Sovren has made a lot of noise in the underground over the past few years. For anyone unaware, Sovren is a Pittsburgh born rapper living in Chicago. He attended Columbia College studying music/music business before dropping out to focus on his own music. If you saw him around campus, you might recognize him for his unique style in fashion. Similar to the lack of name brands covering his chest, his music is low key, yet the sonic experience each track carries demands attention.
Check out our full interview below:
rubyhornet: Where did you grow up?
Sovren: I’m from Homewood/Point Breeze (Pittsburgh).
rubyhornet: What were some influences that led you to make music while growing up in Pittsburgh?
Sovren: A lot of influence came from Kanye West and Drake at a younger age. I went to the same high school as Mac Miller. Seeing someone you know follow their dream is inspiring. Wiz Khalifa was also going crazy. Both guys were putting the city on, so to be growing up at that time made me feel like I could really do this shit too.
rubyhornet: Who were you recording with while living in Pittsburgh?
Sovren: Big Jerm. Fucking love Big Jerm. Anything I record in Pittsburgh is with him. “Dance”, my latest track, was engineered by him. He was the first person to help take my sound to the next level.
rubyhornet: What led you to Chicago?
Sovren: I didn’t want to go to college. I wanted to take a year off, but I knew I wanted to leave Pittsburgh. It’s hard to obtain the platform I was looking for in Pittsburgh. Chicago was a good mix since the city isn’t as big as NYC or LA but they had artists such as Chief Keef, Bibby, King Louie. When I came to visit, I checked out some art schools, and decided to attended Columbia because I wanted to be in Chicago.
rubyhornet: Creatives you’ve met at Columbia?
Sovren: Jack Larsen was a homie I met early on at Columbia. He actually just signed to Closed Sessions. I also met Lil Jake before Lyrical Lemonade. In regards to producers/engineers I didn’t have that network built yet in Chicago, so I would create material all semester while at school, and record back in Pittsburgh during Christmas break or summer break.
rubyhornet: What are your fashion influences? You have a clearly distinct style that is evident on social media.
Sovren: A lot of my more unique pieces come from thrift shops. I have been getting more brand name shit lately, but more of the low key pieces. You can best describe it as ‘if you know you know’ brand name shit. I love fashion. I love style. My view is clothing is a form of expression, much like music. I have found myself putting together an outfit and changing it because it doesn’t match how I feel. It’s all about the energy.
rubyhornet: What are your goals for 2018 and beyond?
Sovren: Short term goal is to put out these two EP’s. The first is called Driving Music Volume 1. It’s the lane I’m creating with jams to ride too. The second EP is called Confessions, which is more R&B and love influenced. A music video for a single off the Confessions EP will be coming out soon. I also have a few random singles, and have a show at the end of this week (pictured above).
Hopefully by 2019 I’m on a tour. Definitely not pressed or want to rush anything.
rubyhornet: What does hip-hop mean to you?
Sovren: It’s funny you ask that. I often talk to my friends about the difference between hip-hop and rap. I feel like everything from the past 5-10 years is more considered rap. The elements that technically fall into hip-hop like, graffiti, b-boy, and emceeing are more prevalent in the 90’s era. There are so many sub-genres in rap. Very similar to rock with the amount of sub-genres.