Quentin Moore – Biography
It’s the wah-wah of the vibrating guitar. It’s the thick-fingered chords of a moaning Fender Rhodes calling for a healing touch in the night. It’s the golden-hued light hitting the glistening top of a wooly Afro rocking wild and free. It’s the trickle of sweat sliding down the glowing brown skin teasing from an open shirt to thigh hugging pants, inviting undress and caress in quiet storms. The keeping time of an aggressive stacked boot stomping up dust in the tempo of funk and the rhythm of the groove, beckoning you to move an arm, a foot, a hand, something to celebrate being alive. It’s the primal, crackling energy of life, rebelling against a frigid world of megabytes and bits. This is the sound, the touch, the taste, the smell, the high church and spirit of renewal delivered by multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter Quentin Moore at every vintage soul revival ever preached by this new Deacon of Soul.
Drive, discipline, and determination—these are but a few of the hallmarks of the former Austin, TX high school star of several sports and the University of North Texas college athlete with the competitive thirst to win on the Dallas/Fort Worth football field. These key traits were matched with the early fundamental musical and spiritual training Moore received under Austin steeples through the tutelage of church musicians that captured his childhood imagination with their wondrous ability to meld skill with spirit to rock a service to its feet. Soon the awestruck middle schooler would be the skilled teenager adept at keys, bass, organ, guitar, and his first love, drums—all studied and performed in the gospel quartet tradition that would leave an indelible mark on Moore’s sound. Soaking up the blues of his grandparents, the doo wop of his dad, the classic R&B of his mother, the hip hop soul of his elder sisters, and the reggae to rock afforded by the legendary Austin music scene all stirred in the heart and mind of the future musician who’d try his hand at it all.
Deciding on a musical path in 2003, after witnessing the first blush of the Dallas independent soul movement with artists like Geno Young, Carmen Rodgers, Shaun Martin, and R.C. Williams, the Human Resources major found himself spending less time on the field and more time writing and learning with the student musicians of UNT’s famed jazz program, including future band members of Erykah Badu and Snarky Puppy. It was during this period that Moore was penning and recording the musical love poems that would eventually comprise his independent neo-soul debut, Vintage Love in 2009. Eventually performing his first gig at UNT with gospel rap stars Lecrae and Tadashi, Moore would go on to record three of those early tracks from that performance on his 2011 mixtape, Quentinized. Once bitten, Moore vowed to work toward the goal of being a full-time musician following his UNT graduation in 2007.
Within three years, following a grueling scheduling of working a variety of transportation gigs by day and hustling by night to get his name out through area open mikes, weddings, and talent shows, Moore learned the DIY business of independent music and picked-up regular session and production work as a musician for various local and national touring talent until he was able to leave his 9 to 5 steady for his musical mistress full-time. By 2010, Vintage Love had helped establish Quentin Moore as a respected local soul artist with a burgeoning fan base, with its reality-based romances drawing comparisons to fellow singer/songwriter Jamie Foxx. Its follow-up, Quentinized, expanded his musical repertoire with more covers and reggae-infused material. It was Moore’s mash-up medley of Total’s “Kissing You” with Tony Toni Tone’s “Lay Your Head On My Pillow” that earned him his first hit single, peaking at #2 on the Breaking Artist Independent UK Soul Chart. Opportunities on such stages as New York City’s Sol Village at S.O.B.s, Atlanta’s Independent Soul Summit, and opening act shots for national recording artists like Dwele followed.
None of that prepared Moore for the 2013 success of his junior release, You Forgot Your Heart. Finally settling into his niche in both signature look and style, reflecting the key influences of D’Angelo and Curtis Mayfield, a bolder, more mature Moore better embodied the classic soul and funk men of yesteryear and the material mirrored the thrilling change. With more political and philosophical songs sitting knee-to-knee with the love and relationship fare that he was already beloved for, it was a single celebrating cultural authenticity that broke through the noise and gifted Moore his first #1 UK Soul Charter, “Natural Sista.” Boasting the throwback sounds of ‘70s retro soul with a rare showering of adoration for Black women and a timely message of self-love, “Natural Sista” opened up larger and more international stages to Moore, including his first European tour, a primo slot with the Austin Urban Music Festival, and a UK tour as the opener for multi-media darlings Kindred & The Family Soul. By Moore’s next project, he’d shared stages with a who’s who of old and new soul, including: Chaka Khan, Eric Benet, Tess Henley, Midnight Starr, Musiq Soulchild, Lalah Hathaway, Calvin Richardson, The Robert Glasper Experiment, And Ali Ollie Woodson of the Temptations. Moore also made several television appearances with Good Morning Texas, Fox 4 Good Day Dallas, and Fox 7 Good Day Austin by the end of his run with You Forgot Your Heart, his second of two albums to enjoy a Japanese licensing deal with Sweet Soul Records.
Never one to rest on his laurels, the magnetic hustler of funk and soul returned to his love languages days by releasing two cupids arrows through the hearts of his intimacy music fans with VDay EP, Volumes I and II in 2014 and 2015, respectively, beginning a new Quentin Moore Valentine’s Day tradition in the process. Each includes both originals and covers exploring the romantic music of his earlier music with more sage and experienced eyes. The man, who achieved news media attention for his famed valentine song grams of soul classics, also launched an annual Valentine’s day concert to accompany his VDay releases, marking Valentine’s Day as all Moore’s.
In recent years the Too 10 finalist of the MySpace/Budweiser National Soul Singer contest has produced and collaborated with a slew of other jazz and soul artists, including: Nao Yoshioka, Mike Walker, Michael Hubbard, and hit-maker saxophonist Vandell Andrew, who also played on several Quentin Moore releases. Performing and collaborating on songs like “Never Had A Love Like This” with Yoshioka from her sophomore project, The Rising; producing the single, “Darlin,’” by newcomer Brittni Jessie; and working on the #1 Billboard Contemporary Jazz hit “Let’s Ride” with Andrew from the 2014 Soul Train Award Nominated Turn It Up EP, have further cemented Moore as a respected musician, songwriter, and producer for the serious artist.
The crooner known for singing such soul and funk covers as William DeVaughn’s “Be Thankful For What You’ve Got,” Al Green’s “Simply Beautiful,” and Bobby Womack’s “That’s The Way I Feel About Cha,” is looking to do more original material as he expands his repertoire with the forthcoming releases of The Big Picture and VDay, Vol. III. In a time of #BlackLivesMatter, police brutality, and an unyielding string of government corruption stories, Moore is reclaiming the spirit of Mayfield and Gaye to deliver the socially conscious soundtrack that sparks movements and changes hearts and minds. More than a political project, The Big Picture will also delve deeper into personal themes of self-love, being grateful for where you’re at, and following your own blood beat. All will include the blues, jazz, funk, and secular soul revival music echoing the gospel quartet tradition rippling all of the candid truth teller’s hybrid music. While VDay, Vol. III will do more of what R&B, soul, and Quentin Moore have always done: celebrate love.
With his future releases of the edgy, the romantic, and the unfiltered, the Southern soulster is kicking everything up into yet another gear to move people’s feet and claim their hearts with his special brand of modernized ‘70s funk ‘n’ soul. Inspired by the commitment of fans who crowdfunded You Forgot Your Heart through Kickstarter to the tune of more than $10K, Moore plans to reward that love with more touring, more performance videos, more of an online presence, more collaborations and guest features just more of Moore, the ultimate vintage soul experience.