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WUNC Youth Reporting Institute Production. Youth Reporting mentor Caitlin Leggett hosts weekly instagram lives with the movers and shakers of our community. Her introspective interviews bring the community to the world, and amplify the voices of the marginalized.

Mique’s spin on 'New School Liquor House Music'

Caitlin Leggett
Mique after performing with Young Bull Music at Rubies on 5 Points in Durham, NC.

“I like to call my personal style ‘New School Liquor House Music’” says artist, Mique of Young Bull Music.

New School Liquor House Music. If you haven’t grown up in “the sticks," as Mique says, you may have not heard of it. Liquor House Music was the rhythm and blues-inspired songs that came out of the prohibition era, usually heard in places like juke joints and speakeasies. In contemporary times, names like Al Green and Curtis Mayfield carried the genre, and now youth from this generation are picking up where they left off.

Born in Durham, but raised with his family and grandmother in the rural town of Timberlake, North Carolina, Mique is no stranger to the sounds of R&B.

Mique sat down with WUNC on Changing Channels to explain his style of music and dispel the beliefs of group artists and solo acts.

Follow @915wunc and @wuncyouthvoices to keep up with the Youth Reporting Institute and watch episodes of Changing Channels

Interview Highlights

On his familial background and experience in Timberlake, N.C. ...


"Yes, I've gone to church out there, she's down in the sticks. Every Sunday was like a ritual. I was mad young, [I would] go to church, sing in [the] choir with them, my cousins and whatnot. It's just like it's a different environment because [it was] a traditional Baptist Church. Don't misquote me if I'm saying the wrong thing to somebody else, but like, you know, [it wasn't] contemporary music, you have Hezekiah Walker, your James Hall, your Kirk Franklin. Just on it that the radio kind of gospel music — you know what I'm saying? My grandma's church was more like, hand clap, foot stomp."

On how his life experience influences his sound...

"I mean, it's basically just like, my personal style. I take inspiration from the likes somebody like The Dream and then I’ll have like, how Muddy Waters does it, and I’ll take contextually what they talking about, but like, put it with my own fusion of sound.

"I definitely think that’s important right now, a lot of people are paying attention. Because you had Elvis Presley, but then you look at where he really got his music from, he was not the first to do it. He was just making covers of songs, that already existed from women like Big Mama Thorton."

Tahmique and Gabe/Solomon Fox performed at their show at Rubie's at 5 Points in Durham, NC.
Caitlin Leggett
Tahmique and Gabe/Solomon Fox performed at their show at Rubie's at 5 Points in Durham, NC.

On being a solo artist and the origins of the 'Young Bull' music group...

Tahmique performing with Young Bull at their show at Rubies on 5 Points.
Caitlin Leggett
Tahmique performing with Young Bull at their show at Rubies on 5 Points.

"I look at it like I'm doing neither one thing on the side, I'm trying to achieve this goal and kind of attain the same things. I mean, yeah, they kind of like two different audiences. In terms of like, who my music, as a solo artist, might be trying to reach out to and who Young Bull music might be trying to reach out to, but I mean, it's all in the same vein. I'm going to squeeze myself in there like everyone else. "

How 'Young Bull' got started...

"With my homeboy Gabe — aka Solomon Fox — we went to high school together; we played JV basketball. So we decided to do the school talent show. We didn't win. It was crazy, but we went back to his crib to record a song that we [were] doing. And he was playing a song he already [started] writing, I helped him finish writing. I sung it, we put it out. It went crazy — what we thought was crazy at the time — then kind of everybody else, which is like moving pieces and just kind of stuff."

Describing that 'Young Bull Sound'...

"I mean, it's more universal. Like, Young Bull kind of appeases everybody. You could come to a Young Bull show and like it. My [audience] ranges from 5-year-olds to 70-year-olds… And every song might not be for you, but you understand where we got one song that's for everybody."

On what's next for Mique...

"What's next? Big things. Yeah, well, now I mean more music, you know, take a leap. I'm going to take a big leap… It’s time… Infiltrate, educate, vacate."

Tune into Mique at @youngbullmusic and @unclemique.

Caitlin Leggett was WUNC's News Administrative Intern & Youth Reporting Mentor.
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