Written by: Artemis Reign of Houston TREND
Three things are synonymous with success; dedication, sacrifice and achievement and for Denaron Babineaux, a native of Houston’s North side, these things are what have driven him to become the artist that he is today.
Realizing his musical abilities at the age of 12, Denaron sang R. Kelly’s “Sadie” to his mother and that was all she wrote. The match was sparked that has since ignited the R&B fire in his soul and there has been no containing it. Remembering his father listening to artists like Sam Cook and Maze while he listened to the likes of Mint Condition, Usher, and Luther Vandross, Denaron has acquired an eclectic style that has transformed his voice into a perfect mix of what once was and what R&B has yet to become.
While attending Eisenhower High School, Denaron participated in a talent show to give his peers a peek at the talent he was blessed with. Turning to a personal favorite, he decided to sing “Nice and Slow” by Usher. Much to their surprise, the guy that was always known as the jokester around school put on a show that they would not soon forget. Wowing the audience, Denaron added, “After the show, many of my friends and classmates came up to me and congratulated me on the great job that I did. Even after graduation, I would have people come up to me that remembered me from that talent show. It felt good knowing I left a lasting impression on them.”
Upon graduating, Denaron decided to become more serious about his craft, but stepping out into the music game on his own proved to be a difficult task that placed a shroud of doubt over the faith that he had in himself. He recalls, “I was concerned because I was in it by myself. I had heard stories from other artists about unsuccessful shows, mismanagement, and financial corruption that caused me to back away from my pursuit of the music career I so desperately wanted.” But he would not be defeated. Denaron relied on encouragement and his faith to help get him back on track.
Stepping out with a more positive mindset, Denaron knew that despite the stories that he heard, the only way to learn about the music industry was through personal experience. He confidently stated, “I knew I had to pay my dues, so to speak, that I had a lot to learn and a lot to invest financially. Deep down I hoped that my story wouldn’t play out like the others I heard in the past and I knew the only way for me to find out was to actually get out there and do it.”
During the initial phase of the relaunch of his career, Denaron thought it best if he invested more time in the studio. He began recording music like crazy and with the help of a newly acquired manager, he was able to produce his first mixtape, Slow Floating, containing several original songs and artist features as well. Relying on distribution and promotion mainly on his side of town, Denaron was able to make headway with his freshman production.
After a growing buzz from his mixtape and promotional work by he and his manager, Denaron was able to secure appearances at weddings, talent shows, recitals, and smaller venues mainly located in his area. But as much as an accomplishment as this was, Denaron felt he still could be doing so much more and contributed much of the lack of progress to his manager who he felt was more focused on night life and socializing than the betterment of his career.
At that point, Denaron decided that he would go back to managing his career on his own. He continued to make music, but decided not to keep up the hectic recording schedule as he had before. Within two years, he produced his second mixtape, Slow Floating, Volume 2, upon the completion of this mixtape, Denaron still used his traditional methods for promotion, but also decided to take to the new social networking site, MySpace to give his music an additional distribution platform.
After the release of his second mixtape and increasing familiarity around the city, Denaron was performing, not only in Houston, but Chicago, St. Louis, Louisiana, and New York as well. He was also being featured on other artist’s albums and within just about as much time as it took for his sophomore release, Denaron found himself releasing his current project, Romance In The Fast Lane.
“I sing about the average young man and the experiences he goes through. The title for my current project came from the idea that most men want romance, BUT they also want to live in the fast lane, they want freedom and choices, but at the end of the day, they also want that one woman that they can give the world to. Instead of making it sound like a bad thing, I make it a seductive adventure. I also sing about the things that women may want, but might not have the courage to tell their significant other.”
Inspired by artists like Muisq Soulchild, Anthony Hamilton, John Legend and of course Usher, Denaron describes his music style as “Grown and Sexy” and is grateful for its progression and the ability to share it with the city of Houston and abroad. But because Denaron feels that R&B in Houston is lacking the audience It deserves, he says, “Houston is concentrated on underground rap. I’m a BIG fan, but there’s an oversaturation of it here and because of that, R&B isn’t able to shine through. We need to get together and bring a well deserved light to the R&B scene in Houston.”
Despite the struggles to break past the wall of underground rap, he attributes his accomplishments to his determination and the life lessons he’s learned along the way. “Professionalism, work ethic, communication and a business mind are all what have helped me get where I am today. And it’s what keeps me pushing forward towards what’s next.”
And what’s next for Denaron? More of the same that has taken him in the direction of success, but also, as expected, he is working on, Romance In The Fast Lane, Volume 2. Maintaining the grown and sexy vibe, but with more ballads and original music. Reluctant to say too much he admitted, “Its gonna be HOT! Taking grown and sexy to another level!” And with plans to conquer the Houston market and beyond, there’s no telling what lies ahead for Denaron, but one thing’s for sure. He’s living in the fast lane and there’s no slowing down.