Nyraine Santiago, better known as Nyraine, is an MC born and raised in Har-lem, New York City, who released his debut album entitled Poetic, on January 24, 2010. He is also a member of the group, 7Set, which includes Omnipotent, Scarcity and Life.
Childhood and Early Years…
Nyraine is the son of Steven Santiago and Nanette Sanchez-Velasquez and is of Puerto Rican, Chinese and African-American descent. From his earliest years he was known to be enamored by poetry and would spend hours para-phrasing stanzas of poems learned and inventing his own works. Influenced by Hip Hop music greatly, admiring and studying favorite MCs Nas, LL Cool J and Rakim among many, the vast majority of his poems were written in rhyme format.
Nyraine’s first musical forays began at the early age of 11. He became a featured vocalist with the New York Boys Choir with whom he toured throughout America and the world. A major performance was at the Billboard Music Awards in 1995 as they sang chorus on Coolio’s live telecast performance of “Gangsta’s Paradise” along with Stevie Wonder and LV. The Choir work was intense and would entail five hour training days for members and as a fea-tured vocalist, Nyraine would often be coached for three hours extra, five days a week.
As Nyraine reached the age of fourteen, his voice began to mature and he was no longer able to hit particular notes. Dissatisfied with this, Nyraine began to focus on MCing, writing more lyrics, spending time constructing songs in recording studios and scouring the New York boroughs challenging and showcasing his talents with anyone who would listen. By 1999, at the age of 17, Nyraine was shopping his demo and had begun to work with his first man-ager, who was knowledgeable of many connections. At this time, he formed bonds with his 7Set group members as they spent many hours studying the spiritual lessons and teachings of the Nation of God and Earth.
As the difficulties of securing a record deal and life sustaining finances increased, Nyraine became regrettably en-thralled in criminal activities and was forced to serve a stint in prison. Unproductive the next three to four years, Nyraine wrote little and his musical career began to deteriorate. However, new vigor was instilled once he gained his freedom in early 2005 as he began to secure studio time and record new songs. Greatly inspired by his muse, Queen Happiness (Denisha Rose McDuffy), Nyraine would begin to construct the early fragments of his debut al-bum.
By 2007, after a respectful rise in notoriety with more live shows performed, Nyraine had gone through many man-agers, deals gone sour and amassed many songs. He would eventually rid himself of his currently inept manager and attain the services and support of Emma Z.Ramos, the founder and Editor-In-Chief of E2K Magazine. Well respected and deeply affiliated throughout the urban music industry, Ramos would help push Nyraine’s visibility and profile the next three years. Although she is no longer his manager, their strong friendship continues. He is cur-rently teamed up with Lorean Valentin from Luna Management Firm as his Executive Manager and his Old Earth as part of his management team.
As the end of 2009 approached, Nyraine had the building blocks of his Poetic album when his professed soulmate, Happiness, was murdered tragically. From then on, he has offered his career’s work in homage to her mem-ory. After a hectic month of recording and mastering, Poetic was ready for release for the January 16th fundraiser the next year for Mc Duffy’s tombstone. Poetic is a ten track album that begins with commercially viable love songs, sways into intimate portraits of the rearing of his craft, the love for his mother and rounded out with a bevy of lyri-cal battle tracks and detailed self portrait songs. The critically acclaimed album has slowly made its rounds in the underground community and received the attention of many interested industry executives and media sources.
Nyraine’s MCing is characterized by a very smooth raspy, yet airy voice, with a deliberately articulated texture and clever lyricism. His delivery often contains punctuated pacing and select pausing that relates an intimate na-ture. Often, his live performances are accentuated by this close attention to the audience. While his music ranges from more R&B tinged material of a commercial appeal with an expressive thematic content of love and relation-ships, he has an overbearing talent for lyrically detailed battle verses and esoteric and spiritual content as well.