Artist Feature: Quay Dash
Quay Dash has been rocking the rap world through bold, empowering, feminist music since 2013. Never one to shy away from talking about being a threat or how music helps her, Quay Dash sat down with Pandora in honor of International Transgender Day of Visibility to talk songwriting, good music, and how she passes the mic.
Tell us about yourself, and how you got started in music. Why rap?
I started making music because I wanted to do something bigger than what I was doing.
Obviously the rap genre is extremely male-dominated, what’s it like being a trans woman in this world?
Hard to explain—you have to be one of us to know what it’s like.
What made you start writing music and what were some of your first inspirations?
I started writing poems and I’d recite the poems back to myself and eventually turn them into raps. It worked out well in the end!
How has music and songwriting helped you through some of the obstacles you faced? Or how has it helped you express yourself?
It made me realize who I really am as a person. I can just write a song and keep it all in mind. It gets me through the day and makes me laugh sometimes when I rap some of my lyrics to myself.
From your music to your interviews, one thing that’s clear is you’re bold and not afraid to say what you’re thinking. How did you get this passion and how do you live it out day-to-day?
I’ve had this passion in me ever since I was a kid. I always wanted to shine and have my own platform to be me. Being bullied and constantly disdained by society definitely helped make me stronger.
What does feminism in today’s music world mean to you and how do you express this through your music?
Feminism in today’s music means a lot to me; I want to see something as powerful as Queen Latifah's Ladies First and U.N.I.T.Y. That to me is feminism.
You’ve been described as “simply being the baddest.” How do you get that mindset of feeling empowered, especially in today’s world?
You have to have that mindset that you’re the best. It’s a golden rule of being a public figure—we have to believe in ourselves even if everyone else doesn’t.
You have a single out...any plans or themes for your next album you can tell us about?
I’ve planned on dropping new music but my life has been a big mess. I want to thank all my fans out there for always supporting me and making me smile.
How will you Pass the Mic to the next generation of women in music? What advice do you have for a young trans woman trying to make it in the world of audio?
My advice is to make good music—actual, good music.
Listen to Quay Dash’s music on Pandora here.
For more transgender support and stories, explore the resources provided by GLAAD, PFLAG, HRC, or The Trevor Project.