Local Sounds is a series that highlights musical talent throughout NYU. The series culminates in a concert at the end of the semester featuring some of the artists that have been profiled. Keep checking back in with NYU Local for updates and new music. Who knows, maybe you’ll find your new favorite band before they’re big.
You’re looking for a rapper on campus. Where do you go? Tisch, probably. Steinhardt, maybe. A freshman boy’s dorm on a Friday night, definitely. But perhaps the last place you’d look is Stern, which would be your mistake. Yes, the school that has its own WiFi network also has its own rapper. His name is Orrin, and he’s ready for you to know him.
Orrin (last name Campbell), a Stern senior, already knows how his marketing degree is going to help his career. “Business is like a foundation, or like a lens through which you can look at the world. I think that helps me with branding myself,” he says when we meet up for coffee.
A born-and-raised New Yorker, Orrin owes a lot to the city he grew up in.
“I would say New York has influenced me. It’s super fast-paced. You take in all this stimulus and you try to respond to it creatively,” he says, “New York is an all-encompassing thing.”
It’s not just the city that inspires him, either. Upon coming to NYU, Orrin met Warren Wolfe, a Steinhardt student with whom Orrin collaborates regularly. The duo are currently working on a joint album that marries Orrin’s hip-hop with Wolfe’s vocals.
“I think having collaborators can be important. At least with our work, Warren has a certain viewpoint and I have a certain viewpoint and we’re both very specific,” he explains, “So, finding the middle-ground is, I feel like, ultimately a better work than if we were to do something individually.”
We almost didn’t have Orrin here at NYU, he had the option to go to school up north, but the desire to collaborate brought him downtown.
“I originally got into Columbia, but I knew NYU would be the creative school for me where I could meet like-minded people.”
In addition to his collaboration with Wolfe, Orrin is dropping his own EP some time in November that will be more strictly hip-hop and R&B. When I ask him what music he’s digging right now, I’m expecting to hear names like Lil Yachty, 21 Savage, or Kodak Black.
He scrolls through his Spotify before responding.
“Björk,” he says as if it’s the most obvious thing in the world. “She’s, like, goals, her and Radiohead. In terms of instrumentation and just like the detail and just, everything. The way that they say things. I don’t know what Radiohead song it was, but [Thom Yorke] said, ‘I’d much rather stay inside and be sad all day than go outside.’ I just fuck with it.” I tried looking this Radiohead song up later, and came to the conclusion that Orrin could have been talking about 90% of Radiohead songs. Suffice it to say, he digs it.
Something pops into Orrin’s head.
“My biggest influence is SpaceGhostPurrp,” he says.
“Space ghost what?” I ask.
“Perp, like, perpetrator?”
“No, purrp like purple kush. That’s like Dad,” he explains, taking my pen and writing it down in my notebook for me.
“He’s just like this dark, evil, brooding dude from Florida. He was all about, ‘There’s negativitiy in the world, but you can’t do anything about it.’ And his attitude towards it was ‘Fuck that shit,’” he explains to me, “I’m all about elevating yourself, elevating you brain.”
In true millennial fashion, Orrin is not trying to limit himself to just music. When Tyler, The Creator’s foray in to fashion comes up in conversation, Orrin can barely contain himself.
“That’s basically what I’m trying to do. I applaud him with two hands and three emojis. I think he’s dope. I think his clothing is dope, I think his vision is dope. I think that people will come to recognize him as a creative force within the next couple years if they don’t already.”
A creative force is maybe the only way to describe what Orrin wants to be when he grows up. In addition to creating music, he interns at Luar Zepol, the menswear label that made a splash at fashion week and is being worn by artists like Future. He’s designing a series of Orrin t-shirts with his logo on the breastplate. He’s developing an app that would allow users to bump their phones and immediately trade all of their social media contacts. He’s a dude with a lot of ideas and opinions, and he’s got a couple for streaming services.
“Apple’s just hella corporate. They’re just paying people to fuck up Spotify,” he states plainly. Then the Stern kid comes out, “I think Spotify could do more things to increase their market share. They could make a Do-It-Yourself artist platform, where artists can just upload their own music. It would be a different section from the official Spotify.”
After he says this, I realize that I’m shocked it doesn’t already exist. Orrin’s ahead of the curve, he’s methodical, he knows what he wants and he’s ready to get it.
Listen to Orrin’s latest song “Shiiit” below.
[Image via Facebook]