Pouya opens up about her fitness journey, anxiety, Florida rap and role as a mainstay
Whenever Rolling Loud announces a new festival, there are a few artists that you can almost always expect to see on the lineup. One of these names belongs to the Florida underground rap phenomenon, Pouya.
Since the inception of the world’s largest hip-hop festival, Rolling Loud, Pouya has rocked the scene in Miami, California, New York City and everywhere in between. At this point, he’s a mainstay of Rolling Loud, performing fan favorites including “Suicidal Thoughts in the Back of the Cadillac,” as well as new moshpit-compatible discs like the Curry Denzel– assisted “Wig Split”.
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At just 26, Pouya has built a legacy beyond music, portraying a neglected figure in hip-hop and emerging from the underground to become one of Florida’s most popular artists, though he never switched to a mainstream favorite. Pouya still does exactly what first brought him notoriety, and he continues to evolve as an artist, especially on his last album Blood has never been thicker than water.
Exploring different musical genres on the project, including jazz and other styles, Pouya has stayed true to himself and opened up like never before. We caught up with the rapper backstage at Rolling Loud New York last month, where we talked about his status as a Rolling Loud mainstay, his fitness journey, his anxiety, the current state of rap in Florida and, of course, his new album.
Read the full editorial copy of HNHH’s new interview with Pouya below and watch it on tour with Jasiah before the end of the year.
Image provided to HNHH by the artist’s PR
HNHH: What was it like playing this year at Rolling Loud New York? And are there any differences between the crowds in Miami and New York?
Pouya: The atmosphere is great, the energy is great. I feel like in New York we have to really work hard to please the public. Somewhere like Miami, they don’t care. They just want to happen. But in New York, they want to hear you, and if you’re not fired, they’re not really gonna… I knew when I got on stage that I was really going to have to screw my ass, or they weren’t going to fuck with it. me.
Certainly. You just released your new album, how’s it going with that?
I just released my new album, Blood has never been thicker than water. It’s going great. It is very well received. About to go on tour – tickets sell, merch sells. I am so blessed. I’m so grateful right now for the way my album is going. People love it and I am honored.
How does your new album differ from your old catalog?
All my albums, I always try to enter a new world. If you listen to my albums, an album won’t sound like the last one. It doesn’t mean that one album is particularly better than the other, they’re just different. I have the impression that this album is more jazzy. I did a lot of slower, jazzy music… this album was more instrumental – a lot of saxophone, violin and piano. I was very inspired by the movie Taxi, the soundtrack of this film. I really loved that soundtrack, and when I heard it, I was like, “I want to try and incorporate these jazzy sounds with some rap music”, and I feel like I’ve had enough. well done on the album.
Are you excited about the upcoming tour? A few years ago, when you were going to Europe, you were talking about how your anxiety affected the trip for you.
I always have a lot of anxiety before the shows, but I’m still excited because the shows are great, and once on stage all that anxiety goes away because the crowd is showing me so much love. It is before the shows that anxiety strikes. But I love this.
You’ve been working on your fitness this year, building up muscles and keeping your fans informed throughout the trip. What inspired the change?
Honestly, what really inspired me was that I was just looking at myself one day and I was like, “I’m a skinny little bitch, I need some muscle.” I love myself. I like the way I look anyway, but I was like, “I’ll probably look better with a few muscles,” and I’ll be healthier too. It’s really more for your health. I knew it would help my anxiety. I knew it would help with depression and all types of mental issues. I knew it would be good for my life and there would be some benefits to it.
Absoutely. You’ve performed in many Rolling Loud festivals at this point. What keeps you coming back?
I was there since the very first Rolling Loud. Matt and Tariq, the guys who run Rolling Loud, are great friends of mine. They always take care of me, they always make sure I’m booked, they always put me on the best stages, they give me whatever I want, they watch my set. I am so thankful for these guys. I will always support Rolling Loud because they supported me from day one.
What do you think of the current state of rap in Florida?
It’s good. We have a lot of great rappers. We have Curry Denzel, we have me, we have Fat Nick… Ski Mask the Slump God, DJ Scheme. There are too many to count. It’s good. We all support each other, and it’s a family there.
What’s in store for you next?
Music videos: more music, more albums, more mixtapes, more tours. I feel like I’m still a long way from my summit or my summit. I feel like I have so much time to say what I have to say. Just more music.
Astrida Valigorsky / Getty Images
Check out more of our Rolling Loud interviews from last month, including “Fivio Foreign Provides Album Update, Talks About Collaboration With Kanye West At Rolling Loud NYC, “SpotemGottem Says DaBaby Had Best ‘Beat Box’ Remix, “Rico Nasty reveals she lied about ‘Nightmare Vacation’ follow-up album and shares favorite part on Rolling Loud, “Coi Leray explains why she picked DaBaby for ‘TWINNEM’ remix and Justin Bieber studio session,” and “TheHxliday changes its sound and its look. “