Nigel Barber, also known as Renzo Suburbn, is a fourth-year studying architecture, a member of campus alternative hip-hop band Dotwav Media and a local producer and vocalist. Renzo is branching out on his own and releasing a single, an EP and a full length album, one every week for the next three weeks.
Renzo described the project as alternative pop and has been working on it for about six months. He will be releasing a single titled “Ban AR-15” on Thursday, Nov. 14. He describes the song as a love song and says the title definitely means what it sounds like.
“It definitely means ‘ban AR-15s,’” Renzo said. “When I was writing the song, I wrote it as a love song, but it’s like the person I’m in love with is a gun. So, I kind of wrote it like that and it just kind of evolved, and I was like, how would I describe this song, and it just kind of evolved into that. I kept doing ban different guns but it didn’t sound as good, and AR sounded the best to me.”
The EP titled “Songs to Clap To” will be three songs long and will be released on Thursday, Nov. 21. The album titled “Kabuki Punk” will be 13 tracks long with 10 songs and three interludes, and will be released on Thursday, Nov. 28.
Renzo said he was thinking about the way streaming services work when he decided to release the music in this way, regarding the way the services handle playlists and submissions.
“I wanted to really have a month of time that I could put into promoting it and making visuals for it and stuff like that,” Renzo said. “With the way that Dotwav is set up, we each have our own time of the year that we have for our solo work, and then we put time aside to collaborate on it.”
Renzo discussed what this solo release means to him, and what it means for his future with Dotwav Media.
“I think moving forward in 2020, Dotwav is going to continue to do shows, not as frequently as we did this year, but probably do them — don’t hold me to this — every month or so,” Renzo said. “Some of those shows are going to be like, for the artists that are in Dotwav. So it’s like we show up as Dotwav, as the collective, but we are actually performing music that’s not just off of our projects that we’ve released.”
Renzo also talked about the impact of his education and NC State as a whole on his music.
“As far as academics, it definitely does play a role in it just like trying to balance both of them and making sure I can actually complete both of them,” Renzo said. “It’s hard to focus, but at the end of the day I know that it’s something that I need to get done for myself just to move forward in my life. I guess I’m in a special place because I’m a senior about to graduate in December, so like, I’ve got this done, and I’m ready.”
The NC State cypher has also been a positive influence for Renzo during his time at NC State.
“As far as NC State specifically, I feel like it’s impacted me in certain ways,” Renzo said. “I bet all of the people who make hip-hop music here started out at the NC State cypher. They went there before and were like ‘man this is dope.’ Like I was rapping before college but in college I found the group of people I want to hang out with and make music with.”
Renzo also said that he plans to keep “dropping queer alt bangers for all of 2020.”
Dotwav Media will be having their final show of the year on Thursday, Nov. 14, at 9 p.m. at Motorco Music Hall in Durham with 3amsound and Black Haus.
To keep up with Renzo Suburbn’s music, visit his Spotify page.