We can thank Twitter for Bryndon Cook's music career. Cook, the 2018 Eligible Bachelor who records as Starchild & the New Romantic, met Devonte Hynes (a.k.a. Blood Orange) eight years ago after the acclaimed artist tweeted out his email address. "People were real loose on Twitter back in 2010," Cook jokes.
He was 17 and living in Maryland when he sent Hynes some demos, and about a year later Hynes asked him to rap on a few of his tracks; they've been friends since. Then, while studying acting at New York's SUNY Purchase, Cook answered a Twitter call for submissions from Chairlift's Patrick Wimberly. They began recording together, and one day Cook found himself sitting in on Wimberly's session with Solange, who would ultimately recruit Cook to play bass on her revelatory 2016 album, A Seat at the Table, and serve as a musical director and band leader for its tour.
Cook has been backing up the singer for the past six years, but with his today's full-length debut album Language, he's finally stepping out on his own. Inspired by Prince's 1999, Janet Jackson's Control, and early Terence Trent D'Arby, the funk-filled LP is an expression of Cook's "immense respect for and dedication to the craft of black art and music." And like the pop and R&B greats who've inspired him, he has lofty ambitions for his work.
"I want this to be a declaration of what black boys can be," he says, "what we can sound like, what influences we can draw from, and how serious we can take ourselves or not."