North Carolina artist Kourvioisier dropped his album “No Drive” back in April with his producer and high school friend Dre Rubio. The album was a cohesive mix of underground sounds and samples with more timely sounds. It doesn’t sound forced or manufactured but natural and varied. I got a chance to sit down and talk with Kourvioisier about the motivation behind the album and the approach him and Dre Rubio took to this LP.
Dead End Hip Hop: For those who are somehow still sleeping, let everyone know who Kourvioisier is?
Kourvioisier: Kourvioisier is an artist from Durham, NC who makes one a hell of sandwich. Maybe not the sandwich part, but an artist worth paying attention to haha.
DEHH: How did you get to into hip-hop?
Kourvioisier: My introduction to hip-hop was an annoying one haha. My stepfather had his turntables set up in my room, so I pretty much had to live through these jam sessions. I appreciated those sessions, because I would record them from my karaoke radio and bootleg the music now that I think about it haha. One of the earliest records I can recall standing out was Rakim’s I Know You Got Soul.
DEHH: Now let’s jump into the music, you’ve invested a lot into this project you did with Dre Rubio called “No Drive”, what was the motivation behind the record?
Kourvioisier: The motivation behind “No Drive” was honestly to quit music. I was in a dark place and I wanted to speak my peace on a variety of subjects. The artist life is a challenging path and it’s never a balance with your real life. No Drive was about not having motivation, but still finding a way to steer through life (no pun). The last meaning is for alllllll my people who have car troubles. The struggle car can be very humbling.
DEHH: A rarity these days are the one producer, one emcee albums, how did you and Dre Rubio hookup and what inspired this approach to the album?
Kourvioisier: Dre and I went to middle and high school together. We connected when we were in college and he had a goal to produce. A couple beats later and by that I mean many, he grew into well-rounded producer. Dre and I wanted people to have a project to ride to even through the darkest of subject matter. Sometimes I’d pick the record or sometimes he’d pick one.
DEHH: Furthermore, usually with the one producer, one emcee albums tend to have an underground stigma attached to it, but for “No Drive” you were able to grab and blend a plethora of sounds for this, talk to me a bit about that.
Kourvioisier: Dre and I wanted the sound to have a middle ground for average listeners as well as purist. We scrapped a project before No Drive that could have fit the underground stigma you mentioned. It’s also great that Dre is a musician who plays multiple instruments. His approach can sometimes differ from mine, but that only makes our chemistry more unique.
DEHH: When I first heard of the record, I thought “No Drive” was a loose concept, however the title track reveals there’s more behind the title than meets the eye. Walk me through the title track and what exactly “No Drive” means.
Kourvioisier: No Drive is a personal record that explains the artist life and your actual life. An OG once said, “you’ll never have a balance on this journey.” Those words always stuck with me. The second record on No Drive is called “Driver’s Story.” I was actually a victim of a hit-and-run, which led to me not having a car. Another play on No Drive haha.
DEHH: There are multiple ways to make a statement on an album, but you decided to have only a few guest appearances, tell me about the decision to tackle the majority of the vocals on your own.
Kourvioisier: Timing played a factor in the lack of features on No Drive. I’m grateful for every artist who who took part in this project.
DEHH: What do you want people to walk from “No Drive” with?
Kourvioisier: I want the people to feel my story, but also to walk away inspired to push themselves harder. Making music is therapeutic when fighting depression. I want to be able to help people by giving my experience.
DEHH: Genuinely getting into the hip-hop game is no easy task, what are some tips you can give young artists just coming up?
Develop a great work ethic.
Figure out your short and long term goals.
Stay inspired, because this journey can be rough.
DEHH: What’s next for Kourvioisier? Are we going to see a follow-up to “No Drive”, will we see you on tour later this year?
Kourvioisier: I’m working on some new music as we speak. A tour would be dope after sharing the stage with Saba. Let’s cross our fingers haha. My focus is pushing the creative bounds, connecting with the people, and working smarter with my team.
You can check out Kourvioisier’s album “No Drive” HERE and you can check our review for the album HERE