Quinnes “Q” Parker has been regarded as the sexy, charismatic ladies man of the Grammy-award winning R&B group 112, and although we haven’t heard from him directly since disbanding from the group in 2007 he’s back–sexier than ever!
With his new album “The MANual” set to debut in less than a week, a fitness calendar filled with clever nutritional tips and body shots and several philanthropic ventures, we managed to catch up with “Q” to find out what fans should expect from him as a breakout artist and budding entrepreneur.
ATM: So, what have you been up to during the last five years other than working on your new album?
Q. Parker: “I’ve been writing for my album, but I’ve been writing for other artist as well. I have a song on Tryese’s latest album “Open Invitation”. Just really in the lab. I was doing a little bit of touring with 112 early on in those 5 years and then after about 2 years of that I decided to do my solo album. The process took about 2 years for me to actually get the deal, record the album, finish the album, and here we are 7 days away from The MANual being born–so i’m excited about that.”
ATM: Fans aren’t always so quick to welcome back artist. What made you so sure that you would be accepted back as a breakout solo artist?
Q. Parker: “Well, I think I had a leg up on other new artist and that leg up was the fact that I come from a group, not just any group– but 112; a group that in my mind is legendary. We’ve had countless hits; over 30 million records sold worldwide. My mindset going into this was, as long as I can tap into the 112 fan, I should be okay and along the way grab some new fans and supporters–that was my plan. I also believe it’s all about the music. If you make good music people are going to hear it and appreciate it no matter who they are or how old they are–that’s why I say it’s always all about the music.”
ATM: Music is different now compared to when 112 was out making hits, Is there really an audience that can appreciate your new album “The MANual”?
Q.Parker: “I think there is an audience. At the end of the day, a true love song will stand the test of time. When you talk about real life situations, not just situations of today, but situations that will always be around, people can relate. I target my ladies. I am an R&B singer that understands that women want a man that hears them, pampers them, makes love to them, nurture them. So I feel that as long as I continue to sing about those things and come from a place where women and [men too] can understand I feel I can give myself a great chance at being successful.”
ATM: You said that “The MANual” serves as a ‘manual’, a how-to-guide for women to lean how they should be treated and for men to know how to treat a woman. What is the #1 lesson you believe you reveal to women in this album?
Q. Parker: “The biggest lesson is women learning and allowing the man to be the man. In today’s society we support the independent woman who says ‘I got my own and I don’t need a man’, and that is all good, but when you get in a relationship ladies, you have to relinquish some of that independence. You have to allow a man to not only be a man– but be the man.”
ATM: You’ve been married for 10 Years, how have you been able to sustain a healthy long marriage?
Q. Parker: “I have a wife that is very understanding and that is key. I travel a lot and the majority of our fans are women, and my wife is quick to say ‘I understand that this is his job and when it’s all said and done that’s my husband’. When I come off the stage I’m just Quinnes at that point. I’m the daddy, husband and my momma and daddy’s son. You have to communicate and have an open dialogue, and keep it fun–don’t get comfortable.”
ATM: Who were some of the people you collaborated with on “The MANual”?
Q. Parker: “I have three collaborations on the album, Faith Evans, Styles P. [from The Lox], and Crystal Nicole; who is a great songwriter and is now becoming an artist.Faith and Styles are like family, we go way back to the Bad Boy days so it was nothing for me to get on the phone with them and say I need you. It came out just as I envisioned it–it was just great. From a producer stand point, I’ve built and maintained great relationships throughout my career to the point when I needed to call in some favors and say ‘give me the love price’ everybody from Warryn Campbell, Carvin and Ivan, DeWayne of The Corna Boyz–you name it–they were just team players.”
ATM: How are your former band-mates feeling about your new solo career?
Q. Parker: “Well, they are very supportive. We are still touring together and in fact we will be in Philadelphia today for a show and then we go overseas for two weeks. I put my album on their ears first and got their blessings. I needed to get that from them. It’s a great situation to be in, and to have your brothers support you in the way the guys have. When Slim comes out with his new solo album later this year, we’ll all give him the same kind of love that was given to me.”
ATM: Have you talked to P.Diddy about your new album? Has he heard the music?
Q. Parker: No, I have not spoken to Puff in—it’s been awhile. But i’m sure when we see each other out the next time, we’ll exchange pleasantries and ‘what’s up man’ and dap each other up and say a few jokes here and there, but from my stand point, and I’d like to say his as well, there are no hard feelings or bad blood. I wish him the best and I’m sure he wishes me the best as well.
ATM: Switching gears, you’re a fitness expert? Where did that come from?
Q. Parker: ”I’ve always been into fitness. In high school I was very athletic and I played almost every sport. In doing that there comes a time where you have to spend time in the gym and not only did I get the gym aspect of it, but there came a time when I had to embrace the nutritional aspect of being healthy. Being healthy isn’t just working out, but eating right and understanding what you’re doing to your body. I just wanted to do my part and build upon what First Lady Michelle Obama has created with the Let’s Move campaign. The fitness calendar I put together is to motivate others and partial proceeds go to Breast Cancer research. I’m seriously considering adding a fitness video to the 2014 calendar distribution.”
ATM: You’re also creating the infrastructure for a new foundation ‘Q Parker Cares’ what will be the foundations mission?
Q. Parker: “The organization will start in Atlanta. I really want to support music in the schools as well as fitness. Nowadays, the art programs are being cut in the schools and a lot of times the arts is the very piece that give students the drive, determination and focus to go into other curriculum’s and be productive. My foundation will be devoted to keeping kids physically, mentally, and creatively strong through fitness, healthy eating and exposure to music.”
ATM: You were often referred to as the sexy crooner in 112, always giving it to the ladies, but who is Quinnes Parker when he steps off the stage and out of the spotlight?
Q. Parker: ” Sexy is whatever a person thinks it is. I definitely don’t walk around like I’m too sexy for my shirt. If I’m not in Q. Parker mode I’m in my ‘Bama shorts and t-shirt. [Laugh] I’m just a regular guy. Q. Parker is the artist and Quinnes is the dad, son and husband. I am a die hard Alabama Crimson-Tide fan! Do not bother me on Saturday when Alabama plays football–don’t even think about calling me during those times. If I am performing somewhere and Alabama is playing I have my road manager on the side of the stage updating me on the score. I’m a die hard Lakers Kobe Bryant fan. I love country music and my favorite artists are Carrie Underwood and Lady Antebellum. My favorite place to indulge in Atlanta is West Egg Cafe, because it’s good and healthy. Honestly, I’m cool with being Quinnes until they say ‘Welcome Q. Parker to the stage, then I have to put on the Q. Parker uniform and transform into something different.”
*The MANual out Tuesday October 30, 2012. Go get it!