Jermaine Quiz, also known as JQE, is a multi-talented musician from New Orleans. A regular at the House of Blues in New Orleans and the Hangout Music Fest in Gulf Shores, Ala., he is part DJ, part rapper and part singer/songwriter. At a young age, Quiz was welcomed into the New Orleans music scene with open arms. His work includes partnering with some of the greatest New Orleans artists—whether working in a studio or being up on stage with them—like George Porter, Trombone Shorty, Walter Wolfman Washington, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, Ivan Neville and Johnny Vodanovich, just to name a few.
His musical journey started when, at age 11, he begged his parents for a turntable, and started DJ-ing in New York and New Jersey.
“When I was in high school, I was DJ-ing parties at Rutgers University in New Jersey, and it hasn’t stopped since then,” says Quiz. “I came from New Jersey to New Orleans, to attend Loyola University to study music and found a home.”
As major influences, he acknowledges Kirk Joseph and George Porter.
“In just five minutes with them, I have gotten a lifetime of music lessons,” said Quiz. “They do not welcome you into the scene unless you have some talent. You have to be good. They will not let just anyone in there. I sit in with the bands, rap with Soul Rebel Brass Band, and the Revivalists, and I am called up on stage with George Porter. It is a tight-knit music community, one I am very proud to be a part of.”
He says this about the transition from the Northeast to the South, “Even though I wasn’t versed in the scene, I was doing well early on. As a college freshman, I was in a band and we were booking gigs at House of Blues and Tipitina’s. I was 18-years-old at the time, it blew my mind. I now say, ‘I am never leaving New Orleans, I will be buried above ground.’”
Quiz takes the mash-up to a new level; it is called a live-made mash-up. Normally a mash-up is a song or composition created by blending two or more pre-recorded songs, usually by overlaying the vocal track of one song seamlessly over the instrumental track of another. His blending, on the other hand, features live looping with a live turntablist, horns and a drummer. He was twice voted best hip-hop act in New Orleans by OffBeat Magazine. Additionally, he has been sought out to perform for Drake, Kim Kardashian and Mannie Fresh.
Many artists have done the idea of a mash-up, but not all are taking it to the level that Quiz has. When asked about how he started in the genre, Quiz said, “I made a mixed tape in 2009, it got the attention of the Meters, and Lil Wayne. They all said I was on to something, now people are starting to catch up. I want to do what I want, and have to be true to myself.”
Quiz is focused on his music and is currently working on new material. “Music 24/7. I am in the studio working on a remix album for Trombone Shorty. Mixin’ in Juvenile, R. Kelly, Aaliyah, Lil’ Wayne and myself.”
Winston Evans, owner and promoter of Kush Productions, decided to bring the artist to Vinyl Music Hall after seeing him open for Beats Antique at the Hangout in Gulf Shores.
“I enjoyed his set so much I immediately thought about getting him booked in Pensacola,” Evans told the IN.
As for what we can expect from Quiz’s show, Evans said, “You can expect to hear all of your favorite songs from several genres mixed and mashed up in Jermaine’s unique style. The added element of live horns and drums makes it the perfect recipe for a dance party.
Quiz’s show at Vinyl is the official after-party of the Downtown Pub Crawl. Crawlers get in for half-price with a wristband.
Evans adds, “It is sure to be a good time for anyone who attends!”
JERMAINE QUIZ ENTORAGE MASH-UP DANCE PARTY AND BROOKS HUBBERT
WHEN: 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 23
WHERE: Vinyl Music Hall, 2 S. Palafox