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Velvet Negroni, aka Jeremy Nutzman, on stage at Eaux Claires 2018. / Aaron Lavinsky, Star Tribune

Velvet Negroni, aka Jeremy Nutzman, on stage at Eaux Claires 2018. / Aaron Lavinsky, Star Tribune

After earning a credit on the new Kanye West and Kid Cudi album and joining Bon Iver on tour earlier this year, Twin Cities singer/rapper/odd-duck Velvet Negroni is gaining national momentum.

The real-life Jeremy Nutzman -- who previously performed under the monikers Spyder Baby and Pony Bwoy and won the inaugural Vita.mn/Star Tribune-sponsored Are You Local? contest in 2012 with Bight Club -- debuted a new single today to begin the roll-out for a new deal with burgeoning label b4 Sounds.

Titled “First Time,” the willowy, windchime-flavored experimental R&B track was produced by Nutzman’s longtime local cohorts Psymun (of Stand4rd notoriety) and Elliott Kozel (known from Ticket Torture and the Lizzo/Caroline Smith hit “Let ‘Em Say”). It features a velvety bass line by Sir Dylan (who’s made music for the Weeknd and Fox-TV’s “Empire”).

West and Cudi used a loop of Velvet Negroni’s 2017 song “Waves” in “Feel the Love,” the opening track of their new collaborative album “Kids See Ghosts,” a song also featuring the unmistakable spaz-rap of Pusha-T. West’s pal Justin Vernon of Bon Iver fame – who has repeatedly enlisted Negroni/Nutzman to perform in his Eaux Claires festivals and other projets -- recounted how the "Waves" sample came about in a June tweet: “I was in the room playing parts of it on the sampler," Vernon wrote. "Kanye heard it and exploded and music was reborn.”

At least Nutzman himself had another rebirth of sorts, which should get very interesting going forward.