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Artist of the day: Enzo

Enzo 

The music of Enzo could be described as fringe-hop, a dreamy meld of mainstream hip-hop and indie-underground pop. His rhymes and slinky, ambient grooves get their inspiration from Lupe Fiasco, Q-Tip and Tupac Shakur with touches of K-OS.

The Wesley Chapel rapper's self-produced, 6-track CD To Whom It May Concern, is scheduled to release sometime around August. All of the songs are original; it’s not a mixtape. “Instead of taking the hip-hop approach, I took the indie approach to recording the CD,” he said.

LISTEN - Enzo, 'My Eyes'

You can check out Enzo at 8 p.m. Saturday at the annual Hot Dog Show at Crowbar in Ybor City, alongside Beardsley, Andy Matchett and the Minks and others. Tickets are $5.

After the jump, get Julie Garisto's full profile of Enzo...

Smoothly cutting edge: The music of Enzo, born Louis Junior, could be described as fringe-hop, a dreamy meld of mainstream hip-hop and indie-underground pop. His rhymes and slinky, ambient grooves get their inspiration from Lupe Fiasco, Q-Tip and Tupac Shakur with touches of K-OS.

Vitals: He’s 25, grew up in Michigan and lives in Wesley Chapel.

Forthcoming CD: His self-produced, 6-track CD To Whom It May Concern, is scheduled to release sometime around August. All of the songs are original; it’s not a mixtape. “Instead of taking the hip-hop approach, I took the indie approach to recording the CD,” he said.

Why the Italian nickname? A friend noticed he dug a certain Italian racing machine and named him after Enzo Ferrari, founder of the high-end sports car. When his first name in Italian is Luigi, Enzo laughed. “I played a lot of Mario Brothers growing up and I always liked Luigi better.”

Taking it easy and breezy: “I’m the most passive, calm person. I just try to write about what I know, my life experiences, having fun with friends — the best of times, the worst of times. … I like to write at night, when I have time, everything’s quiet and no one’s bothering me.”

Samples: Enzo snags snippets of Minus the Bear (My Eyes) and Thom Yorke (To Whom It May Concern).

His fans: He said he doesn’t have a strictly hip-hop following. “I get more acceptance from a broader audience.”

Hangouts: Social standbys include the All-Good Tuesdays at Crowbar and Filthy Richard Fridays at Czar. His partner, DJ Pittsburgh Kid, spins Fridays and Saturdays at Czar. “Night life in Tampa is pretty dope,” he said. People embrace you. It’s cool. … I go out a lot, like to party, but I like to be at home. Sometimes I just go away, disappear.”

Local favorites: The Basiqs, Dynasty.

Any stage fright? “No, weird enough. It’s because it’s what I really want to do. .. I love recording but I love more the immediate response of a live show.”

Day job? Not now. He used to work at Chase but said he grew tired of the double life and felt like Clark Kent, changing out of what he called a suit-and-tie disguise.

Enzo-lite: Three years ago Enzo lost 80 pounds, dropping from 240 to a slender 160. He said he didn’t exercise, just ate light meals and stopped snacking at night.

All-around creative: In addition to composing rhymes and mixes, Enzo draws, paints and cooks. “I can do photorealism. I like to do my own characters. … The first thing I drew was a Ninja Turtle.”

Hear him: Saturday at 8 p.m. with Beardsley, Andy Matchett and the Minks and others at the fourth annual Hot Dog Show at Crowbar in Ybor City. $5. 18 and older admitted.

-- Julie Garisto, tbt*

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 3:20pm]

    

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