Artist Interviews

Q&A: Quantic

By | Published on Friday 26 August 2011


The stage moniker of DJ and multi-instrumentalist Will Holland, Quantic released his debut album ‘The Fifth Exotic’ in 2001, having hand-delivered a demo version to the bosses at Tru Thoughts.

Now based in Colombia, he has since released eleven further albums under various guises, not least acclaimed soul-funk ensemble The Quantic Soul Orchestra, dub-reggae fusionists Flowering Inferno, leftfield indie-beat duo The Limp Twins, and Glastonbury favourites, Quantic and his Combo Bárbaro.

With the cream of his decade-long oeuvre collated on new double-album ‘The Best Of Quantic’, due out via Tru Thoughts on 5 Sep, Will found a spare moment to address our Same Six Questions.

Q1 How did you start out making music?
I learnt guitar from my father who was an avid guitar and banjo player. My parents had an interest in all things folk, so there were autoharps, pianos, ukuleles etc round the house. My father worked at a technical college and he used to borrow synthesizers from the music department in the summer holidays and bring them home. I then got into sampling, my mother bought me a little sampler when I was sixteen, and it went from there.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
‘The Best Of Quantic’ is a retrospective of music recorded over the last ten years, since my first album with Tru Thoughts. It’s inspired by all that time in the studio, the hundreds of shows we’ve played, and travelling the four corners of the earth for that little something different.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
For the last four albums I’ve been working in Colombia, Panama, Brazil and the Caribbean with live musicians. I have come from a sampling and hip hop background, but I’m finding it increasingly more interesting to record live. The process normally starts with a sketch on guitar and then I arrange for a recording session with hand-picked musicians. Once you have a good rhythm laid down, you can really add anything on top you like, as long as the rhythm is heavy. I’m working more and more with Cali-based singer Nidia Gongora, she is just great.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
Colombian musicians Fruko and Andres Landero; from Panama Papi Brandao and Manito Johnson; King Tubby and Joe Gibbs from Jamaica; Los Destellos and Coco Lagas from Peru; Rail Band of Mali; The Meters and Charles Wright from the USA; and The Peddlers and Pentangle from the UK.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Thanks for listening and check my website for more info. I try to make music in a caring and very particular way, like a good home cooked meal.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
I hope it will both celebrate and draw a line under the last ten years, as there is much more music to make! I’m excited about my forthcoming collaborations with singer Alice Russell and recording more projects in Colombia, where I am based.