We had the good fortune of connecting with Quenequia Graves and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Quenequia, how do you think about risk?
My thoughts on taking risks are simple. It’s necessary. The saying goes, ‘No risk, no reward.” I’ve taken risks that some probably wouldn’t consider risks at all. However, as a person who battles fear, these were great risks to me. I believe that when you step out of your comfort zone and do something that you know will make you better even though it makes you afraid you’ll find the results so rewarding. We grow and learn so much from choosing to take risks. I wouldn’t really have a career had I not taken some risks.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a guitarist from Miami, FL. I would have to say, aside from being a woman in this industry, I guess what sets me apart would be my approach to music. We all interpret music differently. I tend to look for ways to really make whatever I’m playing appeal to your emotions. I want my music to be able to provoke thought in some way so I tend to play in a way that will hopefully do that. I could say that I’m most proud of sticking it out. I’ve been in this industry, seriously, for about 7 years. I’ve been playing for 17 years. During that time, one could imagine that all of the no’s and discouraging looks and responses from people who don’t see what I do as a career at all would make you want to quick. But here I am. Still sticking it out. I would have to say that I believe what has got me to this point and what has kept me, aside from God, is a lot of practice, ignoring comfort zones, desire, and most importantly, a good attitude. My grandfather always said, “Manners and respect will take you where a dollar won’t.” All of the things I mentioned before are very important, but in a industry where talent is, in reality, secondary, a great attitude will get you the referrals and callbacks. I’ve experienced it personally. I know it to be true. Definitely hasn’t been easy. It plays heavy on your mental when things aren’t going as you anticipated. Rejection is often in the music industry. I just had to make the decision to keep moving. Quite honestly, I have to keep making that decision. It’s not a one time decision, I have to make the decision to keep going often. I’ve learned that everyone won’t see your vision the way you see it and because of that, they will try and project their fears and insecurities on you. Write your vision down, keep it to yourself, and pursue it. I would like for everyone to know, that my brand is about uplifting and encouraging others to overcome whatever fears you may have and go for it.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m an introvert and soooo I would be a little limited in my knowledge of the hotspots around. Hopefully my best friend already understands this. LoL. However, NYSW Jazz Lounge in Ft. Lauderdale is one. Great spot for food and live music. Wynwood in Miami is like a melting pot with so many different cultures, creatives, and cuisines. A lot of bars in the area so plenty of spots to choose from down there. I’m a fan of Ramen so we would definitely have to visit GoBistro in Downtown Hollywood or PhatBoy Sushi in Ft. Lauderdale. Downtown Hollywood is also a great place to experience some bars and live entertainment. GingerBay Cafe is another place in Downtown Hollywood that’s really dope with food and live music. Ft. Lauderdale Beach is nice as well. That’s about all that I can come up with. LoL.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
To my parents, Clarence & Juanita, thank you for everything.