Playing for Solange While Living in a Dorm


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Bryndon Cook, who lives in Brooklyn, is the musician behind Starchild & the New Romantic.

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Andre D. Wagner for The New York Times

Name Bryndon Cook

Age 23

Hometown Greenbelt, Md.

Now Lives In a four-bedroom apartment in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, with three roommates.

Claim to Fame Mr. Cook is the musician behind Starchild & the New Romantic, a funk-inspired R&B solo act that got its name from a George Clinton alter ego. He also played guitar on Solange Knowles’s 2013 tour when he was still a theater major at Purchase College. His two ambitions collided last year when he was asked to play with Ms. Knowles at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in the same week he had an acting showcase. He hustled and did both. After graduating, he signed with Ghostly International.

Big Break Growing up, Mr. Cook was a big fan of Dev Hynes, who performs under the name Blood Orange. While in college, he decided to reach out. “Being a 1992 kind of millennial, I know how to use the internet,” he said. “I found an email and I sent him some demos.” It took two years, but they finally met in 2012 at a Blood Orange show at 285 Kent in Brooklyn. The two hit it off, and a few months later, Blood Orange released a song, “Neptune,” featuring Mr. Cook rapping at the end.

Latest Project In March, he released “Crucial,” an eight-track EP he describes as “R&B escapism futurism.” He is to open for Nite Jewel at Baby’s All Right in Brooklyn on July 7.

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In March, Mr. Cook released “Crucial,” an eight-track EP he describes as “R&B escapism futurism.”

Credit
Andre D. Wagner for The New York Times

Next Thing He is working on a full-length album, “Language,” with the singer-songwriter Miles Anthony Benjamin Robinson. He also dreams of playing Tupac Shakur in a movie. “I tried to track down John Singleton, who’s making one,” said Mr. Cook, who shares with the late rapper a Maryland upbringing and theater background. “The list between me and him is just ridiculous, the similarities. The Venn diagram is nasty.”

Musical Journey In his teens and early 20s, Mr. Cook was focused on rap before finding his R&B-inflected sound. “I just couldn’t really write any verses any more,” he said. “Then, right when nothing was coming to me, I just started leaning into my older sensibilities, and those I think started to come more to life.”

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