SOLOMON – Shades of Black and The Love Rocker Project

In case you have been under a rock lately….

Born a Capricorn in San Diego, CA, Electronic Hip-Pop recording artist Solomon (born Solomon Raymond Barnett) began performing in numerous dance troupes and church choirs, where he grew a strong affinity towards sound and music. In 2008, Solomon began recording music with fellow artist Robbery, making the Hip-Hop duo, The Black Market.

Shortly going solo, Solomon released his first mixtape, Rhyting Rhymes Vol. 1, 2008, as an openly gay musician. Sparking mass interest, Solomon was part of a huge introduction of new out Hip-Hop rappers. Garnishing him multiple magazine interviews, shows and a guest on Eminem’s Sirius Radio’s Uncut Channel Shade45. In August 2008, he released the follow-up of his first mixtape, titled respectively, Rhyting Rhymes Vol. 2. The second mixtape slowly introduced a more mainstream Pop sound, with his crossover single, “Feelin’ Brand New.” After promoting the mixtape and doing shows, Solomon began working on a new project entitled, “Shades of Black.”

“Shades of Black” is Solomon’s first attempt at songwriting and producing. Taking eleven months to create, it also marks his departure from underground Hip-Hop to a genre he likes to call, Electronic Hip-Pop (Electronic production, Pop lyrics and a touch of Hip-Hop style). “People think that there is only one shade to the color black. But actually there are several shades.” Solomon describes the title of the EP. “My listeners and audience- and critics have tried to box me into something and label me into what is only a small portion of me. This is my time to show everyone all my layers. All my shades.”

Fueled by a difficult breakup and an even harder depression, the lyrics of “Shades of Black” convey the heartache of an unrequited love. While the lyrics are heartbreaking, the Electronic production fools the audience into thinking it is simply dance music. “For some odd reason it was very difficult for me to write anything happy during the songwriting process of this release,” Solomon explains. “There are some musicians who can easily turn it on and off, but it was inevitable, all my songs were very somber. So I decided to produce the music more upbeat to trick the listeners into thinking they were listening to the latest dance music. Something fun.” Influenced by an era in history that is long gone, Solomon takes you on a journey through the end of the Disco era into the late 1980’s early 1990’s. Recruiting producers from Miami, Australia and France, each track is a mixture of worldwide sounds, melodic tempos and an electronic baseline you cannot ignore. All the songs off the 7 track EP are written by Solomon himself, and produced or co-produced by him as well.

Photographer Renie Saliba lensed this  new promotional image  in anticipation of his upcoming sophomore CD, “The Love Rocker Project,” out in July 2010!

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