'If someone feels like they’ve seen themselves in any of these songs, I think that’s all I’d ask for'
Alex Rigotti
12:00 27th June 2022

Quinn Christopherson’s music is a window into his life: peek through and you’ll find skeletal, minimalist sketches of trans-generational struggles with addiction and the nuances of the transgender experience. It’s what enticed a panel of judges including Bob Boilen and Lucy Dacus to crown the Athabaskan-Iñupiat Alaskan artist as the winner of the 2019 NPR Tiny Desk Competition. 

“I released those first two songs and didn’t think anyone was going to listen to them, so I really did this out of necessity,” says Christopherson.

Two years after that fateful concert, Quinn is ready to forge ahead, having released his latest EP in December 2021. I Am Bubblegum sees him narrate life with his distinctive drawl, whether it’s criticising faux-feminists on the cheeky ‘Good Boy’ or articulating future anxieties with ‘Loaded Gun’. But it’s the titular track that best characterises his writing. It’s an expansive, bird’s-eye-view of every version of Quinn Christopherson, culminating in the chorus that admits: “I don’t know who I am”.

“When I wrote it, I was ashamed of it, or felt bad about it,” Christopherson explains. “As time went on, it was like, ‘oh wow – this should be celebrated’. I should never really fully know who I am because I should just keep going and evolving as a person. Instead of being ashamed of that, it should be a way to celebrate that journey.”

About to embark on a tour in North America, Quinn aims to translate his more upbeat songs into a live setting. Music may have started as a survival strategy, but now, it’s gained a larger purpose for Quinn: “If someone feels like they’ve seen themselves in any of these songs, I think that’s all I’d ask for.”

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Photo: Emma Sheffer