Quinn XCII is a Detroit-based vocalist and songwriter who fuses pop, hip-hop, reggae, and EDM into his own unique sound. His songs are typically about failed relationships and heartbreak, but they’re often sung or rapped over bright, sunny backing tracks that partially disguise the melancholy sentiments of the lyrics. His debut full-length, The Story of Us, was released in late 2017, garnering significant buzz and reaching number 25 on Billboard’s Top R&B Albums chart. It paved the way for 2019′s From Michigan with Love and 2020′s A Letter to My Younger Self, both of which charted on the Billboard 200. He further expanded his sound with 2021′s ayokay-produced Change of Scenery II.
Born Mikael Temrowski in 1992, the Motown-influenced artist began making music in high school. Later, while a student at Michigan State University, he worked with his Ann Arbor-based friend ayokay on additional tracks. His hip-hop mixtape Shlup appeared in 2013, but Quinn gained more attention as his songs became more pop-focused. Following the spring 2015 release of his Change of Scenery EP, his single “Stung” was issued by Atlantic imprint Taste and Tone later in the year. “Kings of Summer,” a collaboration with ayokay, followed in early 2016, as did Quinn’s EP Bloom. A pair of catchy singles, “Straightjacket” and “Make Time,” appeared in late 2016 and early 2017, respectively. The former landed on his official full-length debut, The Story of Us, which was released in September 2017 on Columbia Records. It cracked the Top 30 of the Billboard Top R&B Albums chart.
The next year, Quinn signed with the Visionary Music Group management company and issued a deluxe edition of his debut, adding an additional disc of songs, including “What the Hell Happened to Us,” a duet with Kailee Morgue. 2018 also saw the release of “Middle Finger,” a collaboration with Phoebe Ryan, and the solo single “Panama.” His second album, From Michigan with Love, was released in February 2019 and included the tracks “Werewolf” with Yoshi Flower, “Tough” with Noah Kahan, and “Life Must Go On” with Jon Bellion.
Following an international tour, Quinn returned in January 2020 with the non-album track “Two 10s.” That July, he released his third full-length, A Letter to My Younger Self, which featured the song “Coffee” with Marc E. Bassy. It peaked at number 56 on the Billboard 200. Quinn closed out the year with “Stay Next to Me” featuring Chelsea Cutler. That track also worked as the first song off his fourth album, 2021′s Change of Scenery II. Produced and recorded at ayokay’s home studio in Rhode Island, the album also included collaborations with Jeremy Zucker and Alexander 23. ~ Paul Simpson