Quintin “17th Letter” Demps is finally stepping into his purpose as a full-time artist. Using a play on his childhood nickname “Q,” Demps is continuing the conversation of what it means to be more than an athlete.

17th Letter started writing when he was young. Growing up, he was an only child and used poetry and storytelling as a means of personal expression, which fostered his love for music. Q says that the 10 years he spent playing professional football was his side hustle to provide for his family all the while trying to keep music alive in the offseason.

“I was always an artist, but I was just really fast,” he shares. “Football propelled me to get a scholarship and stuff like that, so I really stuck to it, but I really don’t want anything to do with ball. I just wanna be known as an artist and respected as an artist versus oh the football player who’s trying to rap.”

17th Letter, who now resides in Chicago, is excited to find this sense of freedom in committing to his first love. But perhaps his art is not completely separate from his time in sports. One thing he is carrying over from football is his work ethic. Although he’s only released a slew of singles publically, he is currently working on his first full-length project, which will reflect his journey of new birth.

“You just gotta keep backpedaling,” he says of working hard in music, football and life. “You gotta keep practicing, keep working, keep working and sure enough you’re gonna be good.“

Q also compares himself to Mozart because of the classical composer’s notoriety in his versatility. 17th Letter has the same desire to not be boxed in one sound, but connect the timelessness of music with his own creativity.

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