Grounded and inward-looking rapper/producer HappyBirthdayCalvin emerged from the Chicago underground with a series of 2019 recordings, most notably "No Friends" and "Kari's Song (Long Way from Home)," the latter of which boosted his profile by appearing in the film <I>Beats.
HappyBirthdayCalvin, born Calvin Holmes, started writing rhymes as a youngster and in his early teens got into producing music with a digital audio workstation. While attending the Chicago High School for the Arts, his SoundCloud uploads impressed William "Lpeezy" Jones, a local recording facility owner behind the At the Studio label. Signed to ATS with support provided by a deal with L.A. Reid's Hitco Entertainment, Calvin issued his first commercial recordings in 2019. They included the three-track No Friends EP, trailed by a G Herbo-assisted remix of the title track, the reflective "Kari's Song (Long Way from Home)," and "Alone." "Kari's Song," produced by Rex Rideout and Timothy Bullock for the soundtrack of the Chicago-set drama <I>Beats, instantly expanded the artist's audience. ~ Andy Kellman, Rovi
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