Calendar photos by Allen Cooley
Photo above by Wil Law
Over the course of a decade, the original four members of urban pop group 112 kept it sleek and sexy on stage with what seemed to be no effort. However, Quinnes “Q” Parker has revealed with his 12-month 2011 calendar that there is a lot of dedication, self-motivation and active nutrition that has gone into his fabulous abs!
As a husband, father and world-famous crooner, Q, now 32, admits that keeping a sound mind and balance in his life and music career is just as important to health as the physical fitness.
So how does Q instill healthy values in his kids? What is he doing in 2011 as a solo artist? How does he still make time for the gym? What does he need to stay motivated? And what does he find gets harder to keep up as he gets older?
UrbLife.com got Q on the phone for a few moments to discuss all of these things, so read on as we find out what’s really behind that picture-perfect body of his!
What made you decided to develop a calendar now instead of five or six years ago?
Q Parker: Being a person that was always active in high school and playing different sports, I was always in tune with what the body should be, being in shape, and being in good physical health as far as appearance. I really didn’t know the inside scoop on how important being healthy is to your life.
As you get older, you really have to start focusing more and more on what you’re doing to your body, what you’re putting into your body, and how you maintain your body and weight. You realize that we’re not as young as we used to be. We used to go out and be able to eat whatever and our metabolism was so that it would just burn off and keep our shape.
Well, getting a little older, I realize that you have to work at it. People kind of know me for being in shape and I really wanted to do something to help not only me and people close to me, but the masses. My manager and I decided to do a fitness calendar, because we were sitting and talking about the things that are most important to me, my family, my music, and being healthy.
It’s not only a calendar being eye candy, but giving healthy tips, motivation and different workouts. Just letting people know that you don’t need a gym to work out, but you can do it at home, in the park, or at a stadium.
What are some areas that you’ve found that are harder to keep up?
Q: I wouldn’t say that it has gotten harder to keep up, but as you get older love handles appear, and your energy level isn’t as high as it once was. Those are some things that we sometimes may need motivation for. Hell, some days it gets hard for me. Some days I don’t feel like getting up and going to the gym, because I get up at 5:30am.
If you get this calendar, maybe it will motivate you to be like, “Yo I know I don’t feel like going today but I’m going to do it anyway.” Please don’t get it twisted, I have things that still motivate me on the days I don’t feel like going to the gym.
How do you mentally cope with the highs and lows of the music industry and keep your head on straight?
Q: When you start young and music is the only job that you had in your life, and you come into the game and have instant success, then you go through a period when you’re not as successful, relevant, or popular, some people don’t know how to handle that. I will say because of my support team, my family, my manager, and the small circle of friends that I do have, it helps keep my foundation solid.
I realize as a man that there’s a difference between Q from 112 and the artist and Quinnes Parker. Regardless of what Q Parker from 112 does as an artist, Quinnes still has to live and maintain, and be a father and a husband. I have to keep my sanity, I have no choice. I can’t be one of those people that you see on the news that has slipped out, because I have people depending and relying on me to maintain my sanity. That’s with or without a record, with or without a hit, and with or without the extension of 112 to my name. I’m such a competitor that I won’t let it be an option.
What are some things that you have taught your kids about fitness and keeping a mentally sound mind?
Q: First of all, there is a marriage. Working out and being active and eating is like a marriage. If you do one without the other, you don’t get the results that you want. You can go in the gym every day and lift the whole gym, but if you leave there and put McDonald’s or fried foods in your body, then you defeated the purpose and you’ll never get the results.
In my home, we eat healthy. We don’t do fried foods, we don’t do pork, we don’t do beef, and we don’t do a lot of sugar or a lot of sweets. Especially for my son, he learned at an early age the importance of vegetables, water, proteins, and the five main food groups. When he’s hungry, McDonald’s and Burger King are never an option. If we do decide to do fast food, then it’ll be something like grilled chicken. We maintain a very healthy diet.
With my son, I make sure that he is active in school and after school programs. He plays sports and does karate. With those two combining and just seeing his dad go through everyday life, I’m sure that he’s absorbing everything that he sees. As far as my daughter, she’s grown and she lives on her own so she can pretty much do what she sees fit, but she knows the right way as well.
It’s important to me because I know you’ve seen the studies on TV, that America has become the most overweight country. Especially the kids, we have one of the highest rates in kid obesity. That’s something that’s dear to me because if kids are our future, then we’re not doing great in terms of what lies ahead. If we don’t start instilling in our kids at a young age the importance of being fit and being healthy, then the numbers are going to increase. I try to do my part.
My calendar isn’t gender-based – it’s for men, women and kids. I purposely did that because a lot of times if a woman sees a muscle head or a gym rat, then sometimes they lose interest. I’m not going to the gym every day; I’m not lifting all of those weights. I made sure in the calendar it wouldn’t make a woman run from it. It’s just important for me to let everyone know to do something.
What are a couple of key tips that may or may not be in the calendar that you would give people to stay motivated for their 2011 resolutions?
Q: We have to realize that we only have one body. Once you let your body go, it’s hard to get back. Why even allow that? We see what the studies are saying, especially for African-Americans who are already fighting the battles of high cholesterol, diabetes, and high blood pressure out of the room. We have to develop, maintain, and sustain some healthy regiment. Don’t just make it for a season.
If you started in January, in December you can look back and say that you were consistent for an entire year. I promise you that if you stay consistent and do the necessary things, you’ll see your body start to change. If you do it right, you’ll see results.
What’s coming up for you in the next year?
Q: In the next year, I will have released a solo album. We should have some music out by the summer. It’s called The Manual, and I chose that title because I feel like in today’s music industry, a lot of the music lacks substance. I think that a lot of the male artists are sending misleading messages that makes women in general group all guys in the same category.
This album musically is my part to let people know that chivalry isn’t dead, that there are still gentlemen out here, and that there are still some men out here that know how to speak to a woman and how to express themselves in an intimate way. When I say intimate, I don’t necessarily just mean sex but the definition of the word intimacy. It’s a musical manual letting guys know how to treat women. It also shows women how they are supposed to be treated, romanced, and led. Just treated like the queens that they are.
It’s a very versatile album. It’s and R&B album with a little hint of Hip Hop in it. I wrote the majority of it, and collaborated with some other great songwriters and producers. I don’t want to say any names now, but you can expect some major names. I really wanted to establish individually from Q Parker and Q from 112. Not that I’m disassociating myself, because I could never. I’m very excited about it.
I do a live U-Stream every Tuesday night at 8pm called The Q & A. It’s really like a behind the scenes, in depth talk and discussion about the music industry. I allow the fans to ask me any questions about the music business. We talk about current topics that are going on in the music industry. We talk about the current releases of that week.
I also do a thing called The Q Versions and it’s me giving my respects to artists and their records that are out right now. For example, I did Nicki Minaj’s “Right Through Me,” and it’s just me putting my spin on someone else’s record. It’s no disrespect.
I’m in the process if legitimizing my Q Cares Foundation. My focuses are obesity and kids, music and schools, and cancer research. I want to make sure people realize that part of the proceeds of the calendar goes to the cancer research, specifically breast, ovarian, pancreatic and prostate cancer.