Lime interview - Comedy
We caught up with east Londoner Quincy to find out how being at a party with Idris Elba led to a transition from DJ to comedian
Quincy, also known as the East London Cockney Prince, is a far cry from that staunch medical examiner from that 70s TV show. No, we’re talking about Quincy the comedian and founder of the Comedy Lounge who is no stranger to the mic both as a stand-up comic and radio talk show host.
You started out as a DJ, how did you wander into comedy?
I was a DJ with Idris Elba; he could play music better than me so I used to go to the mic. We were at a party once and the music didn’t go to plan so I just kept people entertained and it’s taken off from there.
Are you still in touch with Idris Elba?
Yes, he is my boy’s Godfather.
I know you have a radio show so do you still spin the occasional track?
I still play music; I do my breakfast and talk shows. But comedy is my full time gig now. Radio is to keep my name out there and is something I’ve always had a passion for.
Why did you start the Comedy Lounge?
Because there was nothing happening in my area and as a black comic there was limited opportunity to perform in some of the clubs. So I started off in wine bars, the only way to learn is to put yourself in at the deep end. I brought in comics on the same level as me and the Comedy Lounge grew from there.
What is your vision for it?
I would love to see it on a television channel and showcasing talent from our side of the street. Also I’d like to combine comedy with serious topics and a talk show.
So why should people go?
As a host I’m spontaneous, expect the unexpected, it is good value for money. The acts I choose are from both sides of the street so you won’t just get the regular faces. I believe in quality, you will get two or three acts that will give you a good amount of material. So it’s more of a club instead of an event.
You have three children, how do you manage to balance fatherhood?
I’m lucky I have a strong family unless I wouldn’t be able to do this career. They have enabled me to chase my dream; a family unit has allowed me to combine the two roles.
Being a father, what are your thoughts on using the ‘f word’ and other curse words on stage?
I do curse in my set. Once you go to a comedy show your mind should be open, my children have seen me but they haven’t seen me curse because I have that respect for them.
What is it you’re saying to audiences through comedy?
When I go on stage I want people to see I’ve made them laugh but still sending a message. Not just giving them jokes, I talk about things that affect the everyday person.
Who gave you the name The Cockney Prince?
I am the only comedian who speaks with a cockney accent, I perform how I talk. One day somebody was describing me and they said: “You know that big cockney geezer” and it just stuck. Originally it was the cockney Bajan, but I didn’t think that sounded right.
Who makes you laugh?
The late Bernie Mac, I like Graham Norton, Alan Carr is a funny man. Out of the box programmes like Frasier makes me belly-laugh.
Are you a proud Bajan?
Does the Pope pray? I always big-up my Bajan roots, it’s all over my car, whenever I go out I have the Bajan flag, t-shirts, I’m very proud. I recently performed for the Barbados High Commission. The fact that they even called me to perform was a privilege.
Describe that on stage buzz?
There is nothing more thrilling or exciting when you go on stage and make a theatre laugh and they are feeling you. There is no, drug, drink or female out there that would allow you to experience anything better. When I’m on stage no one is judging me.
As a host can you spot when a comedian is failing?
When I walk off-stage as a host, I am a member of the audience sometimes you’ll get a comedian that might not be hitting it, I’ve been there.
What advice would you give to upcoming comedians?
Practice your material, don’t feel pressurised to change it, know your craft, take any gig and get as much stage time as you can. Don’t get influenced by other comedians and do what is true to you, don’t try to copy. No one can take away your identity.
What comedians are you keeping your eye on?
Kane Brown and Axel The Entertainer.
CARIBBEAN FEVER ISSUE
Who are the hottest people from the Caribbean that should be on our radar?
Lil Rick, Alison Hines and Peter Coppin (DJ).
Where in the Caribbean would you take us if we came to visit you?
The countryside of Barbados like St Peter or St Lucy where it hasn’t been touched by tourists.
Info: This August, Quincy will be at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival doing his show The Book of Quincy; he will also be going to the Middle East to do a 10-day tour. In October, Quincy’s Comedy Lounge returns with a show called Skool v New Skool.
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