Quen Backwell has reignited questions about her relationship with celebrity DJ Diplo after posting a tearful video earlier this week.
In response to a comment asking when her new song will drop, Quen posted an emotional video explaining why “nothing has been released” over the past two years since she moved to Los Angeles as a teenager and pursued music.
“This producer told me to come out here when I was 17, and I came out here when I was 18, and I didn’t know what I was coming out here for really,” she said in the since-deleted video. “But then I started making music and then a whole bunch of producers were like, ‘wait, this is really good music’ so I stopped working on myself at all.
Quen went on to say that she stopped doing other things she loved, like comedy, and solely focused on music.
“I love my music,” she said. “My music’s been a journal to me through all the bullshit I’ve dealt with from someone older like, ‘wanting to help me’ but essentially just like, seeing a young creative would [lighten them] and wanting to own them and wanting to have them a part of your crew.”
“So when I wake up out of the fog and haze from like, living over there and living with these producers and shit, I like, have all this music,” she continued.
Quen explained that despite living with music producers in L.A., she struggled to find someone who would help her release her music. “I’ve got release dates since 2020 and nothing has been released. It’s April of 2022, I’m 21 now, like, I want to release music I just don’t know how to and I feel lost,” she said through tears.
Though Quen didn’t directly name Diplo, there are parallels between what she said on TikTok and her former relationship with the DJ.
In late 2020, Diplo was accused of grooming then 19-year-old Quen after she revealed on TikTok that she lived at his house rent-free. Diplo was 41-years-old at the time.
Both Diplo and Quen were quick to shut down rumours that their relationship was anything more than platonic.
The music producer tweeted that Quen was renting a room in one of the properties he owns. According to Diplo, Quen was paying him rent despite her initial claims. He called her social media “sarcastic and chaotic.”
“There is nothing but friendship between us,” he tweeted. “As a landlord I don’t really consider age or race as a qualification. U just gotta pay security deposit. And don’t poke holes in the walls or ruin my carpet.”
Quen also took to Twitter to address the accusations, insisting that she was “not being groomed” and would “rather break both of my legs and be forced to walk than pursue Diplo romantically and he’d rather choke.”
She went on to say that Diplo had provided her with opportunities and that his team are her mentors and “satefy net.”
Quen’s use of “safety net” in her 2020 statement when referring to Diplo and his team has fans even more convinced that she was speaking about the DJ when she broke down on TikTok.
When teasing her music in early April 2022, Quen added text over a sample of her song using the term “safety net” again. “I thought I could find myself in you. I’ve never felt so lost. You created our reality completely based off your insecurities but it was all my fault…it was my fault to use someone who is constantly free falling as MY safety net,” she wrote.
She captioned the video, “I’M FINALLY FREE FROM YOUR PROJECTIONS”.
Though Diplo has faced similar accusations in the past, the artist has faced few consequences and continues to deny allegations that he targets and grooms young women.