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Artist In Focus: Quilla

Artist Quilla standing in fron ta white wall with her hands crossed over her chest. She is wearing a crown and a white blouse. There are two animated dragons on each of her shoulders.
Artist Quilla standing in fron ta white wall with her hands crossed over her chest. She is wearing a crown and a white blouse. There are two animated dragons on each of her shoulders.
Quilla with "dragon beans" art by Ann Marie de Soto

Quilla is an electronic music producer, vocalist, songwriter, and educator based in Greensboro, NC. Her music features impressive piano riffs, hypnotizing beats, and mesmerizing vocal loop compositions that draw in thousands of listeners. She is known for her unique lyrics and dreamy vocal style, which build on the overall positive themes in her music. Grab your headphones, and let’s tune in to Quilla.

Quilla is sitting in grass wearing a black and white checkered suit.
Quilla photographed by Todd Turner.

Born and raised in Montreal, Quilla is inspired by her Peruvian and French-Canadian roots. Her cultural background provides her with various musical genres and vocal traditions to create multi-faceted, immersive electronic works tailored to specific projects. Growing up, Quilla competed in rhythmic gymnastics and studied classical piano, both of which built the foundation for her music career. Early on, Quilla focused primarily on her keyboard skills and vocals, then later began producing her own works. Outside of music production and performing, Quilla composes music for popular podcasts like WUNC’s Embodied and CREEP. She is currently composing the soundtrack for an upcoming podcast with CNN.

When working on new music, Quilla wants to create something fresh and empowering. Many of her latest projects use bioacoustic and environmental sounds, blending soundscapes with electronic textures and clear melodies. She wants her listeners to be uplifted while taking them on a spiritual journey with her dreamlike lyrics.

“As a songwriter, I am known for writing poetic lyrics and creating fun vocal loop compositions and videos,” says Quilla when reflecting on her personal writing style. This style is showcased in her song, “Beans, Beans, Beans,” which premiered on PBS Kids in 2021, and her third studio album, The Handbook of Vivid Moments. “The album is a tapestry of beat-driven songs about personal transformation and empowerment.” The album weaves elements of Latinx heritage with dancefloor beats while exploring complex themes of climate change, transformation, and women’s empowerment.

Quilla's cover art for her album, Ancestral.
Cover Art by Ashley Johnson

2023 is a big year for Quilla. Her newest project, ANCESTRAL, is an innovative musical composed and produced by Quilla herself, with choreography by LeDarius Parker. The project is an intergenerational story told through compelling dialogue and live dance sequences accompanied by a powerful electronic score. The story focuses on a group of characters who reside in modern-day Greensboro, NC. Each character encounters one of their ancestors during a dream and undergoes a transformative process that leads to healing, personal reckoning, and an appreciation for their lineage. The musical is scheduled to premiere in May 2023 at the Van Dyke Performance Space.

Outside of the studio, Quilla is a advocate for women and non-binary producers in the music industry. She uses her platform to mentor other emerging artists trying to get started. She also holds remote workshops where she connects with local women and femmes and teaches them the key elements of music production.

Quilla sitting at her keyboard in her home studio
Quilla sitting in her home studio.

To listen to Quilla, visit her website at quillamusic.com to see her upcoming releases and performances. All three studio albums are available to stream on Spotify.

To donate to the ArtsFund and support local artists like Quilla, click here.