Kole, born and raised in Morgantown, West Virginia, is a hot new pop/R&B artist with a lot to offer. Growing up he experienced personal struggles that he would use music to help cope with. However, he found that there was simply not enough music that he could connect with. This gave him the ultimate motivation to start creating music that people could relate to when needing some extra support and motivation. In an interview Kole has said “My goal as an artist is to create the songs I felt were missing when I was going through good or bad times in my life. The reason I want to be that is because I know I am not alone in feeling that way from time to time.” Kole is a sympathetic and thoughtful artist who incorporates meaningful and inspirational content for his fans.
“Shogun” is Kole’s newest single that dropped on May 1st, 2019. The title of the track “Shogun” resembles the ruler of feudal Japan, who happened to be extremely powerful and overseeing. Kole sings “I am the Shogun, I run the show now, don’t even bow down”. He finesses through the song with confidence and fervor, giving the listener a rush of courage and fearlessness just as an actual Shogun. The title relates greatly to the lyrics and feel of the song because it is composed in an alluring yet powerful manner that really puts listeners in an elevated mindset, which will instantly boost morale. Kole’s good vibes are contagious, so I recommended that you put him on next time you kickback with friends for a good time!
Listen to "Shogun" here and get to know more about Kole below!
It's great to chat with you KOLE! Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Thanks, you too! Well, I'm a biracial kid, originally from the small town of Morgantown WV. I grew up with a mom from Brooklyn, NY, and a dad from Clay County, WV. So, I'm mixed-mixed. I moved to California at 18 to pursue a music career as a drummer, and one thing kind of led to another. Following through on that career path landed me where I am now, making my own music verses playing in a band for someone else. I loved doing that, but I just kind of knew it was time to do my own thing.
Your new single is FIRE! Tell us about the meaning behind your single “Shogun”?
When I was younger, and even still today, I had this massive obsession with Samurai and Japanese culture, in that time period. A shogun was the highest-ranking officer that reported to the emperor, but because of how things where set up and ran, he was really the highest point of power at the time. I am the shogun of my own life, and so are you, under the direction and counsel of whatever you hold as the emperor of your life (God). I also explain throughout the song, that we are the best version of ourselves possible. If you try to imitate me, you'll never compare. The only person that can ever be the best at what you do, is you. So, when we live our lives in imitation mode, we sell ourselves short of the position of power and leadership we have within ourselves at all times. That is where the true shogun-esque confidence comes from.
What was your writing process like with “Shogun”?
Shogun came to me and my producer kind of on a whim. We were sitting in the studio and he started making this beat, and I started freestyling, which is where we came up with the first verse idea initially. Then, over an hour or so we sat thinking of how to tie it together. I was on Instagram, and one of the samurai pages I follow popped up. It was just an instant lightbulb of how to say exactly what I wanted, in a way people haven't heard before.
When it comes to writing music, what is your biggest inspiration behind the lyrics?
I remember being a young 18-year-old kid, back in town, visiting WVU, attending a Kendrick Lamar concert, and realizing what “Swimming Pools” was actually about. How heavily that hit me. I remember thinking like, “Damn, this whole time we've been drinking and getting lit to a song that was actually about the negative influence of society, that teaches us in order to have fun you need alcohol. At that moment, I knew, that if I ever did make my own music, I wanted to speak just like that. I wanted there to be a base level of understanding and a deeper meaning in everything, so, when people really listen and get to know my lyrics, it really impacts them, because it’s easy to see them one way. When realizing the real meaning however it hits different like seeing the second picture in a double-sided painting.
Who would your dream collab be with?
Well after that last question, I feel like the answer is kind of obvious. I actually wrote a song at a J-Cole concert after he stepped on my head while working security. The song was about this temptation I saw a young man go through while being tempted myself and seeing the two ways of handling the “lust” situation. It’s called "Miss Molly," and I have it locked away. I made a promise to myself that I won't release it until I can get Kendrick on it. I can even hear how it would start, and I would never write for Kendrick, but I can just so clearly hear him starting out at the point in the song where the feature comes in with "good golly Miss Molly." That would be my ultimate dream collab, and I have a feeling it won't be a dream for long, hopefully.
What's next for you?
I have another single that will be a surprise drop very soon titled BOMAN (shogun.2) that kind of is on a similar vibe to kind of ride out and complete this Shogun wave. After that I have an EP about a very personal time in my life that I have been sitting on for a while, waiting for the right time. It’s titled "California H20," and that should hit by the end of the summer, as we are talking through some options of exactly how we are going to release it.
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