Raquel N. Christian (born October 6, 1987) is an American rapper who is known by her professional name Quelz or recently, DreadGangQuelz. Christian played Division one college basketball for 4 years for Texas Tech University and later transferred to Southern Methodist University. While attending Tech, Christian began rapping as a hobby unaware of how much attention she would receive (good and bad). She then recorded her first mixtape entitled “No Features” and performed hit singles to college students on campus and at local clubs. Quelz basketball coaches soon got word of her live performances and popularity in music and indefinitely suspended her from the university as well as the basketball team; Reason being, “Her focus is on music”, and that it was. Later Christian moved to Dallas Texas and began recording many more mixtapes and building her music catalog. While residing in Dallas, she recorded her sophomore mixtape, “Black Dress” while finishing school. After which, she continued to build and invest in her music career. Quelz later moved back to her hometown where she recorded her third mixtape “Buddah” . When asked why she chose the title of that particular mixtape she explained that she felt a spiritual connection to music. She even got the cover of her junior mixtape tattooed on her left shoulder. “G” was recorded soon after and added to the catalog, and so far Quelz still continues to build
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What city and state are you from?
QUELZ: I am originally from a small town in West Texas. I’m from Midland. I also lived in Lubbock Texas for about 2 years when I was going to school out there at Texas Tech. I lived in Dallas Texas for about 5-6 years and I’m back and forth to Houston. Really I try to stay active in Texas period, but originally I’m from Midland.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What is your music background?
QUELZ: I studied music some at Southern Methodist University. I studied my producers every day. I studied the greats. Everybody that I grew up with did music. They were always freestyling or making a beat with their hands or something so I was forced to rap. My dad plays the bass for his church and 3 of my uncles play the piano and drums at the same church. I was brought up around great music and musicians that taught me how to write and compose. My mom is not a musician or anything but she was the first person to put me on game a far as great music. She was the first to show me the Kanye West College Drop Out album and That album changed my life. She bought me every Tupac album and told me to listen to them. I remembered every verse, every bar. Music is really all I know. I grew up listening to Jay Z. Studying Blue Print albums after school was my part-time job. lol.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: Why do you want to record and release your own music?
QUELZ: I have a story that I definitely think is extraordinary, original and unique. I’m relatable because I’m real. I’m still humble. I spit facts. I understand what people go through in everyday life and I just happen to know how to put it into art form. Music is my therapy therefore, I want to help others benefit and give therapy to them as well. I know that the world can relate to my story so I’d like to reach the masses with it. I want to express my passion and my creativity. Creating music is how I relieve my stress but Recording and releasing my music means that I would help many more than just myself. It’s about saying what’s real. It’s about giving people the motivation that they need every morning before they go to work.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are your songs about?
QUELZ: My songs are about real life experiences and not only my experiences. My songs are about life in general but I make fun music as well. Trendy and catchy music for the radio is included. It really Just depends on my mood. It depends on the atmosphere. I make songs to help others overcome obstacles and become better overall. The main concept however, is authenticity. I just want to speak to the real. That’s really who I’m trying to reach. They need it. People out there still want to hear what’s real. I feel like they are getting tired of the artificial. They want the real music that comes without a filter. That’s what I bring, respectively.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: Who are your musical influences?
QUELZ: Tupac, Jay Z, Pharrell Williams, Missy Elliot, Wyclef, Lauren Hill. Really I like any artist with a creative style and a great work ethic. They inspire me no matter what. They inspire me Just to keep going you feel me? To continue to chase your dream, catch it, and live it. I like Drake a lot. I like his versatility. He inspires me. Chris Brown is another great artist that I’m influenced by. HIs work ethic is amazing. I try to mimic that in every way Just by expressing my creativity through the music and whatever other talents I have. It’s healthy. I’m inspired and influenced by young artists that are grinding to become legends in this game really because that’s what I’m going to do. That’s the path I’m taking.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: How would you describe your music to people?
QUELZ: Timeless. I just want people to feel me. Its original. Its fresh. Its authentic. I would just describe my music as real. I’m not hiding from anything or anybody. Its raw. It’s the depths of my soul over a beat. My music is rare. You won’t hear anything like it or like me.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What makes you stand out from other artists?
QUELZ: I’m a different breed in general. It’s not just about the music. Everything about me is different. The way I walk is different, the way I talk is different. My voice Is very distinct. Also my demeanor, my style, my consistency, my charisma, my authenticity, my work ethic. The game is being shifted into a new direction and I feel that I am a part of the new wave and bringing the new future and creativity of rap & hip hop music. I’m not just an artist, I’m a creator. I’m a trend setter. I’m a leader. A boss.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: Tell us about one of the hardest challenges you had to face in your music career and how did you overcome?
QUELZ: Finding the right resources was tough. Finding a legitimate formula that could get all of my music to the masses as fast as I wanted was also a bump in the road. It’s tough when you’re coming up without a team. You kind of have to maneuver differently and more effectively. That was the hardest part. It’s difficult to get people to take you serious when you are not major yet. They never get the picture until you’ve sold a million and you’re accepting your award on TV, then you get all the help you ever needed you feel me? Then things change. It was difficult but I appreciate it all. I’m learning what to do and what not to do. I’m learning how to apply everything that I absorb. It’s all good because I live for this. I live for the grind and if you don’t love the grind you won’t be successful.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are some upcoming projects you are currently working on?
QUELZ: Rare Breed is a new mixtape that I am working on. I’m also starting a series of mixtapes entitled R.I.A (Rastas in America). I’m looking to release the first tape of the series sometime in the beginning of 2016. Videos will follow shortly after those releases. All of my projects prior to that can be found on Datpiff sound cloud and audio Mack. “Quelz” and “DreadGangQuelz”
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are your career goals? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
QUELZ: To be one of the, if not the biggest brand within 10 years. I want to be global, nationwide owning several multimillion dollar companies. I want my brand to continue to build and I want my family to be secure. I just want my music to continue to be heard and help others. That’s really what it’s about, empowering other people.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: How can your fans access your music and contact you?
QUELZ: Facebook Raquel Christian (Quelz), IG: 1DreadGangQuelz , Quelzthequeen@gmail.com Twitter : DreadGangQuelz
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