Nathan Conniry is hoping his newest album is the breakthrough effort that will propel him forward, providing him recognition as a serious hip-hop musician.
And Conniry, 25, believes his recently released online album, "Necro Three Romeo's Wait," is just the vehicle and that it's his time to go viral.
"I'm really excited about it," he said. "There's some really good songs on it. I have three rock songs on it."
A former Sherwood resident who graduated from Sherwood High School in 2009, this is Conniry's third album, a follow-up to his previous albums, "Necro One Romeo's Theme" and "Necro 2 Romeo's Fall." So far all have been dedicated to his musical muse, Taylor Swift.
"My first hit song on my first album would be 'Juliet,'" said Conniry, who often sings under the name Romeo. "Most of my stuff is hip-hop, rap, R-and-B and rock."
And to date, all his albums have Christian themes that are G- or PG-rated.
"I don't swear in any of my music," he said. "God is everything for me."
To stress his point about his music, Conniry points out that the most popular song on his sophomore album was "Syko," which the singer describes as an almost mocking jab at artists who try make hip-hop vulgar.
He added, however, that some listeners might find some of his themes intimating or gory. Some fans, too, think his focus should remain more on God than on the secular world and an email from one woman told him just that.
He, however, says that he has written as much as he possibly can related to his relationship with the Almighty.
Regardless of feedback, his music has gained a loyal following to date.
"People from all over the world are listening to my Reverbnation page," he said of a popular online music platform, where he has 21,000 followers. "I was ranked No. 1 there for a really long time."
He also has a large number of fans on Soundcloud as well, and promotes his songs through social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Reddit.
In addition to "Syko," "Necro 2" also contains a standout song with his version of The Band Perry's "If I Die Young," a mashup effort where he takes the band's music — along with some instrumental hip-hop — and adds two new verses.
He said he's "surprised it hasn't gotten more recognition" given the fact he added a love and spiritual dimension in his verses. He even gave Kimberly Perry, the band's lead singer, a heads up about the mash-up's existence.
"I put a link to her page but who knows if she saw it," he said.
Inspired by the rock influences of Sum 41, Billy Talent and Escape the Fate, Conniry said friends who are familiar with the music business say they believe any of the three rock songs on the new album could be hits and fans are listening to it as well.
"Yeah I have received a lot of feedback on it," he said. "I even gained 1,000-plus fans on my Facebook page."
Since his first three albums have been dedicated to Swift, he anticipates the same for his fourth album, "Necro 4 Romeo's Wonder," and is hoping for a reaction from Swift.
"I want her to see what she says," he said.
While he knows that he's sticking his head out by making music dedicated to Swift, he makes no excuses, saying he's not embarrassed in the least.
"I don't want to make it out like I'm obsessed with her," he said.
And just to prove his Taylor Swift crush is lighthearted, he has uploaded a tongue-in-cheek Youtube video called "Taylor I'd Catch Knives for You!" featuring Conniry flipping a kitchen steak knife, working his way to bigger and bigger knives as Swift's "Love Story" plays in the background.
In addition to hoping he becomes a virtual sensation, Conniry hopes he's soon standing on the threshold of some type of monetary compensation for his past and future musical creations.
While he would need to get permission from the instrumentalists on his newest album in order to sell his music, he thinks he can accomplish that on his next album, ideally being in a position to purchase his own backing instrumental tracks.
Still, it isn't only his online music that fans find appealing.
"I do shows as much as I can," he said. "I played at the (Bossanova Ballroom). Amazing show."
He opened for a rock/reggae headlining band in a packed venue.
"I went up there and played five songs," he recalled about the gig, which occurred two or three years ago. "It went very well."
He also has performed at Portland's Hawthorne Theatre.
In addition, he's done at least one street performance where he joined a homeless man playing the guitar in downtown Portland.
"Some (guy) in a suit heard it and threw in a $40 tip," he said. "I thought it was cool."
Conniry let the street musician keep the tip.
But his life hasn't been solely dedicated to being a singer. After high school, Conniry spent three years at George Fox studying psychology.
For now, Conniry is hoping for good things in the current year.
"I think I'm going to get way more fans," he said. "I'm shooting for 20,000 Facebook 'likes' this year."
So what's next for Conniry?
He wants to record both a country and pop song or two.
And if success happen, Conniry promises it won't go to his head.
"Nothing will change me," he said.
To listen to or download Conniry's music, visit soundcloud.com/nathan-conniry or nathanconniry.my-free.website/download-s