The Detroit anomaly that balances street smarts and spirituality is preparing to release his most personal record to date, Microdose, on March 22nd. Get familiar with this VIPER Presents interview…

What five words define your sound?

Authentic, soulful, Hip Hop, conscious, Detroit.

Tell me something unique about your creative process.

Before I start to create, I pray and when the music speaks, I usually get one word that sums up what I feel based on production and I expand on that word and how it relates to me, or a story I’m telling.

Which song of yours would you like people to hear first?

If I had the chance to introduce someone to my catalog it would have to be ‘issues’; it’s unreleased, but it feels like a Hip Hop classic record to me.

What inspired you to make that song?

I was going through a space in life where I was healing a lot and shedding a lot of my old self, and what emerged at that first level was this song.

What’s the most vulnerable you’ve allowed yourself to be when writing/making music?

The most vulnerable I’ve been to date is on my song ‘heaven’ on my album, that song still makes me cry. It’s heavy but necessary for the culture, it’s raw reality.

What’s the best/worst experience you’ve had on stage?  

The best experience I’ve had on stage is a standing ovation after performing in a building of people who didn’t know who I was and building fans that actually converted over to supporters till this day. Worst experience I would say is getting on stage and allowing my anxiety to make me forget my words and I froze up.

What is your favourite song to perform?

My favourite song to perform is probably ‘spin’, which is on my next project. It’s so much energy and crowd participation.

Which artist/song/album made you want to make music?

Tupac ‘Me Against the World’,hands down. It was the album that I first remember connecting to as a child. The rawness Tupac gave us was beyond that time and still is today.

What’s the meaning behind your name?

It’s actually my government name [laughs]

If you weren’t making music, what would you be doing instead?

If I wasn’t making music I would be a chef, or deep into shamanism helping people to heal.

What’s success to you?

Success to me is waking up everyday being able to do what I love and my family being financially secure and spiritually grounded.

What moment in your life/career forced you to change direction?  

I would say my defining moment was when I was 19 in college. I had my first spiritual awakening that led me to being vegan and practicing spirituality at a higher level. I was actively involved in gang activity and the streets but I always knew I had a higher calling, and thankfully when I had that encounter at 19, I heard the spirit loud and clear and was obedient.

Where can people keep in touch with you?

People can reach me at @officialCourtneybell on everything.

Photo by Anthony Harvey

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