Alt-pop star Quarry discusses his musical firsts, from bucket list goals to his first ever song.

Quarry has been making his way to the centre of the alt-pop world by refusing to play by its rules. His music is individualistic, cheeky and often provocative, earning him a following which relishes his authenticity as an artist.


He leapt onto the scene in 2020 and amassed an array of tastemakers at his back, using that success to release the acclaimed project ‘Is That What You Call Love?’. Now, he’s back for more in the shape of his latest single, knowingly titled “Sound of Your Summer”.


The song tackles nostalgia for a lost future, with Quarry stating of its themes, “We all build this idea up in our heads of how things will play out, but it almost never turns out that way. Sometimes we get so attached to this idea, that we have to grieve its loss when it’s gone, but at the same time, we learn from it. I think you need those kinds of heart-breaking moments in life to really move forward, to know what you want, and find out who you really are”.


With Quarry’s success only beginning, we sat down with him to discuss his musical firsts, from loving the Spice Girls to career obstacles to first instruments.

First song you ever made?

When I was 13, I wrote a song called “Broken Track” and recorded it acoustically onto a little 4-track recorder. It was about a woman’s funeral procession, which doesn’t sound promising but it was actually not bad! It got me into the first band I ever played with and that’s where everything started. Just goes to show that the little kind things we do for the kids in our lives can make a massive difference. Maybe I wouldn’t be talking to you today if I hadn’t got that 4-track as a present one year.

First song you released officially?

“White Wishy Washy World”, which just hit 1 million plays on Spotify a few days ago! I’m not one for number-watching but it’s still nice to celebrate sometimes.

First CD or record you owned?

The first Spice Girls album, ‘Spice’. Still love it ngl.

First time you realised you wanted to be an artist?

I saw Justin Hawkins from The Darkness performing on MTV one day when I was 12 and thought it looked really easy. Turns out I was almost right haha! It’s not easy, but it is straightforward. You just try and make everything as real and honest as possible and the rest pretty much works itself out.

First festival you went to and the first one you played at?

Download Festival as a teenager was the first one I went to. I remember my dad holding onto my backpack to stop me from going into the mosh pit, but he couldn’t stop the woman flashing everyone right in front of me haha! Good old dad, he used to take me to all the shows I played when I was younger.
Including Profile Fest, which was the first show in general, as well as the first festival I ever played. It was a packed-out room B of 250 kids so I got thrown in at the deep end. The festival was run by this terrible local record label who I won’t name bless them, and the deal was that the local bands would all sell the tickets to their friends, and the order you played in depended on how many tickets you sold. A year later we sold enough tickets to headline it, and I can’t explain how good it was as a 15-year-old playing on the main stage to 1000 local kids all going crazy for it. People used to shout my name in the street for years after that, it was a mad experience.

First time you faced an obstacle in your career?

I remember an early show I played where there were about 13 acts on the bill, so everyone had a limited amount of time to play. The band before me though just kept going and going, and they were about halfway through a 3rd extra song when the sound tech cut them off.
The singer was livid. He stayed on stage and refused to leave, just shouting abuse at the tech. Eventually, it got to the point where I couldn’t wait any longer and I just went up on stage with my stuff and went to congratulate him on his performance. The guy did not appreciate it at all though, and a fight almost broke out between me and his band (them mid-20s and me 15 years old bear in mind).
The venue was a part-time strip club and had this dodgy reputation, so everyone who was watching the show decided it would be a good time to leave before it all kicked off, and I ended up playing to an empty room. The one person who did watch it thought it was amazing though, and that’s what I learned that day. It doesn’t matter how big the crowd is, you only ever play to one person anyway. A crowd is just a group of individuals who all feel like one person in a crowd. It’s why I never get nervous before a show.

First instrument you owned?.

I had these drum pads when I was a little kid that I used to love playing with. I actually found them again recently and the sounds that come out of them are surprisingly decent! We always had guitars around the house as well and I got a little red Stratocaster one year for Christmas that really started me on the first step down the path towards being an artist.

First time you felt like giving up?

I don’t remember the first time, but I’ve wanted to give up many times. I don’t feel any shame about that though, it’s just part and parcel of doing something that’s simultaneously really difficult to do and a key part of your identity. I just don’t think people will ever really get who I am unless I write these songs, so giving up isn’t an option.

First time you felt starstruck?

The closest I’ve come was writing with Luke from The Kooks. It was weird hearing his voice next to me coming up with new stuff in real-time. It was a really nice moment to feel among equals with someone I used to look up to when I was starting out. I also recently met Hugo and Felix from The Maccabees and it gave me that same feeling. Nothing better than when your heroes turn out to be lovely!

First time you ticked off a bucket list goal?

Last year, I did a live performance at Maida Vale for Jack Saunders at BBC Radio 1, and it felt amazing. All of the tech at the BBC is from the 70s and 80s so it has this really old-school grand feeling to everything there. It makes it all that bit more special. I’m about to cross another item off the bucket list as well but I’m not allowed to tell anyone about it yet, so make sure to keep your earholes peeled for the name Quarry.

Watch "Sound of Your Summer" below:


Related Articles

Firsts With Olivia Nelson

Modern R&B rising artist, Olivia Nelson, shares her musical firsts with Notion.

Firsts With Hare Squead

Hare Squead and collaborator Shauna Shadae chat about their musical firsts.

Firsts With Tove Lo

Tove Lo chats about her musical firsts, from meeting fans to her first instrument and her first hit song.