We’re The Urban Renewal Project, an LA-based band playing an original blend of hip-hop, soul, and jazz, featuring a singer (Alex Nester), two rappers (Elmer Demond and Slim da Reazon) and a big band horn section.
How would you describe your musical style?
Brass, bars, and beats.
This collective has 16 people in it. How do you work together to make sure everything flows properly?
Very carefully… It is a lot of work, but in all honesty, we have an incredibly solid crew of people and our numbers have never been a major obstacle.
How does the group dynamic change when people leave and join the group?
We’ve been very fortunate that we haven’t had a major departure in a few years. The biggest change we’ve made lately was adding a second rapper Slim da Reazon last year. He tagged along with us to SXSW back in 2018, and we all fell in love with the energy he brought to the group.
You’ve just released a new single called “Shake Those Hips”. What can you tell us about this song?
It’s equal parts school spirit and party anthem. We hope it will be the song of the summer for everyone that listens to it!
You’ll also be releasing a new EP later this year called, “Love, Glory, Duty, Death”. What can audiences expect when this set of songs drops?
We’ve already released another single from the EP called Red Eye (available on all platforms). You can expect a bunch more heavy-hitting hip-hop bangers.
Do you have any live shows coming up?
We have a bunch of dates on the West Coast of the U.S. this summer.
Saturday, June 8 – Pasadena Block Party (Pasadena, CA)
Friday, June 21 – Tooth & Nail Winery (Paso Robles, CA)
Friday, July 19 – TGIF Concerts in the Park (Carlsbad, CA)
Friday, August 9 – San Jose Jazz Summer Fest – Main Stage (San Jose, CA)
Saturday, August 10 – Neck of the Woods (San Francisco, CA)
Sunday, August 11 – Carson City Jazz & Beyond Festival (Carson City, NV)
What’s the live experience like?
It’s a high-energy barrage for the senses. Prepare to have your face melted by our bass trombone player Robert and your mind blown by a freestyle verse from Elmer.
What advice would you have for aspiring musicians?
Keep your head down. You never know if your big break is just around the corner.
What are your lives like outside of URP?
We all have free-lance or solo careers outside the band, so we keep ourselves busy making music around Los Angeles during the rest of the year.