ワシントンDC出身で、現在はNYを拠点に活動しているBryndon Cookによるプロジェクト。幼少期からGo-Go、Soul、Hip Hop、R&B、Jazz、そして特にGospelに触れ、Duke Ellington、Marvin Gaye、Mya、Dru Hill、D’Angelo、George Clinton等に触れ、特にPrinceとSadeに多大な影響を受けたようだ。

NYに移り住み、当初は演技の道を志したものの音楽への情熱が上回り、Starchild(Starchildというアーティスト名はP-Funk mythologyから参照)としての活動を開始。2012年にSoundxOfxSamやJames Pantsをプロデューサーに迎え、セルフ・デジタル・リリースにてEP『Night Music』を発表。2016年にはGhostly InternatilnalからEP『Crucial』をデジタル&12インチでリリース。そして本作が待望のファースト・フル・アルバムである。

自らの活動の他、Blood Orange(Dev HynesとはVeilHymnというユニットを結成している)やSolange、Kindness、Chairlift等の作品への参加やライヴ・サポートをするなど、注目を集めている。

Bryndon Cook describes his recording project Starchild & The Romantic as Champion Music for the Heartbroken. In 2016, at the moment of Crucial, his first EP with Ghostly International, which landed the New York City-based songwriter and multi-instrumentalist in Rolling Stones 25 under 25 list, that sentiment felt entirely on-point. In 2018, Cook’s full-length debut, Language a refinement of his phonics for funk, electro, and R&B, and a vibrant, mercurial statement record reveals the artists intention to stretch the expression beyond love. Lifting off from the monochrome world of Crucial, up towards a dazzling blood-rush of sky-high defiance, Cook presents Champion Music not just for heartbreak, but for intersectionality. This is music engineered to confront binaries like old and new, black and white, religiosity and sexuality, and to do so triumphantly. Not bad for a “romantic boy from Maryland,” a dreamer who grew into a student of Black musics rich lineage, keenly interested in its convergences with pop.

Raised in Prince Georges County, Maryland, Starchild was in the center of decades of music history go-go, soul, hip hop, R&B, jazz and especially, gospel. It is a veritable whos who list of legendary American musicians; Duke Ellington, Marvin Gaye, Mya, Dru Hill, DAngelo. My roots, he says. Starchilds name nods to his admiration for George Clinton, as well as his time living across the street from the NASA Headquarters on Copernicus Drive

in Greenbelt. When he moved to Atlanta with his family just before 9/11, he was introduced to even more music it was the time of Usher’s Confessions, OutKast’s Speakerboxx/The Love Below and Ciara.

Starchilds music is rich with trademarks cultivated by a deep knowledge and love of music. It moves from laid-back 70s-style funk ballads to woozy R&B to crackling dance music. This sound flowed through his 2016 EP Crucial and matures on Language recorded during sessions with his band, The New Romantic an album fixated on dissipated love, on finding truth in darkness and melody in pain. Sonically and spiritually, Cook is guided by grand standards: looking up to producers Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, studying their contributions to the New Jack Swing era and pop music at large. Touchstone statements like Janet Jackson’s Control, Michael Jackson’s Bad, and Prince’s 1999. Singular breakout LPs from Terence Trent D’Arby and Bobby Brown. The honesty of Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska and Carole King’s Tapestry; the ingenuity of Laurie Anderson.

“I always appreciated music that lent a helping hand and said, Hey, are you with me? Because I am with you,” Cook explains. “I hope I can do that for someone, somewhere. If Im lucky.” His music offers listeners an invitation to experience his strength, his sensitivity, and his claim at the crossroads of cultural contradictions and to feel welcome there themselves.

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