MJ: This is MJ with Direct Access World Wide Mag and joining me originally from the streets of Port-Au-Prince in Haiti and now representing the concrete jungle is Rapper and Producer QuietGunz. Welcome and thank you for taking time out for MJ.
QG: QG aka QuietGunz in da building, Military Muzik and Sonz of Haiti we here. Thank you for this interview MJ!
MJ: I became immediately fascinated while reading your bio specifically with the different experiences you have embraced in your life. Can you talk a little about adjusting to NYC after being raised in Haiti? Talk about some of the similarities and differences or any challenges and barriers you faced.
QG: I left Haiti at 15 so yeah it was a tough transition in the beginning. Practically leaving everything you’re accustomed to your whole life and starting fresh. It was hard to make friends in the beginning because of language and different upbringings. And we’re talking about 97′ or 98′ when it wasn’t so cool to be Haitian. So everything had to be earned. The homies wanted their respect by any means. The feeling was really us verse everybody else for real. I remember one time for Haitian Flag Day, I was in 11th grade and me and my peeps showed up to school all dressed in red and blue and Haitian flags everywhere. About 20 of us walked around all the hallways, we caused a lot of tension that day. You know high schools always had cliques fighting and Bloods and Crips started questioning our colors. Other people were giving us funny looks and the principal got involved trying to suspend everybody. Long story short after a week of mayhem, the school came up with “Diversity Day” where everybody celebrated their heritage and I think they have that going on till today. Us Haitians are always doing revolutionary shit lol…It’s in the veins!
MJ: I want to take the time to acknowledge the 8 years you served our country as a marine, thank you! You were pretty young at that time. How did marine life impact you?
QG: Besides feeling like you’re super human at 19 (laughs), it made me grow up and appreciate life, you know take nothing for granted. I graduated Marine Corps boot camp in Parris Island, SC August 17th, 2001. Guess what we had 3 weeks later, 9-11 terror attacks. So you know we had to be war ready 24/7. The mindset in the Marines was everything you do, do it as if your life depends on it. Marines always go the extra mile and just get it done, no matter time of the day, climate or place. These are some of the things I always used in life to keep me going. That’s really how I got my stage name QuietGunz. I always been a quiet type of guy, and I maintained a sharpshooter score every year at the rifle range.
MJ: Music has always been an escape for you even going back to your early years in Haiti. You mentioned that rap started as a voice for the oppressed. Why is it so important for you as a rapper to share your life’s lessons with your fans and the world?
QG: It’s important because you want to be able to connect with fans. You want them to relate to you and you have a platform where you can actually influence and help people. Rap is the voice of the unheard. That’s what makes it unique. Its powerful music and it influenced every corner of the continent in so little time. I like to turn up, party and bullshit, but as an artist I try my best to stick to the essence of Hip Hop. I’m a true student of the game. I’ve done it all from producing, engineering, songwriting to a bit of graphic designing.
MJ: Do you think if you didn’t have the experience of the streets and the military that your style or flow would be different? Because right now you are an artist who is embodying it all from the studios to the stages with such a fierce delivery or better yet a “silent but deadly” delivery!
QG: Yea it definitely would be different. Especially being from the toughest, most respected branch in the military it gives me a different lane not just everyone can jump on. I call it MilitaryMuzik and it is authentic to me and anyone who hears it. Listen to my song “What I Carry (2Gunz)” and “Stay Alive” on ITunes then you’ll understand.
MJ: I want to learn more about the Hip Hop Workshops that you are involved with. Give us the inside scoop in that.
QG: I’m officially the Brand Ambassador for EHMP (Elegant Hoodness Music Program) now. I help coordinate the showcases, judge the beat battles and cyphers. I politic with venues, promoters, radio stations, publications etc. There are a few things that I’m working on that can help take the brand to a whole different level that I can’t speak on until things are solidified. I’m all about growth and networking!
MJ: Let’s talk about some memorable highlights for you from SXSW. This was quite the accomplishment for you as you have wanted to perform at this event for years, and in 2017 you murdered that scene!
QG: That’s a fact. If you’re involved in music, SXSW is a must go. So much going on, so many stages, concerts etc…The memorable highlights were the networking that led to more opportunities. We had the privilege to work with Houston, TX legend Lil Flip and he showed us a lot of love at his events. He brought out the heaviest Hip Hop line up at SXSW (Twista, 21 Savage, Young MA, Dave East etc…) then we had our event the next day with Cassidy headlining. So yeah first time out there I had a blast.
MJ: Tell us what it was like for you to work with a classic artist like Cassidy?
QG: Opening up for a legend like Cassidy is always fun. I’m very grateful to have had the opportunity to hit the road with him. I went to a music conference in Chicago and I found out he was coming into town that weekend to perform at Red Diamonds in Chicago. Long story short he invited me and my bro Kelo to pull up and open up the show for him. We all had a ball out there for real. So salute to him. That was love.
MJ: Let’s get into the music now! What is out there now for everybody? What projects are you currently working on? Are there any upcoming shows you can share with us?
QG: We got streets buzzin’ with my single with the HeatMakerz “Stay Alive”, “Get Mine” with my bros Kelo and Scify, and “Everything”. I’m working on my solo project “Louder Than Wordz”. We’re always on the road throughout the year from Florida, Ohio, Colorado, Arizona etc…Definitely look out for a live performance at Lincoln Park Music Festival in NJ again this year. I rocked that stage 2 years in a row.
MJ: Quality over quantity…that is without a doubt evident in your music and wordplay! What other jewels can you drop for some of these young, fresh artists who are just getting their feet wet in the music industry?
QG: Be authentic. Find your sound, find your lane and stay in it. This music life can pull you a lot of directions at once and it can be overwhelming and frustrating. As cliché as this may sound “Your network is your net worth.”
MJ: We both share the same mindset as fans especially with Rakim and Mos Def. Tell us what artists are in your personal playlist? Do you have a top 3 that you would like to collaborate with or share the stage with?
QG: Glad to know we have similar taste. We don’t see those types of artists come in the game anymore and the few that do don’t get the respect and shine they deserve. I would like to collaborate with AZ. He always has been my favorite rapper growing up. Jada is another one of my favorites and of course Nas.
MJ: Bring MJ into the crowd…what can I expect from a live Quiet Gunz performance? What happens once you hit that stage and grab that mic?
QG: Expect a lot of energy and expect to hear bars. I’m very laid back and a quiet type of guy (hence the name). I hit the stage runnin’ and gunnin. I’m a whole different person.
MJ: Let’s talk tours. Do you have a favorite place you traveled to? What other cities or countries do you plan on touring?
QG: I love Florida. Touring Florida is always fun. We set up shows there 3-4 times a year. We always hit Tampa, Orlando and Miami. We’re starting to push out West. We just did 3 venues in one night out in Phoenix and the love was crazy! We’re talking with venues in Vegas and LA right now too. Eventually I want to start attacking the market overseas…European Tour, or QuietGunz live in Africa. Japan got a nice market for Hip Hop as well. You know a lot of my iTunes sales are coming from overseas!
MJ: Take a minute to share with everybody what the future has in store for Quiet Gunz! Give MJ and the fans something to embrace!
QG: The future always looking bright, more shows, more music from your numba 1 Gunna! I’m releasing my single “Everything” real soon. I’ve been testing it out different cities and the crowd reaction so far has been on point. I appreciate everyone who’s been rocking with me since day one and still keep the faith. It’s been a long journey and I’m enjoying the ride. Everybody’s success story is different. Coming from where I came from I’m blessed to do what I love to do.
MJ: I have to ask this last question because you bring nothing but fire to that mic during cyphers! Out of cyphers or live performances do you have a preference?
QG: I love both but cyphers are more personal and competitive, and I love to compete!
MJ: Salute, and thank you for taking the time out to chop it up with MJ and Direct Access World Wide Mag! Is there anything else you want the world to know about QuietGunz?
QG: Yea check out the website www.quietgunz.com to get a taste of what I’m about. “Holla at the number one Gunna on social media @quietgunz… Bang Bang!”