Red Deer has a thriving hip-hop scene but few artists are going as hard as Blaise ‘Blazeon3’ Hourie.
Hourie has worked his way up from battling friends at high school parties to local showcases to opening for popular performers like Tech N9ne, Madchild and SonReal. He has put out original songs that focus on thoughtful lyricism and unique musicality.
Fans of the ‘Blaze0n3’ sound can soon pick up his mixtape, Star Killer, and can look forward to the release of his album The New Era later this year.
“Anyone can rap fast or record a track, but taking words and pulling and twisting them and getting a message onto the paper is another thing. I’m driven to make the best music I can,” said the determined musician.
Hourie said his journey started with older brothers who introduced him to hip-hop and rap music. From there, he would perform at parties and eventually found an underground hip-hop club that gave him his first real glimpse at battle rap.
“I would freestyle at parties and rap to anyone – I didn’t care if they wanted to hear it or not, they’d get a rhyme in their face,” he laughed.
“It was just at parties but didn’t turn into anything until I moved to Vancouver. I met a bunch of underground hip-hop dudes and they took me to the Anza Club, and it was one of the craziest things I’ve ever seen. I started battling there and then at Cheers North when I moved back to Red Deer.
“I didn’t really have the money to record or anything, so I’d go to any show I could and just get on stage and rap. I finally got my own equipment and started practicing and recording and making music. People started calling me more. Synthetic (a local music promotion company) set me up with a lot of my first shows. Now, I do mad amounts of shows and even booked a tour this week.”
Hourie began playing to small audiences at Slumland Theatre. Eventually, he worked his way onto the International Beer Haus stage and has since performed around the City and province. He has broadened his horizons into other western Canadian provinces and is continuing to book shows across B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan.
“I kind of got thrown into performing these bigger shows but I think I landed on my feet pretty well,” Hourie said.
Hourie’s new album, The New Era, is currently in the stages of being mixed. His 10-track mixtape, Star Killer, is coming together with the help of local Donatello Productions.
“The mixtape has got a very raw, underground sound to it. A couple of the songs take you back into the 90s-Brooklyn-underground-hip-hop sound and that’s where I’m trying to keep it. I want that underground sound and I’m trying to avoid the mainstream aspects.”
Hourie’s words are intelligent and deliberate with the goal of leaving an impact. Other songs are pure entertainment.
“The song Letter to my Daughter is one of my favourite songs I’ve ever made. I don’t perform it often because it’s hard on me emotionally but I love that song,” Hourie said.
“Brain on Drugs is a definite crowd pleaser. It’s a remix from Mac Miller but you can put it on and get nuts to it. At shows, people love it when I do it. I took it out of my set for a while and a lot of people were like, ‘What are you doing? Put it back!’ so that’s one of my favourites,” he said with a laugh.
Hourie loves to collaborate with other local artists to play off of and compliment each other’s energy.
“Off The New Era, I did a song with Crooked Genius called The Good Word and it’s a cool take on hip-hop and religion and the different sides of them. It’s fun to perform – it’s kind of a bouncy, bob-your-head track. It’s one of the best songs on the album.”
He added, “I like working with different producers because they each bring you a different kind of fire. When I worked with Young Aspect, the track we worked on became one of the best I’ve had as of late. It’s just so good to meet people like that in this industry.”
Hourie said he’s excited about the new mixtape he will be putting out and described it as an itch he’s been waiting to scratch.
“There’s a lot of energy from other people in it and that really drives me. If I have a peer with me in the studio and we’re writing a track together, I think that’s when it’s the most magical and the most energy comes out.”
The ever-humble Hourie always shares his praise with the people who’ve helped him along the way. He said he’s very grateful to the City and to his team for the support he’s received.
He will be heading out on tour later this year with details to come. Follow his music on Soundcloud by searching BLAZEON3.