As most artists can appreciate, working for a living doesn’t leave much time for pursuing your passion. Therefore every spare second counts while squeezing out creative juices.
Hence why Vernon product Quinn Jones, aka Jaq Havoq, labelled his debut album, Time Well Spent.
The 10-track blend of hip-hop, R&B, and pop was recently dropped with feature tracks such as Predator, with a video featuring the popular Okanagan destination Predator Ridge Resort.
Predator not only features the resort, but 24-year-old Havoq and his crew decked out in diamond-plaid sweater vests, tall checkered socks and cruising the course on golf carts.
“It (album) covers everything from detailed lyricism that hip-hop heads can appreciate, to laid-back melodies that everyone can enjoy,” said Jones, a Clarence Fulton grad who studied at the University of Victoria on a Black Press scholarship.
“I collaborated with various producers from North America on the production side of the album, but wrote, recorded, mixed, and mastered the entire project myself.”
Working primarily solo, every spare minute of the day was put to good use on the album.
“I worked tirelessly on the album over six months while working a 9-5 job, which was the inspiration for the title of the project, Time Well Spent,” said Jones, who currently lives in Vancouver.
Between his day job as a Surety Underwriter at Intact Insurance, and late nights in the studio either writing, recording, engineering or promoting his music, Jones admits there isn’t much time for anything else.
“If I’m not in the office or the studio, I’m hanging with my (girlfriend) or catching a show with some friends.”
The album includes explicit content, therefore parental advisory is advised.
Aside from some choice words, the album includes slick lyrics, wickedly worded rhymes and even a few skillfully delivered raps that would likely gain nods from the likes of Eminem (who Havoq references in Neverland).
And this isn’t the last you’ll hear of him.
“I’m always working on new music and will be aiming to release my second album in 2019!”
Music has long played an influential role in Jones’ life.
“Like most, I was exposed to music at a really young age, but at the time it was more just a fun way to release energy through dance and movement,” said Jones. “So when my Mom picked me up from school, I would always slap my legs and create a beat to whatever song was on the radio. This eventually grew into a deep appreciation for the emotion and impact music and lyrics can have on the listener. My appreciation turned to curiosity and desire to release my own emotions and energy through rhythm and sound.
“I remember listening to music growing up and feeling connected to the artist. I try and share stories and emotions in my music with the hopes my fans feel connected to me in the same way. Maybe they relate to what I’m saying or just have a real understanding of the emotions and meaning of the lyrics.”
The name Jaq Havoq has the unique ring that Jones was looking for, plus it incorporates his initials, Q and J. Yet it’s under that moniker that Jones is rising under, even taking the Coast to Coast stage in October, the largest artist showcase in the world.
But the flash and bling of the hip-hop world haven’t blinded Jones from his home roots.
Some may remember Jones, whose name has graced the sports pages of this paper, for his athletic ability as a volleyball and soccer player.
Or simply as a friendly, positive guy.
“They may also remember me as goofball and a risk taker, but I think it really depends on who you ask,” he laughs.
While music is obviously a passion for Jones, he urges others to follow their dreams, no matter how big they may be, or how much work they may take to achieve.
“Find something you love to do then find a way to do it every day for the rest of your life! It may not be easy, but you will be better off because of it. Don’t listen to anyone who tells you the reasons why you can’t do something. Believe in yourself and let everything else fall into place,” said Jones, who thanks everyone who has been a part of his journey thus far.
Follow this Vernon native at @jaqhavoq on Instagram, Facebook, or Youtube to stay updated on upcoming releases and shows.