Deniro Farrar
Deniro Farrar is bounds away from your average. In a world consumed by the material, the 24-year-old rapper from North Carolina wishes only to speak the truth. A powerful resolve fuelled further by the positive response from those his offerings speak to.

One of his most recent releases, ‘Notice’ gave voice to hard working single mothers, the accompanying visuals showing a day in the life of a single mother juggling her kid, work and life in effort to make ends meet, chorus soothingly assuring ‘I just want you to know I notice.’ In short, it’s not really the kind of subject matter most rappers tend to concern themselves with. But then, Deniro Farrar is not your average kind of rapper.

“Even writing it I knew how powerful it was going to be. This is going to affect people on a different level; this ain’t no booty shaking song. This is a song that’s going to really touch women like, ‘Goddamn I can’t believe somebody made something like this!’” Deniro says of the track. And touch women it did. “I didn’t get one negative response from it!” he says, adding. “And we all know how people on the Internet can be.”

Naming his unique brand of music “cult rap”, Deniro explains that his style is, in essence, “music that plays on a listeners emotions, rather than flamboyant activity and materialistic things.” Supremely refreshing in a world that seems to thrive on the more blinging of aspects, tellingly, Farrar cites Tupac as his biggest influence.

But it appears almost by accident that the father-of-two succumbed to the mic. Compliments from friends he often didn’t fully take in eventually leading to a belief in himself. “I always wanted to rap but I never knew I could. Most of the time we would be high and I would start rapping and everybody was like ‘Yo you dope!’ but these my friends so I didn’t really think too much of it,” he explains. It was only when he started to gain more confidence and rap around others outside of his circle that he started to really build his confidence.

And the world is all the better for it. Deniro dropped a 31-track mixtape some four years ago, and has gone on to release at least one project every year since. So, perhaps it should come as no surprise that things are starting to pick up, and at a fast pace.

Pulling from his life situations, experiences and circumstances, Deniro explains how being “organic” is the most important thing; honesty and relatability the motive above all. “I don’t hide anything,” he says. “If I haven’t said it it’s probably because I haven’t experienced it yet. But as the experiences come I’m putting them in my rhymes, I ain’t holding back.”

But it’s not without nerves that Deniro airs his dirty laundry. “I said some shit in songs before that I’m like ‘Gaaah! I wonder how they’re gonna take this…” he explains, citing in particular a conversation he had with his mother who, having been addicted to drugs when Deniro was younger, is often the subject of his tracks. “She was like ‘You know I understand that you gotta make your music but I feel like you should put some of the positives like how I’ve recovered off the drugs,’” he explains. “Which I understand - no one wants to hear how they just fucked up on all the songs.”

Now, with two children from different mothers born just months apart, he’s got a whole dearth of new content to explore. “I have kids now so there’s different stuff for me to rap about,” he explains. “It definitely opened my eyes. I’m more conscious of the things that I do and say because I have kids now so I’m a role model to my children. I try and set a positive example through my music.”

When pushed further on the life lessons he hopes to pass down, he responds. “Just be you, that’s the biggest thing. I feel like everybody has this big identity crisis, people don’t know who they are so they try and be anything but themselves.” This, he explains, encompasses everything from the way we dress, what we think, to the music we make. “The music [today] is mirrored music,” he rants. “A hit record drops [and] next thing you know you’ve got 20/30 songs on the radio that sound just alike!”

But it’s with a clear head; untainted by celebrity and popular culture that Deniro navigates life. Coming to the inevitable subject of Robin Williams and his untimely suicide, which occurred just hours before our interview, Deniro launches into a monologue on how celebrities are, more often than not treated like super humans: “Priorities are fucked up, man. We’re being taught to prioritise people of status and just regular people don’t matter.”

If this were to change, he suggests people would be more able to relate across the board. “I feel we need more [realists] in the world. People are hailed to a certain status quo and then once they don’t meet expectations everyone’s like ‘Yo, you’re a fucking phony’ but it’s like… he put on his pants one leg at a time just like we do, you cut him he’s going to bleed! We need something that we can believe in, but in order for people to believe they have to be able to relate.”

Inevitably, though, success and fame often come hand in hand. This is not something that comes as a surprise to Deniro: “The bigger you are the more of a celebrity you are to people, but you don’t have to be a celebrity in a celebrity world. Most celebrities hang out with celebrities; they even lose their real friends over gaining these fake ass Hollywood friends - but that shit ain’t real. If you weren’t who you were they wouldn’t give a fuck about you.”

So, considering his strong distain for anything celebrity, how does he feel about the fact that his star is rising and, is he getting ready for what’s bound to come with it? “I’m already ready for it,” he says. “I deal with motherfuckers on a daily basis who act like we’re more than what we really are for the sake of the business. I understand it. You just gotta play it how it goes.”

Lucky he’s prepared, then, considering the fact the accolades keep rolling in. Having just signed a major label deal, Deniro is currently in the throes of touring and expanding his cult; and he doesn’t seem surprised or fazed in the least. “I feel like the universe is conspiring right now to make everything I want happen,” he says, “It’s [just] a matter of time.” After all, if both honesty and hard work are the purveyors of success, he’s got both in abundance.
Deniro Farrar
Deniro Farrar