Actor Kevin Quinn recently released his new single, “Wildfire,” and shared how he hopes to inspire his millions of followers by making music about Jesus.
Quinn is best known for starring in Disney Channel’s “Bunk’d” and the Netflix musical “A Week Away.” The young entertainer is using his mainstream appeal to share a message of inspiration through his new music. His Capitol CMG debut single, “Wildfire,” is now available.
The pop song and music video encourage listeners to keep the fire of hope burning inside despite the despair of the world.
“What a blessing that I even get to make music about Jesus according to God's plan, That's awesome,” Quinn told The Christian Post.
Following the single, the Chicago native is gearing up to release a full-length inspirational album.
The following is an edited transcript of Quinn’s interview with CP where he shares the meaning behind his new single and his testimony of how he came to trust in God.
CP: What is the meaning behind the song "Wildfire," and what do the lyrics mean to you?
Quinn: I'll start here with the music video. If you saw on the music video, we experience, in the beginning, myself dealing with something traumatic or stressful, distressing, and I drop my phone. The reason why we started with that was because we wanted the wildfire metaphor to build throughout the video in the same way that it builds throughout the song. When you're going through the darkest of times, or when the worst thing could possibly happen, it's that wildfire in your heart that gets you through it until the end, that you can find peace and respite and resolution. I think that was just a metaphor for the song in its entirety.
There's a wildfire in us all, and that wildfire drives our decision-making. It helps us deal with whatever it is we're dealing with. You could call that God if you wanted to. But that's the general theme of "Wildfire," it's just that light inside of us all that lights up the world when it's at its darkest.
CP: Can you share your faith testimony with us?
Quinn: I had quite an interesting faith journey. I grew up in Church and I grew up praying. Even from a young age, I remember praying every night when I didn't even really know what I was doing. Maybe that was God wanting me to speak to Him when I didn't even realize I was speaking to Him. But then some stuff happened as I got older, stuff that any average adult deals with eventually, whether it's death or grief, hardship, health issues. At a certain point, in my late teens, early 20s, it got so bad for me that I kind of just shunned the idea of God altogether. Because I was like, if God does exist, and God loves me, then why is He making my world a living Hell? It felt that way and I'm sorry if that's like a graphic depiction of what I was going through, but it really felt that way. I was so lost in every sense of the word.
Then there were a few events that happened, I guess you could say, according to God's plan that lifted me out of that darkness. I started to see the light again and find enjoyment and just peace in my life and resolution with some of the things that I was dealing with. The more I settled into that, the more I got to know God, and the more I realized He was always trying to help me. It's just some things have to happen for a reason.
Now in retrospect, at 24 years old, I can look back at those years and say, "Wow, okay, it really did have to happen for that reason." Now my relationship with God is stronger than ever. I talk to Him every day. I'm constantly praying and it's just interesting seeing the juxtaposition of that in my life, from not even four years ago when I didn't even care to talk to God. Now four years [later] it's like, He's one of my strongest relationships.
CP: One of the lines in your single says, "Even if I'm broken, I'll still keep my hope in the one that holds me close." This has been a broken season for a lot of people coming out of 2020. Can you share about keeping your hope in God to help?
Quinn: I got to be honest, I don't know what God's plan is. No one does with this pandemic. I had COVID and it was terrible, it was miserable. But I was one of the lucky ones and luckily I recovered but there were a lot of people who didn’t. It makes me sad to think about but it's like every number and statistic that we've seen on these COVID case graphs is a real living person. I've had a tough time dealing with that and I shoved it under the rug for a long time. But it's just another one of those human calamities that for whatever reason has happened. You could argue 9/11 was something similar, we lost a lot of Americans. But for some reason, it's like that, what is happening right now.
Of course, I question God. Of course, I wonder like everyone else, "What is your plan with this? This is terrible.” But again, I settle into my faith, I find resolution in that everything happens for a reason and maybe this will prevent us from ever having to deal with a pandemic of this level again. Because there's going to be more viruses and this is a human world, it's earth, it's a biological world, viruses exist, and maybe a silver lining could be that we've learned so much that come the next virus, we won't have a pandemic of this kind. But that's just me speculating. I don't know what God's plan is, no one does. But I can't lie that it's been really difficult.
As an artist, I'm quite emotional at times and I know what it's like to deal with grief. I know there's a lot of families who are dealing with that during this time. If anything my heart just goes out to them and I ask that they pray, and I'll pray for them.
CP: Can you share about the importance of holding on to hope when in despair?
Quinn: I think the reason why I still even have hope is because I have trust. I trust my relationship with God, and I trust Him. A relationship doesn't work without trust and respect, right? So that alone, my trust is in the greater well-being and the greater good. The greater plan is enough for me to continue hoping.
CP: You're signed to CMG, which is the Christian division of Capital records, but your music is definitely geared more towards the pop side. What can we expect from the new music?
Quinn: The idea of the project was a Christian crossover [album]. It's been done before, but for me, I felt an obligation to give the CCM community music that they could listen to, music that was uplifting music, that was inspiring, that was hopeful, that was clean. Especially after the response at Winter Jam 2021 when I was on that tour with 20,000 fans in an arena. I just kept thinking to myself, “Once this next artist project comes into play it would be a really big shame if I didn't give them something they could listen to.” Especially because I love Jesus, what a blessing that I even get to make music about Jesus according to God's plan. That's awesome!
At the same time, I have a lot of mainstream role models just living in LA and coming out here for the mainstream TV and film side, growing up in Chicago, a kind of big city. So I grew to love a lot of artists that fell into that category — Justin Timberlake, John Legend. I'm a big fan of Ed Sheeran. So I felt like I wanted to make that kind of music, but I wanted to also keep it relevant to these uplifting themes that would work for the CCM community.
In that way, it is a true crossover and I hope that if you are looking for the inspirational themes and the Christian themes, you'll find them. If you aren't looking for them, you can still enjoy good pop music. But I hope people do find that line in the middle because I want them to experience both.
CP: You've been in the industry for some time where it's harder to keep a holy standard, especially with all the success, how do you keep that standard?
Quinn: As far as the success aspect, yes, I've been in the business for a minute. But I kind of just keep finding myself in the place that I'm in. I'm never really believing that I am where I am. And I don't ever think that I've made it. I very much live a normal life. I have an apartment here in LA. I just make music for the fun of it and because I enjoy it. It's the same thing I've been doing since I was a kid. I would sing around the house. It started out as a hobby and it kind of became a career but it's never felt like a career in that way.
Of course, I work hard at it. Of course, I'm looking for my next gig. Of course, I'm always doing my best to push myself to the limits of my craft. But at the end of the day, I just feel like a really lucky guy who fell into it and keeps falling deeper into it. I was at the right place at the right time.
CP: You have millions of followers on social media, what are you hoping to leave with those that are following you?
Quinn: I think it's kind of what I'm already leaving. … I can tell you a lot of my peers who I worked with on that [Disney] show, or just in that Disney community in general, would likely consider themselves to be role models as well. I think Disney does a really good job of training us to be role models and representatives of what it looks like to be good, to be kind, to work hard. So if anything, I just hope that I leave with them enough influence as an influencer to make good decisions, to find happiness, to stay healthy. Because I know what it's like to be unhappy; I know what it's like to be unhealthy. I just hope that this music or even a photo that I post on Instagram can just bring them a little bit of joy.
At the end of the day, I'm an influencer only because my fans make me that.