Cover This: “We Are Young” – IJ Quinn

I’m pretty sure everyone has at least heard that song “We Are Young” by the band Fun (featuring Janelle Monáe) by now, whether you like it or not. Personally, the song never did much for me; I find it annoying and only recognize it by the chorus and rest has always faded into obscurity. Recently a friend of mine re-worked the track and shared it with me, and I have to admit, it was the first time I ever felt compelled to actually sit down and listen to the song in its entirety.

I met IJ Quinn back in my college days when I was booking concerts at Indiana University as a part of a weekly free concert series in the student union. We had a mutual friend who, like me, was studying Music Business, only she was at Columbia College in Chicago. She’d been telling me all about this pop singer-songwriter with this unbelievable voice, so I arranged for him to come down to Bloomington and sing. The show was less attended than I would have liked, but it didn’t matter, IJ Quinn brought the house down anyway; I believe local piano rocker Jenn Cristy also played and was equally blown away. At the time, he’d been working on his debut album When They Want It The Most, which was a mix of pop, R&B, and rock influenced music powered by his incredible voice. I’ve been a fan ever since, and am excited to share this track with you now.

Quinn recorded, mixed, and mastered the track, in addition to performing all vocal and instrumental work. While the original tune depends on dramatic dynamic shifts and larger-than-life production, Quinn takes a more subtle approach with a consistent beat and lighter tone. It really allows the song to get its deserved spotlight. Currently based in his home state of North Carolina, Quinn has been touring the country and writing material for his next album. Even if you think you aren’t ready for a pop tune like this, I ask you to really listen to the track. Quinn’s amazing voice alone deserves your attention.

Also, if you like what you hear, check out/download 2009’s When They Want It The Most. It’s an impressive album, and the title track was featured on an episode of Friday Night Lights.


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