Undoubtedly, new R&B artist Renzo Mathis will be on every teenage girl's wall this year. The young heart throb dropped his first EP, Lionheart produced by Bentley Haze and Refuuj, back in November and his vocals does not disappoint the fans. The Virginia-native is not a newbie to the music world. He actually was a part of an R&B group called Image before he decided to go solo with his career. Since then, Renzo has linked up with veteran female rapper Trina and Hustle Hard rapper Ace Hood appearing on singles the two artist will be releasing this year. Besides lending his vocals on a few tracks, Renzo has been in the lab working on his single Miss It which he plans to release in 2014 as his big debut into mainstream. With over 140,000 Instragram and Twitter followers, the independent artist is already on track to become a major hit in the music world. The Vine got the exclusive with the young artist who simply goes by the name, Renzo.
Where are you from and when did you start singing?
I was born on Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines. Although we moved to different countries every few years, I was raised mostly in Reston, Virginia. That's home to me.
On Instagram, you called yourself a Blasian. So are you mixed? If so, tell us a little more about growing up in a Black and Asian home.
Indeed I am. My mother is Filipina and my dad is Black. Growing up in a Black and Asian home was kind of crazy because its two completely different cultures, but it was amazing. My mom eats A LOT of seafood and she's the one I got my addiction to rice from. In her culture they tend to eat rice with their hands. Sometimes my dad would get mad and then when it rubbed off on my sister, brother, and I. He would go crazy, but he learned to accept her ways. Sometimes we would make fun of her accent and she laughed with us. Great, memorable times.
How did your upbringing influence your choice of music?
Living in places like Panama, London, Thailand gave me a whole new outlook on not only music but life. I love to incorporate the sounds in music from those countries into my own music. The experiences I've had with girls from those different countries gives me things to write about. The beautiful accents come in to play when I need to bend a word a certain way...adds that extra sexiness to the arrangement.
Who is your inspiration?
I actually have a few. Joe, Maxwell, Jon B, Prince, Frankie Beverly, Carl Thomas, and Ginuwine.
Would you compare yourself to singers Like Trey Songz or newcomer August Alsina or are you more along the lines of artist like Usher or NeYo?
More along the lines of an Usher or Neyo. Their writing and concepts are amazing and they're versatile. From hardcore R&B, Pop, Ballads, to Electronica, their music caters to people internationally. Plus they're dancers. That's me all day.
How would you describe your sound?
90's R&B mixed with new school sounds. Emotion jerking. Worldwide.
How do you feel about R&B music today and the direction that its headed in?
Ehh...not a fan of the heavy auto-tuning, it takes away the feeling in music that so many people crave. I'm here to bring back that feeling you would get when you put on a 90's R&B record on your cassette tape player.
Do you write your own lyrics? If so, where do you pull your inspiration for your songs?
I do write my own lyrics along with a few of my writing partners. I either get my inspiration and concepts from something I've been through or one of my friends. Everything flows that way.
On your single So They Know...what's the message you're trying to tell your audience?
I'm such a strong believer in monogamy and being proud of having someone to cater to, invest in, give your all to....to love. So They Know is saying that they shouldn't be afraid to let the world know about their significant other. When people ask questions, ex's pop-up and try to get that foot back in the door. Let them know you're taken... so they know.
When can we expect an album release?
Definitely expect an album come summer 2014.