|Also known as|
|Born||16 June 1988|
|Origin||New York, U.S.|
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.
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. QT is a pop singer, portrayed by Dunham and sung by Harriet Pittard, who promotes and is the living embodiment of the semi-fictitious DrinkQT energy drink. Their debut single "Hey QT" was released in 2014.
Before the QT project, Dunham had done work as a designer and artist. 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.
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. The project includes DrinkQT, an "energy elixir" with a design by Kim Laughton. The music and drink are intended to be two manifestations of the same product. 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." The drink was distributed at performances, and in May 2015 DrinkQT was made available for pre-order. Journalist Sasha Geffen described it as tasting "like Red Bull, only a little more tart." Distributing the drink was a source of friction with the Red Bull Music Academy's sponsorship of a PC Music show.
2017–2019: Art and musical hiatus
The QT project would take various forms after 2016, such as an official short film and DJ sets, but lay mostly dormant. Dunham took a musical hiatus and worked on multiple art exhibitions and projects in this time, notably a performance piece at MoMa titled 7 Sisters in early 2019.
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.
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.
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