Urban Renewal Project brings musical fusion to concert series
August 9, 2018
The Urban Renewal Project brings its fusion of jazz, soul, hip-hop and R&B to Carson City this Saturday as part of the Levitt AMP Concert Series hosted by the Brewery Arts Center.
The blend of genres gives the band a dynamic, unique sound. It was the vision of band leader R.W. Enoch wanted when he created the project in 2010.
"It's a gumbo situation the way things are mixed up," rapper Elmer Demond said. "It's about the bandleader, R.W. Enoch. It's very so his band — he had a vision of what he wanted."
Demond said when Enoch moved to Los Angeles, he had big network of musicians to work with, and that is how everyone linked together.
Urban Renewal Project prides itself on live instruments. The full presentation contains 15-16 members, but on the road they still travel fully armed with a baker's dozen of musicians. With all the different tools on stage, the music is perfect for live performance, says Demond.
"You get a full body experience — especially when it comes to the show," he said. "You're gonna hear the thickness of the brass; the swing and the popping of the rhythm section."
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Traveling with such a big group seems like it could be a hassle, but Demond says they have a great time together.
"The biggest thing I like about it is that we all have fun," he said. "We all vibe. It's a good group to travel with."
The vocals are a team as well, with Demond rapping, along with a singer and another vocalist. They all share the stage to work together to create their sound.
"It's very organic," Demond said. "We know who's doing what before the show starts. You kind of just fill in after that."
The lyrics are meaningful as well.
"It's not just making up fluff and fluff," he said. "There's nothing that's just there for filler. It's all written with purpose.
Urban Renewal Project is familiar to the Carson City crowd. They've played here twice before.
"It's always fun," Demond said. "Carson City is always very nice, warm and welcoming."
He said the band's success comes from having a good time when they play and the love for what they do. And they'll keep doing what works.
"We look at it like there's a series of responsibilities — ours is to entertain and the crowd's is to allow themselves to be entertained," he said. "We used to have to find our way with that equation. Now it's a tight show. We are a group of professionals, and this is what we love to do. It's not a hobby, it's not something we think is cool, it's what we love to do."