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Rising Music Star Quest LA On The Five Things You Need To Shine In The Music Industry

An Interview With Ming Zhao

The continuous romantic let downs in my young adult life brought me to head down this career path and release my first single ‘Real Thoughts’. I received wonderful feedback that in turn resulted in me taking music a little more seriously once I realized I had some talent beyond just posting clips on Instagram like I did my sophomore year of college.

As a part of our interview series with leaders, stars, and rising stars in the music industry, we had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Quest LA.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Quest LA has always been surrounded by industry talent. But by prioritizing authenticity and true lyrical Hip Hop, he stands out in a way that proves to be a breath of fresh air for the industry. Coming off of a string of successful EP releases, “Taking No Breaks” adds versatility and mainstream appeal to his impressive music catalog. Diverse in its nature, Quest LA’s music appeals to listeners of both Hip Hop and R&B. His ultimate goal is to speak from a place of vulnerability in order to motivate other artists to speak their truth and to manifest career goals through his beloved poetic lyricism.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit about your “origin story”. Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?

I grew up in Watts, California by a single mother. Not knowing my father, my mother did her very best to keep me out the streets of South Central like my friends and family. Growing up, I went to school on the west side of town and was actively engaged in a lot of after school activities just to limit my time spent in the environment I was raised in.

Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?

The continuous romantic let downs in my young adult life brought me to head down this career path and release my first single ‘Real Thoughts’. I received wonderful feedback that in turn resulted in me taking music a little more seriously once I realized I had some talent beyond just posting clips on Instagram like I did my sophomore year of college.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

The funniest mistake I’ve made since the start has been the ongoing recording process I think. I would record a verse or a hook one time, feeling like “I got it” but as I started working with more established engineers and producers, I realized there were better ways of recording by doing numerous takes. Then picking and choosing out of the takes later on during the building process.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

Right now, one of the more exciting projects I’m working on is my documentary. In the short film, you just get a more behind the scenes look at how I operate in the industry. I’m not a big social media guy all the time, so the film will really showcase my progression and evolution in the game that most people wouldn’t ever get to see.

We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?

Diversity is pivotal for ample reasons, one being because those examples set on film and television prompt kids of the future to have proper mindsets. Two, I think diversity isn’t just always the normality that people are accustomed to. Sometimes, it’s stepping out of that comfort zone or that norm in order to diversify a typical situation or example. Three, I think diversity in itself is the driving factor for television and film. We’d get tired of the same routine and what’s being filmed should change with everyday life. Our culture stands on diversity, no matter the hatred or the alienation. Our culture is like no other when it comes to standing for one another etc. So diversity can affect our culture in a comfort setting as well as a validation setting.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

I would say keep a catalog of multiple genres of music. You don’t always have to pick a lane and stay there.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

One cool idea that I think about all the time is the wealthy of this nation to be designated for donating funds to help homelessness. They already get loads of tax write offs, to balance those write offs would be helping the unfortunate. Either that or passing state mandated laws that would require school systems to teach financial literacy classes.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

The person I’ll always be grateful for is my road manager Rylton. When I was in LA sleeping on my best friend’s couch he motivated me to move back to Atlanta and take music more seriously as he noticed I had more than just a little talent. He did a lot of freelance work for me in terms of rollouts, styling, budget write ups, the list just goes on and on. Countless conversations about ups and downs, and yet his belief regarding the vision never wavered. It was never a matter of if to him, but when. I’ll forever be indebted to him for reasons beyond my understanding.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“You are not a victim of your environment but a product of your effort.”

I just think people for centuries, especially people of color have been standing the test of time and making do with little to no concern to their environment. You can do anything imaginable, you create your own reality. These are the virtues I live by and will continue to.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. :-)

If I could sit with one person it would be Jay Z.

How can our readers follow you online?

You can follow me on Instagram @questmusiq!

This was very meaningful, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!

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Ming S. Zhao

Ming S. Zhao

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Co-founder and CEO of PROVEN Skincare. Ming is an entrepreneur, business strategist, investor and podcast host.