Hayden Dunham

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Hayden Dunham
Dunham performing as QT in March 2015
Dunham performing as QT in March 2015
Background information
Also known as
  • QT
  • Hyd
Born (1988-06-16) 16 June 1988 (age 33)
Austin, Texas
OriginNew York, U.S.
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Performance artist
  • designer
  • singer
  • songwriter
  • DJ
Years active2014–present
Labels
Associated acts

Hayden Frances Dunham (born June 16, 1988) is a performance artist, designer, singer, songwriter and DJ. She grew up in Austin, Texas and attended the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at NYU.[1]

She is best known for her work as QT (an initialism for Quinn Thomas) a music project founded in 2014, in collaboration with English producer A. G. Cook, and Scottish producer SOPHIE.[2][3] QT is a pop singer, portrayed by Dunham and sung by Harriet Pittard,[4] who promotes and is the living embodiment of the semi-fictitious DrinkQT energy drink. Their debut single "Hey QT" was released in 2014.

Dunham began operating under the pseudonym Hyd in 2020,[5] releasing her debut single "No Shadow" in September 2021. A 4-track EP will be released November 5.[6]

Career[edit]

2014–2016: QT[edit]

A package with the DrinkQT energy drink

Before the QT project, Dunham had done work as a designer and artist.[2][7][8] She met British producer SOPHIE after the two had seen each other at various events. She found Cook, head of the PC Music record label, through his work online. Dunham originally wanted to do a song as a way to market a QT energy drink, and she asked the producers to repeat the name regularly.[9]

QT is, in effect, a virtual character. The concept drew comparisons to the 2002 science fiction film Simone and the virtual Japanese pop star Hatsune Miku.[2][10][11] The project includes DrinkQT, an "energy elixir" with a design by Kim Laughton.[12] The music and drink are intended to be two manifestations of the same product.[13] Both have been described as "fizzy" and "energetic", with Dunham stating that she wanted "to be able to talk about 'Hey QT' and have DrinkQT talk about 'Hey QT' and 'Hey QT' talk about DrinkQT."[14] The drink was distributed at performances, and in May 2015 DrinkQT was made available for pre-order.[15] Journalist Sasha Geffen described it as tasting "like Red Bull, only a little more tart."[16] Distributing the drink was a source of friction with the Red Bull Music Academy's sponsorship of a PC Music show.[17]

2017–2019: Art and musical hiatus[edit]

The QT project would take various forms after 2016, such as an official short film[18] and DJ sets,[19] but lay mostly dormant. Dunham took a musical hiatus and worked on multiple art exhibitions and projects in this time,[20][21] notably a performance piece at MoMa titled 7 Sisters in early 2019.[22]

2020–present: Hyd[edit]

August 2020 marked a return to music, as Dunham appeared on A. G. Cook's debut album 7G, under the pseudonym Hyd, featuring again on his second album Apple only a month after. Cook teased Hyd solo material throughout the promotion cycles of the two albums.[4]

In September 2021, Hyd's debut single "No Shadow" was released via Cook's PC Music label. It was written after a temporary period of Dunham losing her eyesight in 2017. A 4-track self-titled EP is slated to release November 5.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sullivan, Tavaner (November 8, 2011). "Austin native turns heads in NYC, Paris and London with unique necklace designs symbolic of her Southern roots". CultureMap Austin. Retrieved March 27, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c Taylor, Trey (December 16, 2014). "Is QT the musical S1m0ne?". Dazed & Confused. Retrieved January 19, 2015.
  3. ^ Carley, Brennan (March 25, 2015). "The 'Hey QT' Video Is the Strangest, Bubbliest Thing You'll See All Year". Spin. Retrieved March 25, 2015.
  4. ^ a b "A. G. Cook AMA". r/popheads. September 23, 2020. Retrieved September 8, 2021.
  5. ^ "7G, by A. G. Cook". A. G. Cook. Retrieved September 8, 2021.
  6. ^ a b Nast, Condé (September 9, 2021). "Hayden Dunham, Formerly of PC Music's QT, Shares First Solo Song". Pitchfork. Retrieved September 9, 2021.
  7. ^ Armstrong, Liz (September 27, 2011). "New Dust Is Full of Hair and Leather". Vice. Retrieved January 19, 2015.
  8. ^ Schwendener, Martha (April 18, 2014). "Hayden Dunham and Meriem Bennani: 'Paste'". New York Times: C27. Retrieved January 19, 2015.
  9. ^ Lea, Tom (September 9, 2014). "Hey QT! An interview with 2014's most love-her-or-hate-her pop star". Fact. Retrieved January 19, 2015.
  10. ^ Martin, Clive (September 12, 2014). "PC Music: Are They Really the Worst Thing Ever to Happen to Dance Music?". Vice. Retrieved January 19, 2015.
  11. ^ Frank, Alex (September 23, 2014). "A Rational Conversation: Is PC Music Pop Or Is It 'Pop'?" (Interview). Interviewed by Erick Ducker. National Public Radio. Retrieved January 19, 2015.
  12. ^ Jones, Charlie Robin (September 11, 2014). "PC Music's digital dreams". Dazed & Confused. 4: 178–183. Retrieved January 19, 2015.
  13. ^ "Hey QT". One Point Four. March 26, 2015. Retrieved March 30, 2015.
  14. ^ Stephens, Huw (March 25, 2015). "PC Music Interview". BBC Radio 1. Retrieved March 30, 2015.
  15. ^ "You can finally drink QT". Fact. May 12, 2015. Retrieved May 12, 2015.
  16. ^ Geffen, Sasha (March 30, 2015). "PC Music's Inverted Consumerism". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved March 30, 2015.
  17. ^ Zoladz, Lindsay (May 15, 2015). "The Enigmatic PC Music Is Ready for Real Life". Vulture. Retrieved May 18, 2015.
  18. ^ Quinn Thomas (Official Short Film) [EN/DE/ES], retrieved September 8, 2021
  19. ^ "This Party Is Extremely Fake and Gay". PAPER. April 24, 2019. Retrieved September 8, 2021.
  20. ^ "Where is the solid form? Hayden Dunham talks energy as a means of exchange + enabling infiltration on a tour of a Los Angeles spa | atractivoquenobello". www.aqnb.com. Retrieved September 8, 2021.
  21. ^ "Company Gallery : Burns Blue". companygallery.us. Retrieved September 8, 2021.
  22. ^ "Hayden Dunham, 7 Sisters | MoMA". The Museum of Modern Art. Retrieved September 8, 2021.

External links[edit]