Pouya is single-handedly bringing the raw sounds of the underground to the masses. The bubbling Miami rapper, née Kevin Pouya, entirely embodies the modern underground rap star: born of the internet, bred on the streets, bored of the mainstream hip-hop world and blessed with those magical bars and flows.
To this day, Pouya and his Buffet Boys record label remain fully independent and fully in control: He’s never released on a major record label or even an indie outside of his own. It’s with this dangerous cocktail of skills and life experiences that Pouya has built a rabid fan base, both via loyal URL and IRL followings, and has created an impressive discography of underground anthems and certified chart-toppers.
As one of the most vocal and buzzing acts in today’s burgeoning SoundCloud rap movement, Pouya first got his start via online rap circles and hip-hop communities. Through his now-defunct YouTube series the Nick and Pouya Show, alongside best friend, creative partner and fellow rapper Fat Nick, Pouya met local Miami hip-hop act SpaceGhostPurrp and members of his popular Raider Klan collective, who initially helped put Pouya and Fat Nick on the map. At the tender age of 17, Pouya dropped out of high school while in the 10th grade to pursue his rap career full on, with Fat Nick on the mic by his side. He soon met South Florida rapper Robb Bank$ and joined his label, Smart Stunnas, Pouya’s first step toward global reach. Pouya first made impact with his 2013 single “Get Buck,” originally featured on the Smart Stunnas Baby Bone mixtape. The track quickly became a viral hit upon its online release, counting over 15 millions streams online to date.
With momentum burning, he followed up with the Stunna mixtape and the South Side Slugs mixtape (2015). The rap world officially met Pouya in 2016 via his self-released debut full-length album, Underground Underdog. Produced by renowned electronic producer/DJ Getter, Underground Underdog introduces Pouya’s raw and rugged vocal flow, precise rap deliveries and hard lyrical prowess. The album was a commercial success upon release, peaking at the #2 spot on iTunes’ Hip-Hop/Rap albums chart and reaching the Top 10 on iTunes’ overall albums chart. The album also gained widespread critical acclaim: In November 2016, Pouya performed album track “Energy” alongside producer Getter on late-night TV show Last Call with Carson Daly, while NPR Music praised the album in its 2016 year-end list, noting, “If given the chance, Kevin Pouya could probably rap your favorite rapper’s face off” (12/17/16). Underground Underdog also features collaborations with rap stars Ying Yang Twins (“Badonk”) as well as fellow blossoming acts $uicideBoy$ (“But Wait, There’s More”), Ramirez (“MFG”), Fat Nick (“HunnitHunnit”) and more.
Most recently, Pouya teamed up with Fat Nick on their collaborative mixtape Drop Out of School. Released February 2017 on Pouya’s Buffet Boys imprint, the project reached the Top Ten on Billboard’s Heatseekers chart and received massive support from leading hip-hop outlets XXL, Genius and HotNewHipHop. Produced entirely by newblood Flexatelli, the 10-track Drop Out of School already features a number of viral songs currently burning up on SoundCloud: “Middle of the Mall” (+4.5 million streams), with an additional +2.3 million YouTube views for the track’s official music video;“Undecided” (+2.2 million streams); title track “Drop Out of School” (+1.7 millionstreams); and “Torch” (+4 million streams), which also includes an additional +1.1million views on YouTube for the track’s official music video.
On the live front, Pouya has performed at several high-profile festivals, including a main stage performance at Day N Night Fest (2017) as well as sets at Rolling Loud, Miami’spremier hip-hop festival (2015, 2016), and the inaugural Middlelands (2017).
In fall 2016, Pouya kicked off the 40-date Underground Underdog North American tour, his first headlining trek, in support of the album of the same name. This past spring, Pouya launched the 24-date Drop Out of School North American tour alongside Fat Nick in support of their collaborative mixtape.
Currently, Pouya is in the studio working on a collection of highly anticipated projects and releases, including a sequel to the Drop Out of School mixtape with Fat Nick and a follow-up to the $outh $ide $uicide mixtape with $uicideBoy$, set for release later this year. Pouya is also putting the final touches on his forthcoming as-yet untitled artist album. Set to drop this fall, the new album is unlike anything Pouya has ever released and sees a more polished version of the rising rapper traversing a wide-spanning palette of lyrical skills and vocal styles.