Casey MQ is an artist, composer, and producer from Toronto, Canada. His upcoming debut ‘babycasey’ is his childhood boyband fantasy come to life. Growing up, Casey’s pure adoration for pop music intersected with his training as a classical pianist. In 2017, Casey co-founded ‘Raven’s Vision’: a queer Toronto arts collective that DJs in various clubs and warehouses across the city. Around the same time, Casey focused on film composition, scoring films that premiered at TIFF, SXSW, and other major film festivals. We spoke with Casey ahead of babycasey release on August 14th.

Casey you just dropped a brand new track Celebrity Crush taken from your upcoming debut album babycasey. A very curious detail about your upcoming effort is that several tracks were written when you were a child. Could you tell me more about the concept and how you brought it to life?

During the writing of the album, I was really trying to understand my past and how it’s formed who I am today. A big part is that I’ve been recording music since I was 12. I recorded an EP of songs I wrote at that age and realized I was lucky enough to have those stems in 2020. The album is a reflection of childhood, so I thought it would be so interesting to sample various recordings and repurpose them for this record. They act as a thread for the entire album.


You talk about being obsessed with boybands as a child. Who were your favorite bands back then?Oh, for sure NSYNC and Backstreet Boys. I would perform their entire albums alone in my bedroom. After that, I went through an intense phase of adoring S Club 7. ‘Never Had A Dream Come True’ is a beautiful song.


Also, you discuss attempts to suppress your desire and become desirable as Casey MQ, who you’d like to be desired by?

Who I wanted to be desired by as a child and now has definitely changed. As a child, I don’t think I even had an understanding of what desire was and the ways that it can shape who you become. The earliest desire I could recognize was the desire for boybands. Things became complicated when I saw they were so beloved by an audience. I wanted that because I wanted to be just like them. And so, I clung to straightness in order to try to be desirable. To be loved by everyone was to love myself.

Today I’m trying to redefine preconceived ideas of my desire, a desire that is built on narratives that I’ve consumed. I’m trying to uncover each layer to recognize the ways I was indoctrinated to desire through heteronormative sexuality, gender, and whiteness. It’s a setup. A path always seems easier to be content with because it is assumed as comfortable. Facing the reality of how we come to understand ourselves is a never-ending process and will continue to shift.


You’ve scored several films, what been your favorite project so far?

What I love about scoring films is how you can really define the landscape of each one. The first film that comes to mind is called ‘Tito’. After an extended festival run, It’s coming out online on July 10th. The music plays such a crucial role in the storytelling of the film. Discovering the sound and working with Grace Glowicki to understand the musical voice was such a pleasure and a joyful collaboration. I’m so excited for the film to be widely available.


Tell me a little bit more about your ‘Raven Vision’ collective and your plans for 2020.

Raven’s Vision is a Toronto queer collective formed in 2017. Included in the group are myself, Myst Milano, Blip†or, AZTEARS, and Victoria Long. We started putting on parties in the city; queer bars and warehouses where we could play music we enjoyed unabashedly. Early this year we released our first compilation which includes various Toronto artists we love. More music releases from Raven’s Vision to come! I’m super excited to share babycasey in August and celebrate with a release party at Club Quarantine. I’m staying very open to what 2020 has in store. Taking each day one at a time.