She’s still only 19 but Auckland’s Venice Qin has already passed some remarkable milestones. She has released an EP, played (as-in ‘headlined’) Auckland’s Civic Theatre, and now has a national tour lined up. Sam Smith caught up with the singer, songwriter and guitarist for NZM.
Ever since winning her primary school singing competition, Venice Qin has wanted to make music her career. She says she grew up singing Disney princess and Faye Wong songs, but being acknowledged for her vocal ability gave her the confidence to move forward.
“Prior to winning that singing competition, I used to be super shy. I never spoke and got bullied a lot. Music has given me my confidence, my friends, my education… nearly everything.”
Initially, Qin wanted to pursue musical theatre, due to a love of High School Musical, however, in 2020 turned her attention to pop music.
“At the moment I make pop music with references to nostalgia. However, I love trying new things and adding little notes from other styles. I still love writing the classic ballad, but equally enjoy creating rock songs that make you feel like your heart is beating out of your chest! I’m all about music that moves people, and I’m not afraid to cross over lots of genres to make people feel something.”
Qin is fortunate that as well as being a singer, she is also a songwriter and writes all her own material, just another string to her impressive bow.
“Songwriting is quite a subconscious and transparent experience for me. I often get ideas at the most random times and places, and I’ll just be singing them to myself for the rest of the day. I usually immediately record it as a voice memo on my phone and wait till I can get home and develop it. From there, I’ll sit at my piano and let the ideas flow.”
Qin credits working with Laughton Kora and Simon Gooding plus others for helping to develop her songwriting and production skills, saying that all of those collaborations have taught her lots, and she is truly grateful for all of them. The major highlight of her short career though to date was surely playing her own solo show at Auckland’s Civic Theatre back in November 2020, no mean feat for a 19-year-old really just starting out.
“It was the most surreal experience. It still blows my mind, knowing that it was only that year that I decided to focus on a path in pop music, and there I was at the Civic! As an artist, it taught me so many things in a very small space of time.”
Looking ahead she currently has another solo Auckland show at the Tuning Fork lined up plus a nationwide tour.
“I want to spread my music as widely, and as deeply as possible, so I’m planning to perform all across NZ this year. Currently, my dream is to do a world tour, though!”
With ambition as big as hers and newfound confidence to match, you certainly get the feeling we will be hearing a lot more from Venice Qin in the coming years.
Tickets for her show at the Tuning Fork on August 2021, are available here