A couple years ago, I was at Brilliant Minds conference in Sweden. It was started by Daniel Ek and Ash Pournouri with the mission to bring together the leading innovators in technology and music for a few days in the creative capital of the world.
I was feeling quite insecure at this event next to the founder of Skype or Chairman of Google. It wasn’t I thought I was inadequate, I just hadn’t achieved what others had yet. Note to self: patience. I was probably the youngest person there.
Quincy Jones was the guest of honor. At one of the evening affairs, my friend Nullah wanted to go up to him to get a picture, so I decided to take one too. I told Quincy how inspiring he was. The same thing he has heard more times than he can count. If he had a nickel for every time somebody said that to him,………. Never mind, he does.
Rather than being a flashing moment, Quincy struck up a conversation with his favorite leading question: “what’s your sign man?” I’m a Pisces and so is Q. He went into his pocket and pulled out his business card. I was flabbergasted… Quincy Jones has a business card?! And an aol.com email address?! He said, “Hit me up in LA man”.
If I got his business card in under two minutes, I figured he probably gave the card to everybody he meets, but what did I have to lose by emailing? So I did.
A few days later, his manager and now close friend Adam shot me an email back inviting Gallant and I to hang with Quincy at his home. Once again, I thought, “You’ve got to be kidding me?”
But this is who Quincy is…
He sees greatness and potential in humanity, often times before others even know have it in themselves. This special gift is how he birthed the careers of Will Smith or Oprah Winfrey. The latter of which commented last night on how most of us are known by our first and last names… A chosen few have made it to one name status (like herself)… But only a true icon can be known by just one letter “Q”.
It’s crazy to think a child who went from eating rats and chewing on street tar as gum could go onto have such an impact on our world, but Q’s energy is genuinely infectious, even his middle name is Delight.
It is for these reasons and more it was an honor to attend Q’s 85th birthday musical celebration last night at the Microsoft Theater. It’s going to air later this year on BET, but in the meantime, if you want to dive into Quincy’s world, you can check out the amazing documentary Netflix just released.
It’s a unique feeling to witness the timelessness of Quincy – What is even more special is the fact his legacy will be memorialized in the grand way it deserves by his hard working team led by Adam Fell.
Adam must have had to jump through enormously high hoops to pull off the last night’s event, but it’s no surprise Quincy would have a man capable of such a feat in his corner as nobody recognizes stars better than Q.