“We don’t look at any outside acts for inspiration. We inspire each other to get better, and we wanted to make music with each other since we were real friends.” -Donni Fresco
Recently, I had a chance to chat with South Jersey Hip-Hop and R&B group Vars City about their latest music, recent tour, and overall dynamism of the clique. Vars City is a collective of three talented men who came together through friendship, for the common love of music. Donni Fresco, Von Bruce, and Don Wonder united their different backgrounds and became a powerhouse on a mission. From making major moves like performing in Hot 97’s Who’s Next? Showcase, to being featured on Revolt.com, the guys are now rocking shows on their very own tour across the east coast. Hailing from a place where there’s constantly No Love in The City, Vars City has proved that when it comes to their success, there are no limitations that will keep them from it. With all the madness going on with shows and promotion, I was able to get some of their busy time to chat.
Check out my interview with the guys of Vars City below.
Vars City? Interesting name, where did it come from?
Don Wonder– The name Vars City actually came from our original name, Vars Academy. We eventually started to feel like we were outgrowing that name and we had started saying Vars City in a song and it sounded dope so it stuck
Where is Vars City hailing from?
Don Wonder– We’re from Jersey. Specifically, the 609, South Jersey region.
How did you guys come together?
Von Bruce- We went to high school together and lived on the same street so it was only right that we made music together too.
In today’s music, no one really has one sound any more. What would you guys describe your “sound” to be like?
Donni Fresco– We’d describe our sound as a mixture of Hip-hop and R&B. It has a melodic feel to it that’s really easy to vibe to.
I saw that you guys were on the Hot 97 WHO’s NEXT? Showcase. How did Vars City get to be a part of that?
Don Wonder– That came from Scottie Beam hearing our music and rocking with it. We sent a few songs to her for her “Scottie Feedback” series. At the time she had Naomi Zeichner & Lakin Imani from The Fader & Mikey Fresh from Vibe & Miss Info with her as guests.
Donni Fresco– They all cosigned and really rocked with the music and then she said she was thinking about having us for the show. We really ain’t think anything of it until she reached out to us.
Von Bruce– Yea it was a really dope experience, that we’re glad we were a part of.
You have big names watching your moves like Hot 97, Revolt…what did it mean for you guys to have Revolt curate an audio premier for you on their website?
Von Bruce– It kind of validates all the hard work we put in but it lets us know that we still have some ways to go.
You guys have just dropped your debut project, ‘No Love in The City.’ Does that title stem from a deeper feeling about where you are from?
Donni Fresco– Yeah it does. It comes from feeling like no one from your area is really behind you, at all. So you just gotta block them out, focus on yourself, family and close friends.
How do you guys handle negativity from people who may not necessarily like your music, or are hating on your success?
Von Bruce– We’re not really thinking about that. Everybody has their own opinions. We’re just focused on making what we think is the best music possible.
Being a group of unique individuals, how does each member maintain their individuality, while representing the group as a whole?
Von Bruce- The goal is always to push that Vars City brand first, but we’re all unique individuals who bring a different and distinct vibe to the group.
Don Wonder– And I think us as individuals have no problem with letting one person shine, because it’ll only end up making the group better in the long run.
We haven’t seen too many male groups lately in the music industry. Who are you guys’ inspirations? What made you want to be a group?
Donni Fresco– We don’t look at any outside acts for inspiration. We inspire each other to get better, and we wanted to make music with each other since we were real friends.
I saw that you guys have recently started a tour to promote ‘No Love in The City’ How was the first show in Philly? Where to next?
Von Bruce– The Philly show was dope. It was the first time we got to perform a lot of those songs and it was dope seeing the crowd have such great energy. We have another show in Philly on the July 2nd.
What is next for Vars City?
Von Bruce– More visuals, more music. Just expect a lot of content coming soon.
Lastly, If you guys could drop any gems for our viewers at AAHipHop, what would it be?
Donni Fresco– NLITC Available everywhere. Go get that!