“I could really be the next Kanye type of star,” proclaimed a confident Pi’erre Bourne.
After being overworked at Epic Records as an engineer, the 23-year-old decided to gamble on himself and focus full-time on being an artist, growing as a producer and rapper. In less than a year, he’s starting to see his dream come to fruition, producing hits for Playboi Carti, such as the platinum “Magnolia” and the Lil Uzi Vert-assisted “wokeuplikethis*,” while seeing his own fanbase grow.
Born Jordan Jenks, the emerging artist nomadically moved around quite a bit as a kid in a military family, but Pi’erre will soon be calling Los Angeles home, as he gears up for a relocation to the City of Angels to help propel his career. Growing up, the South Carolina native would spend summers in New York at his grandmother’s house listening to Dipset and G-Unit.
On Friday, Pi’erre dropped off his tuneful collab “Yo Pi’erre,” linking up with Playboi Carti once again for the first single from his upcoming highly anticipated The Life of Pi’erre 4 project. The 808s-filled record was actually used by Clemson University for a video previewing their football matchup Saturday with rival South Carolina.
— Clemson Football (@ClemsonFB) November 25, 2017
The Interscope Records artist created his own imprint, SossHouse, where he will be creatively releasing music under the major label. Bourne just finished up the life-changing experience of opening for Drake on the Boy Meets World Tour, which has him looking ahead to a bright future. Pi’erre has shifted focus in preparation of The Life of Pi’erre 4, for which the Wiz Khalifa-inspired artist is targeting a February 2018 release date.
Life is moving fast for the former Hustle Gang Records intern, but he always makes times to preview new music from studio sessions on Instagram Live, where he crafts at least 10 beats a day from scratch. For now, Bourne has a few goals he’d like to take on in the short term, saying, “I’m going to finish working on my project. Getting Carti’s album going, working on Drake‘s album, me and 21 Savage got stuff blowing up. I know it’s going to be a big year.”
Billboard caught up with with the talented musician to talk crafting his new single, hopes to work with Drake and following a career path Kanye West once paved over a decade ago.
Headed to the studio — only place that I love to go
— –?i’erre –?ourne (@pierrebourne) November 26, 2017
How did you get your start producing?
My Uncle Dwight had [a production program] on his computer. When he walked away for a second, I got on and messed around with it. He heard what I did and thought it was kind of dope, so he let me rock. After that summer when I had to go back down south, I took the computer and my mom didn’t get it at the time. If he didn’t have it on his computer, I probably would’ve been playing basketball and doing kids shit.
Who were some of your musical influences growing up?
In high school, we were trying to be fly, get high and get girls. So we were trying to be like Wiz Khalifa. Growing up, I was a fan of Dipset and G-Unit. I grew up down south so whenever I would leave Queens and be around them, I would be hearing Jeezy and Gucci Mane. So that influenced me too. South Carolina is really home. New York too, those were the most consistent places I lived.
Who were some producers you looked up to?
So you got your start as an engineer at Epic Records. What made you want to leave that and become an artist/producer?
I was there [for a] year working and I just felt like I needed to leave to become a bigger artist and producer because when I was engineering, I didn’t have enough time to think about my future. It was just work, work, work. I had to stop and figure it out for myself and it worked out. I got my own label under Interscope called SossHouse.
What advantages does it give you in the studio knowing you’ve had experience on all sides of the industry?
It allows me to just have fun. I don’t have to stress out. Some artists have problems with the engineer when they record, but things like that I don’t really have to go through because I’m recording myself. I’m comfortable in the studio, so it’s easy for me to be whether I’m producing for somebody or helping out with a session or if it’s my own. Sometimes, shit happens when things mess up in the studio and sometimes, I could be there to fix it when you’re trying to get work done. People have busy schedules. So it can be helpful when I can knock something out with anybody be it Lil Yachty, Playboi Carti, Young Nudy.
Do you prefer to rap on your own beats?
Yeah, I’m more comfortable rapping on my own beats because what’s really in my head I can do. I like a lot of producers’ stuff, I just don’t get a lot of beats from people. I don’t really give a lot of beats out either.
How did your new single featuring Playboi Carti, “Yo Pi’erre” come together?
I was working on my project around the same time Carti was working on his second project in L.A. and we walked in the studio and I was playing him some of my songs and he wanted to get on it. There wasn’t a hesitation or anything, he just walked in and heard it when I was working on some music. Then the tour started. It’s going on The Life Of Pi’erre 4 which we’re aiming for February 10th.
What was going on tour with Drake like?
The Boy Meets World Tour was awesome. Being able to be on stage and all of the venues sold out, I never thought I could do something like that. It put my mind through a lot. Drake‘s a really good guy, he showed me a lot being out there. Really just got me excited for the future, it was dope.
Are you rapping your own records as well as playing records you’ve produced in the past?
Yeah I was playing songs I produced this year and a couple that I have on my project, just mixing those together. Continuing what I’m working on in America.
I saw in a story with The Fader you mentioned trying to be like Kanye West. Can you talk about his influence on you paving the way to become a producer-rapper?
A couple years ago, I was watching some documentaries and it was weird seeing [so] many similarities between his background story and mine. It was cool just noticing that. I could really be the next Kanye type of star. It’s cool my beats took off first, but I’ve always been rapping. I’m just excited. Everyone knows what Kanye did when he first started, which is the beginning for me. But for me right no, it’s happening so fast. For him, it took a couple years and for me, it’s a few months. It’s warped speed. It’s crazy. I’ve watched documentaries about how everybody didn’t take his music seriously at first, so it’s dope that I don’t have to force it and things are happening organically.
What have you taken from being with Southside and Metro Boomin‘ in the studio?
The first day I quit Epic, I got a call from Metro. It was crazy because they were on the same thing as me, Backwoods and Doritos. It was weird because prior to that, I thought some people would be uncomfortable and have egos like artists and stuff. I thought while engineering I couldn’t say anything. When I was with them, it was like being around my friends, which is weird because I didn’t know it yet. I was so comfortable because I never met these people before but we say the same shit. They’re cool as fuck. I could work with them all the time, I was too thirsty. I didn’t see anyone until March after “WokeUpLikeThis” dropped, that was the last time we got back to work. Being around them now is really dope.
Are you dropping anymore singles before The Life Of Pi’erre 4 releases next year?
Yeah. “Honeyberry” is going to come out officially in a couple weeks. I got to figure out what I really want to go with. One song I have that I’m trying to get Drake to get on. He said he wants to get on it. I’m really trying to get him on it. That would be crazy, I won’t be mad if he don’t, it’s just a blessing to be doing all of this.
What are your goals the rest of the year going into 2018?
After this, I got a couple other songs I’ll be putting out. I’m going to finish working on my project. Getting Carti’s album going, working on Drake‘s album, me and 21 Savage got stuff blowing up. I want to branch off and do other things. I want to do other things than music, but I’m just excited for these opportunities. I know it’s going to be a big year.