Deniro Farrar

The Complexity of the Cusp of Stardom
by Chris Taylor
October 2014

at the SETT on the University of Wisconsin - Madison with Bucky Badger - photo by Chris Taylor

at the SETT on the University of Wisconsin - Madison with Bucky Badger
photo by Chris Taylor

Last night I had the privilege of sitting down with Deniro Farrar. Deniro hails from Charlotte, NC and has a hot new single called titled “Bow Down” and is touring the country on his Bow Down Tour. I had a preconceived interpretation of who Deniro would be when I heard his name. I envisioned a backpacking Hip Hopper who would drop “Yo Son” on me about 62 times when I first heard his name. Then I watched the Bow Down Video; which features Denzel Curry.

My immediate reaction to seeing that was, Ok homie is straight off the block and I am about to chop it up with a D Boy who crossed over to the rap game. WRONG, Deniro Farrar is much more complex than most artists that I have met.

Tonight’s gig was a show at the University of Wisconsin’s Student Union South, The SETT. I walked into the SETT’s game room and saw someone shooting pool wearing a hoodie with Farrar’s Cult Rap logo on it. I was in the right place and Deniro, who wasn’t the hoodie guy introduced himself and we hit it off right away.

I have been on my fair share of tours and met a bunch of artists and they are usually pretty easy to read. I can tell you that within 2 or 3 minutes, I have these guys sized up and the rest of my evening hang is out of obligation. Deniro had much more to offer than that and it made my interview a pleasant and fortunate one.

I told him that the person I came prepared to meet was the Bow Down rapper, draped in attitude. Deniro informed me that he has had a lot of success with records that weren’t street records and prides himself on having superior relevant content. It is a sign of the day that we live in when lowering the bar of his launches him into a different category of sub-genre. Still, he is interested in developing his fan base whenever possible and elevating the content that they listen to.

Deniro Farrar on stage at the SETT at the University of Wisconsin - Madison, Photo by Chris TaylorDeniro was a great hang and as a recording engineer I could put some work into the studio with him no doubt. He obliged me for about 45 minutes and then went to get ready for the show. I went and grabbed a cold one and then observed the environment. It’s crazy because not only am I am Master Recording Engineer who has taught recording at Madison Media Institute for over 5 years, but I am also Vice-Chair of the Madison Arts Commission, Chairman for WYOU Community Access Television and a Board Member for the Madison Area Music Association. So I have a very unique perspective for all things media and art.

Setup and sound check are really fun for me to watch and Deniro’s team were very friendly professionals who were there to do their thing and understood the mission. They have to; it’s a 50-city tour.

While that was going on, I met a wonderful lady by the name of Courtney Byelich. She is a Music Advisor at the UW and someone who is affiliated with a lot of shows on campus. I asked her how many hip hop shows that they have at the UW and she told me at least twice a month, never an issue with the attendees.  I am hoping that I can get her involved with some Hip Hop discussions that we are having in the City of Madison because her perspective would yield a view that the rest of us don’t have. I was happy to learn that this interested her as well.

For me the only other thing that I needed to cap the night off was seeing Deniro Farrar perform. I was much more into interviewing the person than I was watching the show. I KNEW what the show was going to be and he didn’t disappoint. From the time he touched the stage, he controlled the audience. He held their attention with well-crafted lyrics and superior content over mainstream music production, which is what a lot of content-based artists tend to miss.

When Deniro comes back to town again I will make sure I catch the show, this is the kind of thing that you don’t want to pass up. He is special on stage and you could feel that before he touched it. It’s nice to see a shooting star in our solar system, they are what make out universe as complex as it is. It has been a while since I have seen a shooting star shine this bright.

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