As a self-described “shape-shifter,” NRB has learned to prioritize the emotion in her delivery. “Chasing Dreams” reveals a dignity and maturation that only contemplation can provide. “It’s more reflective of where I am in life — the anger and the rage,” the Morgan State University student explains, alluding to her trials and the changes forced upon her amid a global pandemic.
“Quarantine gave me the opportunity to sit still and build systems for myself,” she says, and her newest work is the result of that discipline. This past July, NRB debuted “Quarantine Queen” on YouTube, a vlog series she describes as an “opportunity to be more personal” with her supporters. Through a series of video vignettes, viewers share in the ephemeral moments of NRB’s day-to-day life as she rehearses music and choreography with her bandmates, enjoys the Baltimore city skyline, and laughs with friends as they play the dozens on a neighborhood sidewalk. The second season premieres this week.
To date, NRB has collaborated with an array of DMV and Baltimore-based creatives. Reem Unknown, a prominent producer in Baltimore’s DIY arts community, contributed slinking jazz to the “Quarantine Queen” series premiere. In October, NRB also teamed with Baltimore-based African wax fabric company Powerful Omni to release a limited-edition line of satin headwraps under such ethereal names as “Bounce Back Blue” — a reference to “Chasing Dreams” lyrics in which she says, “Burned out/bounce back, twice over but it’s still blood running through my veins.”
The new year promises new adventures for the ever-changing NRB. “After a year of solo projects, I have space to explore being a team player and helping to create worlds that I’m not as intensely attached to and that [are] fun and creative,” she says. It doesn’t matter if she next finds herself designing sets for her friends’ music videos or forming a band — NRB both embraces change and relies on its inevitability to guide her passage through space and time.
The single “Chasing Dreams” is available on all streaming platforms. Season 2 of “Quarantine Queen” premieres Feb. 19. Keep up with NRB at nrbexperience.com.