Quilla

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Quilla
Quilla recording vocals.jpg
Background information
Birth name Anna Luisa Daigneault
Also known as Quilla
Born (1982-12-01) December 1, 1982 (age 34)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Genres Electronic pop, House, Progressive house, Deep House, Techno, Pop, Experimental Music, Folktronica
Occupation(s) songwriter, producer, vocalist, keyboardist, linguistic anthropologist
Instruments piano, thumb piano (mbira), harmonium, synthesizers, vocal looper
Years active 2006 – present
Labels Armada Music, Revealed Recordings, Visionquest, Ritual Fire Records, Neon Records, Ministry of Sound Australia, Universal Music, Vicious, Black Hole, Ministry of Sound South Africa, Haunted Clockwork Records

Anna Luisa Daigneault (born December 1, 1982), known by her stage name Quilla, is a Canadian songwriter, vocalist, keyboardist, producer, DJ, and linguistic anthropologist. She was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec. Her father is French Canadian and her mother is Peruvian, of Spanish and indigenous Quechua and Aymara descent. Her stage name "Quilla" is inspired by the Quechua word for "moon".

Daigneault is known for her contributions as a dance music vocalist in the genres of progressive house, deep house, techno, trance, breaks, and others. Her vocals have been featured on tracks by producers such as Tiësto, Sultan + Ned Shepard, Feenixpawl, Heatbeat on labels such as Universal Music, Revealed Recordings, Armada Music, Visionquest, and others. Her work as a live electronic performer is unique because she sings live while mixing tracks, and uses keyboards, vocal effects and a looping pedal. In 2016, she shifted away from being a featured vocalist and became an electronic producer, releasing her own self-produced electronic pop album "You Got It" in April 2017.

Daigneault has composed and produced electronic music for film soundtracks, stop motion animations, and documentaries. Outside of her work in music and film, she has also published over thirty online talking dictionaries through her work with Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages as well as articles in the field of endangered language conservation.

Early life[edit]

Daigneault grew up in Montreal's Notre-Dame-de-Grâce neighborhood and attended St. Ignatius of Loyola School. She later went to Villa Sainte-Marcelline in Westmount for grades 5 through 11. A member of the Questo Rhythmic Gymnastic Club, Daigneault was a rhythmic gymnast from the age of 5 to 17. She competed in the Canada Games in the mid-90s, and was part of the Canadian Junior National team in 1997. During her youth, she learned hard work and discipline, and she also became intensely interested in music, always looking for the next great track to use for a gymnastics routine.

Daigneault studied classical piano with teacher Joan Pierrepoint until she was 16, and started composing for piano around 11 years old. She began writing songs and poetry at an early age, but was too shy to sing in front of anyone until her late teens.

Towards the end of high school, she had a brief stint as a bassist in a local Montreal punk band with several friends. During her college years at Dawson College and McGill University, she gained valuable experience playing keyboards in several indie rock bands, as well as a 7-piece social justice Afrobeat funk band named Music Mind Movement. Throughout her formative years, she was heavily influenced by Montreal’s free jazz and experimental electronic music community, and played in many venues in her home city.

Research and Influences[edit]

As a student at McGill University, Daigneault studied anthropology and linguistics, and became interested in vocal traditions from around the world, archaeology and the study of hieroglyphics. She worked as a student archaeologist at Minanha, a Pre-Columbian Mayan site in Belize, and also worked on an excavation with a team from the University of Sydney at Angkor Wat's ancient water systems in Cambodia. Her experiences excavating those sites were "both meditative and strange, and led her to reflect on the rise and fall of civilizations, the impact of art from the ancient past into the distant future."[1]

Between 2007 and 2010, as a graduate student at Université de Montréal, Daigneault focused her attention on the endangered languages and vocal traditions of South America. She embarked on various fieldtrips to Peru, Chile and Paraguay, and traveled to the Peruvian Amazon on three occasions to live among the Yanesha people. She was a field assistant for National Geographic’s Enduring Voices Project expeditions and worked with indigenous collaborators on several language revitalization projects. She has worked part-time for Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages since 2011. Her research background has strongly influenced the cultural content and otherworldly themes explored in her music.

Bands & Live Acts[edit]

In 2006, with drummer / producer Sam Vipond, Daigneault formed Pamplemousse Explosion, a cabaret-noise-jazz duo that rocked Montreal’s indie circuit between 2006 and 2009. The duo was invited to record a track with legendary recording engineer and inventor, George Massenburg at McGill University's School of Music. Daigneault later formed experimental electronic projects such as Feast of Spirits with long-time collaborator and friend Oliver Lewis. When she lived in Lima briefly in 2008 and 2010, she formed electronic indie pop duo Mono y Banana with Leonardo Camacho. She also was the frontwoman of Banana Lazuli, a psych rock project with a rotating cast of members. As Banana Lazuli, she performed at many local shows and festivals in the Bay Area, where she lived in 2011, and in North Carolina between 2012 and 2014. She toured the US and Canada, opening for Crystal Bright and the Silver Hands. Toward mid-2014, she ceased using all other monikers and only performed as Quilla. She began performing as a DJ / live vocalist in 2014.

Dance Music Collaborations[edit]

Quilla (photo by Steve Clarke)

Between 2007 and 2010, Daigneault worked at Public Outreach, a company that fundraises for humanitarian organizations such as Doctors Without Borders and Unicef Canada. At Public Outreach, she met Ned Shepard, one half of Sultan + Ned Shepard, rising stars in the world of progressive house music (also known as EDM). After seeing Daigneault’s band Pamplemousse Explosion perform in 2009, Shepard invited her to write lyrics and collaborate in his recording studio with his production partner Sultan. They co-wrote a song called “Walls” which was later included in Tiësto’s acclaimed compilation, Club Life: Volume Two Miami. It was released by Musical Freedom in 2012 and the album peaked at 16 on Billboard 200. For the release of "Walls", Daigneault conceived of the moniker Quilla, to differentiate the track from the other projects she was a part of. The song "Walls" became an international dancefloor hit, was a staple in Tiësto’s festival and club sets, and was a radio hit in Canada.

Following the success of "Walls", Daigneault decided to broaden her musical horizons and expand her vocal range and style, studying North Indian Classical music with Sargam Shah in California, as well as opera with singer Elena DeAngelis in North Carolina in 2013. Daigneault found herself in high demand to record vocals, and she completed and released over a dozen collaborations and vocal features between 2012 and 2014. She wrote and performed the lyrics for Feenixpawl’s “Universe” (Neon Records), Jewelz & Scott Sparks’ smash hit “Unless We Forget” (Revealed Recordings), and she has written lyrics for many other international producers such as Heatbeat and Pascal & Pearce. She is a featured vocalist on Tiësto's 2014 album A Town Called Paradise, on a track called "Close To Me" in collaboration with Tiësto, Sultan + Ned Shepard. She is featured on "To The Core" on Julian Calor's 2015 hit album Evolve released by Revealed Recordings. She released several more dance music collaborations in 2016 and 2017.

Lyrics and Style[edit]

As a dance music vocalist, Daigneault is known for her unique lyrics and dreamy vocal style, which is soaring yet intimate and ethereal. Her lyrical content is influenced by her experiences traveling and researching different cultures around the globe. She views the dance music world as a catalyst for producing transformative experiences in people. She explores positive themes in her lyrics, such as healing, dealing with regret and loss, breaking through obstacles and learning to love oneself. In an interview with Neon Vision, Daigneault observed, "When I see my friends and family going through experiences in life, I try to take those emotions and channel them into meaningful lyrics for people so when they are on the dance floor, they have an emotional catharsis – that’s my goal."[2]

Solo Work[edit]

Daigneault performed a vocal looping show at the Center Camp stage at Burning Man in 2010 was approached afterward by renowned DJ Seth Troxler who shortly thereafter signed her to his label Visionquest. The label delayed in releasing her first album for nearly three years because the content of the album spanned indie rock, folktronica and piano pop, and was thus different from the rest of the label's techno esthetic. In early 2014, Visionquest instead released a three-part special edition vinyl series containing tech house remixes of Quilla's album tracks. The remixers included Ricardo Villalobos, Matthew Herbert and Craig Richards (DJ).

Daigneault's first album as Quilla Beautiful Hybrid was released on her own label, Ritual Fire Records, in June 2014. It was met with critical acclaim.[3] Writer Jackie Roy observed,[4] "There is a lot of anticipation to see what Quilla comes up with next, as a pleasant surprise is always expected with her knack for collaborating so many different styles and genres." Editors at Flush Magazine wrote, "Quilla is a multi-talented, multifaceted, hyper literate singer-songstress offering a fresh perspective, fascinating imagery, and songs befitting of the album title.”[5]

Discography[edit]

Singles

Artists Title Label Year
Sultan + Ned Shepard, feat. Quilla Walls Musical Freedom 2012
Feenixpawl feat. Quilla Universe Neon Records 2012
Alex Sonata feat. Quilla Alive Armada Trice 2013
Silver Sneakerz feat. Quilla Sound All Around You Ministry of Sound Australia, Astrx 2013
Pascal & Pearce feat. Quilla Leave the Memory Ministry of Sound South Africa, Just Music 2013
Sven Kirchhof feat. Quilla Wish Vicious 2013
Jewelz & Scott Sparks feat. Quilla Unless We Forget Revealed Recordings 2014
George Acosta & Quilla We All Get Lost Sometimes Black Hole 2014
First State feat. Quilla Where You Are Black Hole 2014
Tiësto, Sultan + Ned Shepard feat. Quilla Close To Me Universal Music 2014
Sean Finn feat. Quilla Fate Only Knows Sony Germany 2014
Silky Raven feat. Quilla Lucky Luke's Acid Dub Universal Consequence 2014
Heatbeat feat. Quilla Secret Armada 2014
Julian Calor feat. Quilla To The Core Revealed Recordings 2015
Chus & Ceballos feat. Quilla Obsession Stereo Productions 2015
Eagle I Stallian & Quilla Get It Right EIS Recordings 2016
Royce & Tan, Quilla Tell It To My Heart Universal 2017
Sean Finn + Mekki Martin feat. Quilla Now or Never Casa Rossa 2017
A Tiger's Blood x Wanden feat. Quilla Never Again Clutch Recordings 2017
Sultan + Shepard, feat. Quilla Walls (Deeper Shades Mix) AFTR:HRS 2017

Albums

Artist Title Label Year
Feast of Spirits Feast of Spirits Haunted Clockwork Records 2008
Pamplemousse Explosion The Palindrome of Lies Haunted Clockwork Records 2010
Mono y Banana Mamíferos y frutas Haunted Clockwork Records 2010
Feast of Spirits Alchemical Pie & Random Acts of Healing Haunted Clockwork Records 2011
Banana Lazuli Banana Lazuli Haunted Clockwork Records 2013
Quilla Beautiful Hybrid Ritual Fire Records 2014
Quilla You Got It Ritual Fire Records 2017

Remix EPs of Quilla's albums

Artist Remixers Title Label Year
Quilla Ricardo Villalobos + Shaun Reeves, Mirko Loko,

Craig Richards

Beautiful Hybrid, Part 1 Visionquest (Special Edition Vinyl) 2014
Quilla Matthew Herbert, Ryan Crosson, Terje Bakke, Beautiful Hybrid, Part 2 Visionquest (Special Edition Vinyl) 2014
Quilla Oxia & Agoria, Wareika Beautiful Hybrid, Part 3 Visionquest (Special Edition Vinyl) 2014
Quilla Dubline, Eagle I Stallian, Kalinstone Biological Clock Remixes Ritual Fire Records 2015
Quilla Royce & Tan + Housefly, Salvodali A Million Broken Bikes Remixes Ritual Fire Records 2015
Quilla Andy Sikorski Beans Beans Beans Remix Ritual Fire Records 2016
Quilla primabyte Carve It In Stone Remixes Ritual Fire Records 2016

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Quilla's Biography". Quilla Music. Retrieved 13 May 2015. 
  2. ^ Report, Molly. "Exclusive Interview: Singer QUILLA Creates a "Beautiful Hybrid" of EDM & Indie-Pop". Neon Vision. Neon Vision. Retrieved 9 May 2015. 
  3. ^ Jamison, Michael. "Album Review: Quilla – ‘Beautiful Hybrid’". In the Junkyard Music. In the Junkyard Music. Retrieved 9 May 2015. 
  4. ^ Roy, Jackie. "Beautiful Hybrid by Quilla". Confront Magazine. Confront Magazine. Retrieved 9 May 2015. 
  5. ^ Graham, Pete. "Quilla - Beautiful Hybrid (album review)". Flush Magazine. Flush Magazine. Retrieved 12 May 2015. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 44°53′13″N 123°01′59″W / 44.886976°N 123.032987°W / 44.886976; -123.032987