and many things to be
But least of all i'm a black man so dont see that see... Me

- Qwes

Friday, March 22, 2013

Live Music 2013... Uh I think it's live... Hold up wait a minute...


Live music these days seems to incorporate a lot of pre-recorded material. A bunch of background singers lip-synching pre-recorded harmonies, musicians playing with a track (I'm not just talking click tracks but full band tracks). Pre-recorded lead vocals to support the lead vocalist's sound. I understand the need and/or preference for these things (i think) but how much of this takes away from the actual live music experience? I feel that part of the beauty of the live music experience are the imperfections. Are we so worried about these imperfections that we are willing to potentially sacrifice the "soul" of live instrumentation? Or should I just ignore the fact that every singer on stage sounds perfectly like the lead artist, with perfect reverb-heavy blend, and there aren't nearly enough instruments to produce the sounds and parts I'm hearing in the instrumentation? As an artist, where do I draw the line between authenticity and an industry standard performance? "Yo brotha, how'd you get your keyboard to sound like a horn line, police siren, orchestra and piano riff?" IDK <shrug> just talkin'


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Saturday, February 4, 2012

INSIDE the NEW ALBUM Isms & Ologies

As a release date is being decided for my up and coming album "Isms & Ologies" songs are beginning to be leaked and questions are beginning to fly. One of the biggest questions have been "why isms and ologies?" I want to take the time to explain the creative process and what people can expect from the project.

Isms and Ologies is a term used to describe all the beliefs and ideas man has generated to shape and explain the world around us. The term was coined by author Arthur Goldwag. I decided that I wanted this first project to take on this concept. I believe that reality is perception deep so I decided i wanted the album to be a compilation of beliefs and ideas that shape my world and thus becomes truth and reality as I know it. The songs state boldly "this is how it is" but has a very intentional naive undertone. This undertone is important as it keeps in mind that there is a greater world than that which is perceived in the content of the songs. 

My intent with each song was to generate quick photo-stills of the human experience by connecting to my own experiences. As you listen you will visit many dimensions of the human experience. Each experience will seem so different from the next that you will begin to think that the main character (the artist (me lol)) is either a walking contradiction or has multiple personalities. You'll be listening and ask yourself, "which one is Qwes?" By the last note we will realize that all of them are. RealISM and ideOLOGY tend to work together to shape our understanding of the world around us. When listening to the project as a whole, it will be up to the listener to determine what this compilation tells us about the human experience.

I am very excited about this project and I thank you for your support. Release date coming soon!