By SK Guillory
Austin’s electronic pop artist, Hardly Quinn, is releasing her newest song “What I want is What I Need” on February 10.
“This song is about me understanding that the things I want are the things that I need,” Quinn said. “It’s okay to want what I want.”
23-year-old Quinn’s upcoming song will be available on all streaming platforms. This single came from her realization that she is autistic, which is a realization that, among many others, caused her to reflect on the kind of support she needs from those around her.
“The premise of coming up with that song title and those lyrics was realizing that I’m autistic and I need a lot of support,” Quinn said. “And I need to accept and embrace my differences.”
Over the past six months, Quinn has started her music career and made a name for herself in the DJ community. San Marcos resident Tais Gomez is a friend and fan of Hardly Quinn, and they’ll often drive to Austin for her shows.
“Quinn’s music makes me feel alive and it makes me feel free,” Gomez said. “There’s no other sense of liberation and euphoria other than by dancing.”
Trauma exists in the body, and music and dance are ways to exit that trauma out of the body. Quinn said that as an artist, it is rewarding to watch someone feel her music through their body and release it through dance.
“If I see someone really enjoying what I’m playing, it touches my heart because I know when I’m alone and listening to music and releasing that energy, it’s a profound moment for me,” Quinn said. “It allows me to move and grow and let go of what doesn’t serve me, so just seeing someone do that, but I’m the one who is able to foster that sort of connection to me is my goal.”
Quinn said her music is heavily influenced by her closeness to herself. She has found that the closer she gets to herself, the closer she feels to her music. Often people see pop music as meaningless, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth for Hardly Quinn.
“The sounds I make are electronic and pop but the ideas behind the songs are very folk, alternative based,” Quinn said. “I think of actual stories to tell in a very poetic way rather than just slapping words onto a page.”
Growing up in San Antonio, Quinn said she felt misunderstood and unheard. This ultimately led to her entrance into music, allowing her to be heard and to give her inner child a voice they never had. She said her parents didn’t tend to her emotional needs, but this experience allowed her to be there for herself.
“That foundation to creativity and being an artist is your inner child,” Quinn said. “It’s that spark inside you that really wants to experience life and live it like your inner child should.”
As a transgender artist, Quinn creates music for her community that speaks to her life experiences. Representation is important in music. People want to see themselves in the artists they admire, and a big portion of Hardly Quinn supporters are in the queer community.
“I’m creating the stir that I want to create. I want people to be inspired by me, I want someone to embrace a new community because of me and I want someone to embrace themselves because of me.”
In 2022 alone, around 150 anti-trans bills were introduced in the U.S. As a transgender artist in Texas, Hardly Quinn is breaking barriers for people in the queer community and for herself.
“The biggest thing that is an inspiration for me is myself,” Quinn said. “Being the person that inspires you the most creates such a personal experience for other people, and I think we all really want to experience someone else and see them for who they are.”
To keep up with what she’s doing, Hardly Quinn’s music is on SoundCloud! You can also follow her Instagram, @hardly_quinn_music, to get updates on her upcoming album. This first release is one of many as she hopes to gain traction with each single release for her upcoming album.
Featured Image from SK Guillory
Written by: Amaya Lewis