This artist will never quit music because of how much time he's put into it
Hailing from Richmond, Wayne Barnes, a senior at the College, embarked on a remarkable journey that began with a fascination for violin strings in sixth grade. Over time, through friendships and mentorship, Barnes' passion for music transformed into creating his own. His rapid mastery of music production gained him a loyal fanbase on campus and led to incredible achievements, such as opening for Trippie Redd at the John Paul Jones Arena.
At sixteen, with his cousin's guidance, Barnes — better known as 4C Wayve — traded his violin for his voice, producing a beat and composing a song in a single day. His cousin's encouragement laid the groundwork for Wayve to release his music publicly. Nonetheless, he was determined to attend higher education.
Wayve explained that he knew he couldn't go directly to university due to financial constraints. He and his mother agreed that he would attend community college for two years before transferring to a university for the remaining two. Wayve attended John Tyler Community College, completed the necessary transfer requirements, and enrolled at the University in fall 2019.
Like many undergraduates, Wayve initially struggled to adapt to his new environment. He found his place through student organizations on campus, performing at events hosted by the Black Student Alliance and the Ethiopian Eritrean Student Association. However, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted his plans, forcing him to become a part-time student while caring for his family as his mother worked as a travel nurse.
During the pandemic, Wayve forged lasting friendships with fellow University students. Upon returning as a full-time student, he continued to cherish and maintain these connections, some of whom even join him on stage during performances.
Wayve draws motivation from his late childhood best friend, Chumpy, who passed away in middle school. He chose the stage name 4C — "For Chumpy" — to honor his friend, who wore the number four on his jerseys. Wayve continued to build relationships with University faculty and students to further his music career.
One such student, Elie Bashkow, collaborated with Wayve despite not releasing songs together. Bashkow appreciated the positive environment when working with Wayve, where everyone felt comfortable taking creative risks.
Wayve and Bashkow both faced the challenge of balancing being full-time students and artists. However, Wayve remained focused on his primary goal: obtaining his degree. He sought harmony between his dual identities, and faculty members like Professors Lise Dobrin and A.D. Carson supported both his academic and artistic pursuits.
Wayve expressed his gratitude for the support and resources provided by the University, repaying the favor by entertaining students at various events. Recently, he participated in a University Programs Council event, winning a social media vote to open for renowned artist Trippie Redd.
After graduating from college, Wayve wasted no time and dropped his latest single, "Days Gone." The song showcases his growth as an artist and highlights the impact his experiences at the University have had on him.
With graduation behind him, Wayve feels a mix of emotions. While his classmates will venture into the professional world, the melodic rapper has already made his mark on campus. Although Wayve is open to working in traditional jobs, his heart lies with music.
Wayve dreams of working in major cities like Atlanta, Los Angeles, or New York City, but remains grateful for his time in Charlottesville. Performances with student associations and local events made him a beloved figure. His connections with esteemed professors and popularity among students left an indelible impact on the University. Through determination and hard work, Wayve turned his dreams into reality during his University years.
Check out the music video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmE1zNB3F7Q