Despite the lockdowns and curfews that came with COVID-19, the downtime allowed Ian McQuay’s creative juices to flow, the result of which has brought his new single “Closer” – a song that speaks to love and unity – to the airwaves.
“To me, reconciliation is important for any relationship whether it be a friendship, marriage, business partnership or between coworkers. At some point there will be disagreements, but I think the solution to get past those is to find the good in your moments and come back together. This song encourages people to get back together – to get closer,” says McQuay.
Also featured on the single that promotes closeness on a physical and emotional level is Erika “Lady E” Symonette, who says she collaborated on the project because of the song’s core message and its electrifying melody.
“People should eagerly anticipate the song and music video because it embodies the fact that though we are being told to physically distance ourselves, we still need to be close emotionally and communicate well with one another, despite obstacles that may arise,” says the singer.
McQuay and Lady E performed “Closer” despite the fact that COVID-19 has negatively impacted the music industry’s live performances.
But McQuay says the downtime has given him the time and space to write.
“Due to COVID-19, the music industry, like other aspects of the economy, has taken a serious hit. With the current [curfew] in place, there are not many events and homecomings or other places where you can perform. Nonetheless, it has given me an opportunity to continue writing. I have a lot of new songs. I have gained a lot of inspiration, and I’ve had a lot of time to reflect.”
McQuay’s love for music was developed in the church, and he says he has always loved music.
The Music Master’s competition boosted his confidence to pursue the craft.
“My first stint in the Music Master’s competition, a segment of the inaugural Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival, was eye-opening,” he recalls. “It gave me a moment to solidify my place as a musician because I emerged a finalist in the competition, being the only unknown Bahamian artist at that time.”
Competing in that competition, he says, encouraged him to make more music due to how well-received his single was.
“That really was a catalyst for this present moment.”
After his showing in the Music Master’s competition, he believes music competitions play a critical role in helping budding artists get discovered.
“Music competitions in this country are important especially because making music on the whole can be a very expensive journey. These competitions facilitate people that may not have the means to write and distribute and perfect their music. It gives them an opportunity to do so with the assistance of these competitions.”
McQuay says he hopes his music will allow Bahamians to truly feel and embrace Bahamian culture.
“Bahamian music is something amazing and it can portray many different experiences. It can tell a story of love, togetherness, how people are upset one moment and happy the next; that’s what I want my music to embody – the unique Bahamian experience.”
McQuay says he remains dedicated to developing his musical career and portraying the ultimate Bahamian experience through his music.
With “Closer” now in the public domain, he has two upcoming projects – one with Dyson Knight and a single produced by Rik Carey featuring Wendi, which is a remix of one of his songs, “Miss Me”, which was previously released.
“I’m really excited about that project,” he says.
He says more collaborations are in the works, but he’s started a band which he wants to spend more time working with and perfecting after the release of his upcoming singles.