By Lauren Robinson A.K.A Nobody’s Millennium
Brent Faiyaz was born Christopher Brent Wood on September 19, 1995. Not a lot can be found online about his early childhood, but through his music he stylistically and poetically frames the type of household he grew up in and the type of child he was. Tracks like “Home” and “Gang Over Luv” explain the harsh relationship he had with his mother in relation to school. “Gang Over Luv” explains where his priorities were at that time in his life. Lyrics like, “I remember we would cut class, my teachers used to hate me/ The only reason that I did that was to keep from goin’ crazy/ I didn’t give a damn ’bout my grades/ That’s probably why we failed the ninth grade/ Me and my dawg, like it or not, we came out okay,” from “Gang Over Luv” put that into perspective.
Faiyaz started his career by uploading his music onto SoundCloud in 2014 after moving from Columbia, Maryland to Charlotte, North Carolina and finally settling in Los Angeles, California to advance his music career. On January 19, 2015, Faiyaz released his debut single “Allure”. Then on June 1, 2016, he released “Invite Me”, as the lead single for his upcoming debut EP. On his 21st birthday he released his debut project, A.M. Paradox. They received a lot of positive reviews, which is deserved, because it showed Fayiaz’s musical ability through tracks like “No One Knows” where he discretely samples Wayne Wonder’s smash hit, “No Letting Go.” Also, his song “Poison” shows his vocal range reaching to very high notes, possibly not heard within popular R&B music since Miguel’s Kaleidoscope Dreams.
In 2016, Faiyaz also formed the group Sonder with producers Dpat and Atu. In 2017, the group released their EP, Sonder Son, which featured tracks like “Home” and “Gang Over Luv.” Major success came to Faiyaz on the Goldlink song “Crew” which also featured rapper Shy Glizzy. The song not only hit 45 on the U.S. charts and 15 on the U.S. Hip hop and R&B charts but got nominated at the 2018 Grammy’s for Best Rap/Sung Performance.
Fayiaz’s style is highly influenced by the 90s and early 2000s R&B/ Hip Hop scene with tracks like “Talk to U” sounding vaguely close to Rodney Jerkins’ “Say My Name” bridge sung by Destiny’s Child. In his music you can hear lyrics and vocals that are rimnate of Donell Jones and Tevin Campbell.
This past weekend, my friends and I were blessed to see him perform in Syracuse and he didn’t disappoint. I only wish he performed “No One Knows” but he performed “Crew” instead which I’ll take.