Billboard chart-topping singer-songwriter Noel Gourdin emerged on the music scene in 2008 with his debut album After My Time featuring the No. 1 R&B hit "The River". In 2011, he followed that with his sophomore album Fresh: The Definition which includes the top 15 hit single "Beautiful". A third album City Heart, Southern Soul was released in 2014 featuring the top 30 single "Heaven Knows". The R&B/Soul crooner has returned with a groovy new smash single "Get to You" available on all streaming platforms via TopNotch Music.
TERRANCE: First, congratulations on the release of your latest single "Get to You".
NOEL GOURDIN: I appreciate that. It's getting some love and support. It's jumping up the charts and there's so many charts that it's hard to keep up with them all, but it's good to see 'em. It seem to be climbing on all of 'em. But yeah, I appreciate it man and it feels good to be back and having a record that people wanna hear.
TERRANCE: Talk about the inspiration behind that song and how it came about.
NOEL GOURDIN: Well, Alonzo Johnson, he's a producer out here in California and he sent me a couple of tracks. He's worked with a lot of artists, namely Hil St. Soul and Maysa, just to name a couple. We linked up through working with Hil St. Soul and he sent me a collection of about 5 to 8 tracks and I just listened to them all and they all just happened to have a place on the EP. Sometimes when I'm writing I come up with an idea in the first five to ten minutes or so, for each track. I always call it my initial idea, so I'll do that and kind of reroute each record and see if I could reroute it and see how it feels. This project it seems the first idea was the one that stuck, so with "Get to You", it just began as a vibe and it was kind of in my head which is the treatment for if we end up doing a video or something. There was this gravitational pull to this person in this instance, a woman, she just have this strong pull that whenever you try to get to her, you get to the spot where you think she is and she's actually not there. So it's kind of like, you can't really get to her which is the reason for the hook, 'Just Gotta Get to You'. It was kind of like a nice comical spin on a vibe type record like I'm saying I'm prowling like a panther and that was kind of a homage to Chadwick Boseman and losing him way, way too early. I was going to use Lion in that spot right there, but I really thought of Chadwick and I put in panther as a homage to the original Black Panther. The record just overall have a nice vibe to it and it's something that you can groove to and it makes you kinda smile. When it comes on in the most littiest spot in your city, you can feel it and get your tale on the dancefloor.
TERRANCE: What was it like reconnecting with Hil St. Soul on "Blessed"?
NOEL GOURDIN: Hil & I, we've done some records before. In the past, she was on one of my remixes called "No Worries", so every since then I always thought our voices meshed really, really well and our styles. She's really easy to work with and that's really one of the things that I kinda look after. That's one of my sought after thing when working with artists. Like if it's an ease or if it's like a struggle. It's never been struggle for me and Hil to work, so yeah we've come together on quite a few records and actually working on a couple more, so I'm looking forward to working with her moreso and I worked with Maysa and with Jaguar Wright not too long ago and I got a couple other things in the pipeline. So yeah, Hil is incredible and one of my absolute favorites and whenever we get a chance to put our voices down together on a track, I'm there.
TERRANCE: You mentioned an EP. What can you tell us about that?
NOEL GOURDIN: The EP is all but wrapped up and ready for it to get into people's hands. So we're looking for probably a Holiday type release. Around that time. Hopefully folks aren't getting sick of "Get to You" yet. I think it still has legs. But yeah, the EP is definitely underway.
TERRANCE: Can we expect any upcoming performances or events?
NOEL GOURDIN: Absolutely. I got some things coming up in DC and some in Boston. There are a few others in the pipeline that I can't lie that are kind of tentative right now. But definitely follow my social media pages, there will be things posted there. So yeah, it's gonna be really, really good and I'm looking forward to getting back out on the road and working this record and this EP and just getting back with the folks.
TERRANCE: What do you enjoy the most about performing for a live audience?
NOEL GOURDIN: Man, just being able to look into people's eyes and especially seeing folks lip-syncing and singing my songs with me. That's a reward that is never taken for granted and that's always a surprise when you see it. It's a welcome surprise every time you see it. It really, really just warms my heart because I'm a really detailed oriented type of fella and I'm sure a lot of artists are, but taking it from concept and thinking about a record and putting it down and the work it takes to put this record the way people remember it and want to lip-sync and sing it with you. That's kind of what I think of when I see folks doing that at a live show, so it's really emotional for me. I don't take anything for granted especially in that respect to see people really having a good time and coming out and wanting to spend an evening with me and all of that kind of stuff. Couples and such and sharing love and music. That's what it's about for me.
TERRANCE: Everyone have their perception of what success is. How do you define it?
NOEL GOURDIN: As long as people just wanna still hear what I'm putting together that's success for me. In a perfect world I'd be a super triple A artist and have records with bullets every week and platinum albums and all of that kind of stuff but man at this point if people still wanna hear what I'm putting down and still wanna come to the shows and still wanna schedule me for interviews *laughs* then I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing, so it feels really, really good to be getting love. That's what it's all about and what us artists really crave and appreciation for what we're putting down. So as long as I'm getting that man, I got what I need.
TERRANCE: Talk about your growth as an artist from your debut album to now.
NOEL GOURDIN: Well, I'll tell you I've never stopped learning. I'm always studying and listening to artists in the industry whether it be some new artists or just artists I've been on the road with and really respect. Joe Thomas is one of my idols from when I started back in the day. Listening to D'Angelo, Eric Roberson, Calvin Richardson, Anthony Hamilton, Tank, Raheem DeVaughn all of those folks man. I really admire all of these folks and I try to learn each and everyday. And also just listening to the music of the past that my Pops brought me up on and continuously training my voice and emulating and just doing different things and styles and takes and spins on my style. If I can do that, I can continue to grow and keep giving people something new.
TERRANCE: When all is said and done, what would you like your legacy to be?
NOEL GOURDIN: Man, just to know that I put my everything into every record. It was nothing that was just thrown out there. It was always something that was passionate for me. I don't just do it because I can do it. I do it because I love it. It's a passion for me and I feel that I have something to give to the industry and to add to the legacy of this soul music and R&B music. I feel I still have something to give, so I'm going to continue to do it because I'm loving it and to be able to share my music and what God has blessed me with and I try to bless other folks with it as well. So as long as I feel that in my heart and in my soul and I'm able to do it with passion, I'm going to continue to do it. So hopefully I can leave that behind and people know that I gave it my all whenever I stepped into the booth.
TERRANCE: Any final words you would like to share with your fans, followers and the readers?
NOEL GOURDIN: I would just like to say thank you, thank you, thank you especially for the folks that have been there with me from the gate. I really appreciate you and everybody that has had my back and just showed love. All of my new followers and supporters. I very seldomly call them fans, I call them supporters because without them I'd be flat on my back. So, I'd just like to say thank you and I look forward to grooving with you and making you groove and putting out something that you can hold on to. Just keep an eye out and an ear to the ground for me.
Follow Noel Gourdin:
Instagram & Twitter @noelgourdin