With our Get Familiar segment, we look to highlight promising up-and-coming artists that we’ve previously featured on the site but never really dove into. In the past, we’ve posted music from Kurt Rockmore but not enough to get readers to be familiar with. Currently on the East Coast leg of Tory Lanez’ I Told You tour with Jacquees, Kurt has been pulling in new fans night-in and night-out with his high energy set. The artist formerly known as Kocky is someone you should Get Familiar with.
Bred in the Bay Shore section of Long Island, NY, Kurt’s Haitian immigrants parents made sure he stayed on the straight and narrow, forcing him to be a role model for his younger sibling. He was truly his brothers keeper. Rap wasn’t really allowed in the Rockmore household but a rebellious older sister was not to be confined.
“Growing up, my sister was the one who brought Hip-Hop and R&B into the household. I remember her playing Aaliyah, Diddy/Bad Boy and lots of radio records. But she had this one album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. She played that all day. When I first heard that album, I remember thinking to myself, ‘What is this?” My mind felt like it was going to explode from all that greatness.” That first taste of urban music shaped Kurt’s musical outlook as well as tracks by Cassidy, Lloyd Banks and other lyrical North East mixtape legends.
Kurt got his first start at rapping when he was 18-years-old and had a game of basketball got called off due to heavy downpour. Kurt and his cousin then found themselves freestyling over downloaded instrumental to pass the time. In this day and age, 18 is pretty late to be getting into rap but a very religious mother and a dad who would rather listen to music from his home country of Haiti, made Kurt a late bloomer.
After that rainy day of freestyling Kurt went on to make songs and bodies of music just for fun but dubs Brief intermission, as his first true project. “I was dropping songs here and there but I didn’t take rap too serious,” says Kurt. “I took a small hiatus from releasing songs for a minute, but during that time I had people coming up to me asking if I still rap/make music. After a while I started to take it a little more serious and released Brief Intermission.”
The projects description on DatPiff quotes the tape as, “A record that has been 15 months in the making, with a blend of premium production, and feel good lyrics.” Brief Intermission is a story of dreams, nightmares, hate, love, success, failures, blessings, curses, and from nothing to almost something.
“During the time I made Brief Intermission, J. Cole had his whole basketball them when it came to his projects. My theme was movies. I had a song on my project called ‘Casting Call’ and another named ‘Credits Roll.’ It all focused around a movie and tells a story from beginning to end. The project basically served as an intermission before we turned up.”
The release of Brief Intermission gained Kurt Rockmore the attention of the ‘Frat Rap’ music crowd. This put him on the radar of publications like GoodMusicAllDay, College-of-Music and UniversityHype, publications that helped artists like Skizzy Mars, Watsky, Tayyib Ali, Mike Stud, Hoodie Allen, and G-Eazy grow and flourish into household names. With the new found exposure Rockmore ended up opening up for OCD: Moosh & Twist on their Up To No Good tour with Huey Mack.
This was Kurt’s first nationwide tour but wouldn’t be his last. In the same year, he went on Mike Stud’s The Relief tour, opened for D-Pryde on a number of east coast stops and accompanied Huey Mack as he headlined The Pretending Perfection tour. All the touring was great promotion for Rockmore’s newest project, Red Carpet Ignorance.
Alongside producer White Lie, Kurt created a 15-track tape that telling a story of red carpet dreams, and the road that he took to get there. It was classy ignorance at its best. “On Brief Intermission I was so worried about being ‘real’ that I was just trying to rap and be a stereo typical New Yorker. On Red Carpet Ignorance, I evolved and started to write and focus on hooks.”
Features from Bun B and BeauYoungPrince made the tape a must listen in the college music circuit. The exposure this go ’round had G-Eazy bring Kurt on his These Things Happen tour with Rocky Fresh and Tory Lanez. “My most memorable moment on tour was at the Irving Plaza stop of the These Things Happen tour. G-Eazy’s man Marty Grimes was on tour with us- he wasn’t performing at the time, just supporting G. I heard some of Marty’s music and asked if he would perform during my sets while on tour. He was all for it.”
“When we got to Irving Plaza, I brought-out Marty during my set and the whole tour package come out- G-Eazy, Tory Lanez, Rockie Fresh and all their people. Everybody just come out during my set and wild out to his shit. Before I could even play my last song, everyone was popping champagne. It was an epic moment. I was the opener but they made my set feel like it was the finale,” Rockmore recalls.
Once the tour came to a close, Kurt joined Canadian rap-rock group Down With Webster on their East Coast tour with Cam Meekins. This was right around the time Kurt saw the birth of his second daughter. “I was about to stop making music when my second daughter was born. Life was getting crazy for me. Her mom was like, ‘If you stop making music, you’re not going to be you and you’re not going to be happy. You should just keep making music.’ So, before I started working on this new music, I told myself, ‘If I’m going to make new music, it’s going to be hot. I have to make my own sound. It can’t sound like anyone else’s.’
Kurt broke barriers and added a new rock element to his sound as he and producer K Quick linked up to create his third project to date, Light Up The Night. The album was Kurt’s most introspective work. He touched on his journey of self re-discovery, learning about being an indie artist family life and more on the 10-track LP.
Lead by his single and video “Everyday,” Light Up The Night put Kurt back on tour, this time with Lil Debbie as she hit the East Coast with DonMonique on their Homegrown tour.
The dark new sound of “Everyday” sparked an excitement in fans and a new lane for Kurt to explore. The Long Island-bred rapper soon started to divulge and deliver a sound that turned heads.
Swerving left from the ‘Frat Rap’ and ‘Rock-Rap’ vibe, Rockmore linked up with producer Atlanta by-way-of Tennessee producer DuckoMcFli to create a menacing hard-hitting cut titled “In The Uber.”
Inspired by a wild night on snapchat, director K Quick aka Kaleb Adams of Aurama Films brought the record to life in the official video to Kurt’s single.
Following up on that, Kurt connected with “Everything” producer K Quick once again to create another bass booming record titled “Stuck In My Ways.”
“When I made “Stuck In My Ways,” I thought I was done and we had a hit. I thought I was done with this project until I was introduced to E.White and realized I was nowhere near done. E.White is a musical genius. We created a lot of songs together.”
One of those songs is titled “Talking to the Stars,” a favorite off Kurt’s forthcoming project. The sure fire track Rockmore is getting set to release will have the music world in a buzz. Kurt also revealed a number of collaboration from the tape that’s also sure to turn heads.
All the touring and finally finding his sound has put Kurt Rockmore in a great space. His determination and charismatic nature has taken him far but his musical chemistry with K Quick and E.White is key. The native New Yorker is really starting to generate a true buzz thorough his impressive singles and showmanship. He is proving that he’s capable of taking things to the next level, making us enthusiastic for his forthcoming release.