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SOB's Sol Village showcase feat. Renzo

Renzo
Renzo
WEMG

NYC's longest-running R&B/Soul showcase, SOB's "Sol Village" is ten years old and going strong. Hosted by Grammy-nominated singer Eric Roberson, Sol Village has featured Erykah Badu, John Legend, Floetry, Dwele, Raphael Saadiq and many more. At this month's showcase, five talented, up-and-coming artists hit the stage: CJ Hilton, Maxine Ashley, Miesa, Honey Larochelle, and Renzo. Maxine, Miesa, and Honey had magnetic performances, soulful, strong voices, and great crowd participation. CJ's performance had a more hip-hop flavor, with crass, explicit lyrics to boot. WE Music Group (W.E.M.G.) artist Renzo displayed professionalism, confidence, and sex appeal during his two-song set, despite some issues with the house band. The singer-songwriter spoke with Examiner.com's Brownie Marie before his performance of his new singles "So They Know" and "Miss It."

BROWNIE MARIE: I had your single "So They Know" on repeat today! What was the inspiration behind that song?

RENZO: "So They Know" is a record I wrote [because] I wanted everybody to know that you shouldn't be afraid to let the world know who you're with. You should never be shy, you should never be ashamed. If you got love, if you got something real, then you should let the world know. If you want to post a picture on Instagram with your lover, post it. People are so afraid nowadays, and there are a lot of people who have bad intentions and they want to hide who they're with. If you're proud to be with them, then why hide it? Show the world.

You're from Virginia; how did you end up linking with W.E.M.G. (in Florida)?

Crazy story. When I graduated high school, I kind of just took off. The day I graduated I took off, caught a bus to L.A.-- chasing my dreams. It didn't work out... ended up in the streets, went back to Virginia. Took another chance... hopped on a bus, went to Atlanta. It didn't work out; went back to Virginia. Took one more chance. I had a car by then so I drove [to Florida]. I had $1,000 to my name, and I spent half of it on gas just to get to Florida. I recorded some YouTube videos, people started retweeting it, and [W.E.M.G.] saw it.

You did a lot of investing in yourself. Traveling, moving, having nothing... you were by yourself doing all this?

I was by myself. At first I was scared, then I just got used to it. I got used to being on my own and the whole art of grinding, so I embraced it. I kept pushing and pushing, and it paid off.

What is it that motivates you?

It's not only myself and wanting to satisfy my goals and dreams, but it's the people around me. My manager, the fans, and everyone around me. If everybody believes in me and everybody sees [me being successful], then this is what I should be doing. This is my destiny.

How does it feel to perform in SOB's legendary Sol Village showcase?

When I was a teen, I jumped at coming to venues like this. Being in the Big Apple, in front of this crowd... I feel joy inside when I actually sit back and look at where I'm at. I'm really appreciative... I'm really thankful.

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Renzo is working with some of the biggest music executives, writers, and producers in the industry, including Kevin Cossom, Adonis Shropshire, Bentley Haze, and Jai Marlon. Their combined credits include Mariah Carey, Usher, Brandy, Kelly Rowland, Akon, Selena Gomez, along with many others. Renzo will be performing domestically and internationally this year, and anticipates a 2014 album release. For more information, visit www.IAmRenzo.com.

@IAmRenzoMusic
IG: OfficialRenzo