Before his 20th birthday, Kura is already a pioneer in an emerging sound in music. The Greater Detroit native blends rapping, pop, and EDM. Many of the artist/producer’s songs and videos have surpassed six figures in streams. Now part of the Sosshouse family, Kura has teamed with label founder Pi’erre Bourne to take his music to a new dimension. Kura and Pi’erre recently teamed for “HOLD IT UP.” The melodic collaboration has surpassed 500,000 streams and contains some personal accounts of Kura’s life and upbringing. “I feel like that’s a record I’ll appreciate for the rest of my life,” says the artist who is plotting a career benchmark in 2022.
Originally from an area of Michigan called Downriver, Kura later relocated to Royal Oak to live with his grandparents and father outside of Detroit. The music bug came from the family. “My dad used to take voice recordings of me when I was a baby and use them in songs. I thought it was so cool.” Thanks to an affinity for video games like Guitar Hero and Call Of Duty, Kura became immersed in videos set to homemade music. He eventually tried his hand at creating. “I started making beats and rapping on them. They were more like me making jokes,” he says, “I was 13 or 14, so it wasn’t the greatest, but it was funny.” Music represented a release for the teen who sometimes felt marginalized at school and home. Like his passion for music, Kura was also entrenched in streetwear fashion. As a junior high school student, he interned at Former Vintage, a destination boutique in his town. “I didn’t want regular clothes; I had to be fresh.”
As both of those explorations progressed, Kura improved. He worked his way to running the counter at Former Vintage as his songs gained traction. Tracks on Soundcloud and YouTube led to Halloween 2017’s self-produced and engineered Ohkay The Mixtape. Rappers around the country and world took notice. Music peers like loesoe, starboy, outtatown, and pro skaters Chris Chann and Curtiss Rowe took notice—inviting Kura to California to appear in videos. “You could hear all these different influences I had,” he says. “A lot of my beats are super happy and melodic, and my style was just so diverse from everybody else’s.” The moniker Kura stemmed from the FL Studios Sakura plugin, named after a bold pink flower—an aesthetic the artist digs.
In early 2018, Kura released one of his biggest records to date, “Cuute.” He edited the video, too, now at over 100,000 plays. Pi’erre Bourne happened to find the visual in his recommended section of YouTube. Watching led him to DM’ing the 16-year-old Michigander, who received the note during his English class. “He told me that he had a label, and he wanted to get me signed to it,” Kura recalls. Although elated by the recognition, it took several years and multiple trips to Atlanta and L.A. to complete the business. While waiting for his moment, the DIY mainstay released EPs including Blackout, Akura, and Hellraiser, helping pilot the HyperPop sound. “I was just putting music out to see how crazy and how far I could take it and make sure people knew who I was.” After making his Sosshouse deal official, Kura and Pi’erre stepped forth with “HOLD IT UP” at the top of 2022. Over Bourne’s beat, Kura mourns his grandmother, recalls his upbringing, and shines on a song that took well over 40 hours in the studio together to create. “I decided to do something sentimental. Pi’erre helped me find myself on that song,” he admits. While the two had made several songs before, this was the one worthy of release. He is presently readying an upcoming collaboration with Pi’erre. It marks his first body of work, executive produced by a respected peer. After years of making it happen for himself alone, Kura’s music has the opportunity and space to blossom in one of music’s most colorful gardens.