Quiness Parker!!! We all know him as “Q” from the platinum R&B quartet, 112!! 112 hit the scene in 1995 under the hip hop mogul, Sean “Diddy” Combs, of Bad Boy Records. 112 delivered several mega-hits, such as “Peaches and Cream”, “Its Over Now”, “Cupid”, “Come See Me” and continued to top the charts with countless others. Although 112 was a huge success, the group demised in 2005 after the release of their fifth album, “Pleasure and Pain”. Some say the group got caught in the wrath of what is known as the “Bad Boy Curse”. Since then, Q. Parker has BEen making a brand for himself. He has put out a fitness calendar, and he is ready to release his first solo project! So what really happened to 112? Are they still around? Is Q.Parker solo for good? I had the pleasure of talking to Q.Parker, and I got the EXCLUSIVE answers to these questions plus much more!
BE Magazine: Hello
Q. PARKER: Yes
BE Magazine: Hi, is this really Q?
Q. Parker: Yes, this is Q Parker, yes.
BE Magazine: You are the hardest person to get in contact with! (laughs)
Q. PARKER: Why you say that?
BE Magazine: I have BEen trying to do this interview with you for weeks! (laughs)
Q. PARKER: You know what? I will apologize. I will apologize, ok?
BE Magazine: (laughs) You’re good… you’re good… So how are you?
Q. Parker: I’m going to give you a kick ass interview just for that!
BE Magazine: (laughs) This is like my third attempt. This is like my third time trying for real… (laughs)
Q. PARKER: Ok. Well you know what they say… three times a charm (laughs)
BE Magazine: You’re right. So how are you doing?
Q. Parker: I’m good. What about yourself?
BE Magzine: I’m good. I had a long day at work, but I’m here!
Q. PARKER: Hey you know what I say?
BE Magazine: What?
Q. PARKER: Some people don’t even have a job to say they had a long day at work, so hey…
BE Magazine: Right! Everyday I just thank god that I have somewhere to get up and go to.
Q. PARKER: You know what I mean… that’s why I say to even have a job you are in a blessed situation BEcause to not only have, but to have something you enjoy doing, so hey..
BE Magazine: Right. That’s what I’m trying to get to now. That’s what brings me to this interview BEcause I’m doing what I enjoy doing. (laughs)
Q. PARKER: Right!
BE Magazine: Ok.. so let’s get started here… Where are you originally from?
Q. PARKER: I’m originally from…ok…I claim Alabama, and I claim Atlanta, so Birmingham and Atlanta. My mom and dad are from Birmingham, so my whole family is from Birmingham, but I was born in Atlanta, but I spent so much time as a little kid in Birmingham that I claim them both, so… I’m from Birmingham-Atlanta. (laughs) I’m originally from Atlanta, Georgia and all my schooling was in Atlanta, so…
BE Magazine: Ok.. that’s what’s up. Alright, so are you married, got any kids? What’s going on with you now? You know..
Q. PARKER: Yes, I am married. I have a wonderful family…so I’m just staying busy. I am set to release a solo album this summer. It’s called “The Manual”. It’s a great hip hop/R&B album that target women and its letting you guys know that there are still some men out here that are gentlemen, that shivery is not dead. It has songs with substance, talking about intimacy. We all know intimacy…well we all may not now that intimacy does not always mean sex, but it’s about your mind; it’s all of those things and letting in your emotions. It’s also a how-to guide, letting the guys know how to treat women and letting women know how the guys should treat them and how they should BE treated.
BE Magazine: I am anticipating this…. Ok.. so let me take it back for minute. Let’s go back to where it all BEgin. Tell me how you got involved with music. Was it something that was always instilled in you?
Q. PARKER: Well as far as I can remember, I have always BEen singing and my mom told me BEfore I could speak, I was always humming and singing stuff. It all started in the church. I grew up in the church. And that’s where I gained my confidence. That was my first exercise, the church. Of course in elementary and middle school, I was in the chorus and in high school is where I met Mike, Slim and Deron and 112 was formed.
BE Magazine: Ok..that leads into my next question… how did 112 form? You all were one of my favorite groups of all time!!
Q. PARKER: Awwww man…I appreciate that! We all met up in high school, and we all lived in the same neighborhood. We knew of each other, and we knew each other could sing, but it really did not all come together until high school, and once we gained forces in high school, we started performing in different talent shows in the city. We gained recognition in the city of Atlanta from talent shows to showcases. Our manager at the time knew Puffy, and he set up a meeting for us to meet Puff, and we met him outside of club 112 and you know… so BE it. I took all the teachings and my experience with 112, and I take it all in as I embark on this solo mission.
BE Magazine: So is that’s how you all got the name, from the Club 112?
Q. PARKER: The name 112 comes from the Club 112. We sung outside of Club 112 for Puffy.
BE Magazine: Do you know all this time I thought it was the other way around. My friends and I thought the club was named after you all. (laugh)
Q. PARKER: No, I swear we are named after the club. Club 112 BEen there for years! (laughs)
BE Magazine: Well that shows you how much I know. (laughs) You all were a huge success and were a major hit all over the world! So what happened? A lot of people say y’all were just part of what is known as the “Bad Boy curse”. Do you BElieve in any of that or do you considered that all just rumors?
Q. PARKER: No, I don’t consider it to BE a Bad Boy Curse and to each their own, but for us, after BEing together for years, we decided to venture out and let everyone go do their own thing and to show their individuality with the hopes of… BEcause you know after five albums, you need to do that as man. You grow, you mature, you BEcome wiser, and that does not necessarily mean that everybody is going to feel the same way that you did when you all were 16 years old and now everybody is a grown man. But for us, it was something that we all talked about, and who knows, in the future there may BE another 112 album, but for now, my goal is to focus on Q. Parker, and building my name as a brand, but I will never forget 112. I will always BE Q. Parker from 112. Period!! I wear that proudly on my chest, and I will always represent my group. But my main focus right now is to promote my fitness calendar that I just released about a couple of months ago. You can get that at http://www.qparkerfitnesscalander.com, and promoting and building awareness about Q. Parker’s, “The Manual”, solo album.
BE Magazine: So really it had nothing to do with Diddy personally or anything of that nature?
Q. PARKER: No, no.
BE Magazine: So do you still talk to any of the guys today?
Q. PARKER: Yes I do. We have maintained a relationship, all of us. I’m not going to say that we talk everyday, but we make sure that everyone is ok, and we give the support , just like with me doing my solo album, I definitely want their approval just like I give Slim my support, Deron my support and Mike my support. Doing this solo thing it just really me releasing… This solo record and starting my solo walk, its really just a testament of all the things that I’ve learned, and that I have BEen able to experience, so that now that I’m a solo artist, you still getting an artist with experience, an artist that has… is like a veteran. I’m taking all the 112 experience and the 112 knowledge that I have gained, and I’m putting it into the Q. Parker movement.
BE Magazine: Ok… Like I stated earlier, I am looking forward to this and speaking of your solo album, are you signed to a laBEl or is this coming out independently?
Q. PARKER: Right now, it’s totally independent. My vision, right now, is that I record my album, and I am going to start having meetings this spring. So whether I go into this totally independently or whether I have distribution of the major system, that has yet to BE decided, but you will defiantly BE hearing some new music from me by the summer of 2011.
BE Magazine: Will there BE any collaborations on the album?
Q. PARKER: Well I may have mayBE one or two. My mission is, BEcause I have BEen a memBEr of 112 for so many years, I want people to get to know who I am as a individual, as a man, as a songwriter, as a performer, and as an entertainer, and I think a lot times when you have an album full or features and full of guest appearances, it kind of takes away from you having the microphone and you having the stage. So I will have some for the sake of the flow, but my mission is I need people to BE introduced to Q. Parker, the songwriter, the one who have numerous songwriter awards; who have written songs for other artist outside of my group. I need you to get to know who I am, that is my mission.
BE Magazine: I know you were saying that your album is going to BE on an intimate level, so is it going to BE on the same sound as 112 or is it going to BE different?
Q. PARKER: One thing about this, when you put so much time into developing a brand, it BEcome’s a part of you. So when I open my mouth, you can’t help but have the images of the 112 sound. There is no way of getting around it, but the difference is now, you have 100% of Q. Parker. It’s not ¼ of the song. Its not ¼ of the video. Its 100% Q. Parker on the songs, on the videos, on the interviews, everything, which is going to allow people to really dive into me as an individual.
BE Magazine: That’s what’s up, and speaking of your fans, Q, how can they get in touch with you? Do you have Facebook, Twitter?
Q. PARKER: For Facebook its Qparkermusic and for Twitter it’s @qparker112. Every Tuesday at 8 o’clock I do an ustream and it’s called Q and A. We talk about numerous things, from current events to new topics. We do it on Tuesdays BEcause you know Tuesdays is when a lot of new albums are released. I release what is called the Q Version which is my spin of a record, like why I didn’t think of that concept or why didn’t I write that song or man if I had that song, I would have song it this way. Also, whether you are or are not into fitness, 2011 is the year when you need to make fitness part of your lifestyle. I have a wonderful fitness calendar. You can find how- to guides, daily quotes, and motivation tools.
BE Magazine: I’m going to have to check you out on Tuesdays and bring a couple of friends with me! (laughs)
Q. Parker: Yes, you do that! (laughs)
BE Magazine: Ok Q. One last question. What advice would you give to anyone who is considering coming into the music business?
Q. Parker: I would say first, go get the book, “All I need to know about that Music Industry” by Donald Passman. It’s going to give you the surface level, the how-to guide of the music industry. I would say learn it BEcause it is really not the music business, it is the business of music. Know that it is a business first; like any other business, there are obstacles, there are haters, there are people who don’t want you to succeed. Purposely, people will put obstacles in your way and you know.. you really, really, really need to do your homework, study it. I say perfect your craft. Put in the time. Put in the man hours to work yourself out, umm.. every aspect of your career, to your vocal lessons, to your choreography, to media training, learning how to speak in interviews; just learn every angel BEcause if you are messing around, someone else is over in their garage getting it in, and if you think for one minute their not going to push you out the way to get their shot at it, you are sadly mistaken, and I’m just BEing nice when I say push you out of the way. They will do whatever they have to do to get their shot, and you should BE willing to do the same thing, but what prevails is the hard work.
BE Magazine: Q, thank you so much for this interview. I really appreciate you taking out the time to talk to me. Thanks again, and I know everyone is looking forward to hearing new music from you!
Q. PARKER: Thank you & thanks for having me…
[Homepage Photo Credit: D.Blanks Photography]