In Talks With Leeds’ Next Rising Artist: Cole LC

Elle Evans

By Elle Evans

Elle Evans

26 Jan 2021

Stepping into British Rap with his own authentic sound, Cole LC has caught the attention of many over the last year with a string of impressive singles. Having swiftly been labelled as one to watch this coming 2021, the Leeds native first began busking around the city and uploading freestyles to his Instagram that started garnering local attention. Fast forward to his appearance on ‘First Media TV’, it was after the overwhelming positive reception that the 17 year-old had the major labels knocking on his door.

Now signed to Columbia Records, Cole LC kicked started the new decade with a string of impressive singles from “Rollin'” alongside OFB’s Double Lz, to “Westbrook” with fellow newcomer Adz to his latest drop “Grip N Slide” – not to mention his ‘Next Up’ freestyle and more!

With more music on the way, we caught up with promising talent to talk about his journey, dealing with comparisons and more! Tap in below to see what Cole LC had to say!

This past year for many reasons surrounding the pandemic has been a challenge for many artists! How have you found this period of time? How have you been keeping?

It’s weird but it was my best year productively, with everything stopping it made me realise that I need to capitalise and come out the end of it with more than I would have if it was ‘normal’. I pushed my work rate a little bit more and worked harder, so it was good thing and a bad thing! It’s harder to get inspiration because you’re sat here doing the same thing every day. It’s good to have in your head that you want to get one up on everyone else that is in the same situation – it’s been alright for me!

It wouldn’t be a lockdown without any Netflix! What have you been watching? Any recommendations?

I watched ‘When They See Us’ on Netflix – that was sick! I just finished watching ‘The Haunting of Bly Manor’ bare people told me to watch – it was alright, but it had a disappointing ending!

For those who aren’t aware of who you are, please could you tell us a little bit more about your upbringing and how you were introduced to singing and music etc?

I’ve always been around music; it’s always been something that I wanted to do from a young age. My parents have been involved in music; it was natural – it’s always been a thing for me! It was never a thing of “This didn’t work out, so I tried this”, I just liked listening to music and I started busking, which was the first thing I did performance wise. I’ve just been putting the work in over the past 4 years and we’re here now!

Did you have any singing lessons? What kind of songs were you busking?

I didn’t have any! I just started it, I did a talent show in primary school and everyone said I was hard, so it gassed me – large up my classmates from Year 6! *laughs* For the first couple of years I had around 5 songs on rotation: “Your Song” by Elton John, “What’s the Score” by Ady Suleiman, “Diamonds” by Rihanna, “Sober” by Mahalia – the songs you would usually hear everyone singing, I would try to switch it up with the karaoke instrumentals from YouTube!

What artists do you draw from for inspiration? If any? I noticed in a previous interview you had a picture of Biggie up on your wall!

You can’t be into music and not know about Biggie! I used to take all those types of artists in but growing up I listened to a lot of music from artists who weren’t humongous but were doing their thing – it’s more realistic to look up to! On my 13th birthday that’s when I started busking because I got my speaker, I got a ticket to see Ady Suleiman and Mahalia when she was around 17, watching her grow to where she is now is sick to see because I saw her at the very start!

You’re really good at infusing that singer-songwriter sound in with genres like Drill – essentially putting the UK rap kinda spin on it! How was it for you finding your sound? Were you experimenting with sound prior to dropping your debut single? Was it a natural infusion?

Yeah! I started spitting bars before I started singing, I liked words and rapping – everyone was growing up listening to rap as well and it was one of those things where people would be like “Oh, my man sings blah blah blah” *laughs* The infusion happened nicely because I was well into Rap prior, so it wasn’t this new thing to me! I was always better at singing so I thought let me just smash them together!

You’ve just dropped your “Grip N Slide” single, tell me a bit more about this track. How did it come about?

I went to London for a week of studio sessions, I don’t know who hurt me, but I was making bare slow jams and all these girl tunes; I needed to lift the spirits a bit because my boys were getting bored in the studio *laughs* I made an up-beat tune, sent it over to 169 and locked it in! I wanted to make a tune that would sit well on TikTok, that was the aim of it originally! It came together quickly!

How was it for you breaking out of Leeds? I know a lot of people who aren’t from London do say it can be harder due to the lack of facilities and industry people – How did you find it?

As soon as one person knows about you in London a lot more people will – it’s a small industry, everyone knows everyone! You think there would be loads of people but if you keep working and make noise in your city, more time they will take notice sooner or later! Try not to think about London, focus on your music and it’ll come.

I know you’ve touched on this previously but I’ve noticed a lot in your comment sections that people love to compare you to various artists. How do you deal with this?

I don’t really mind because it’s just internet stuff, it’s not like people are stopping me in the street and going “Yo, you sound like this guy!” – the people that they compare to i.e. Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber – they’re not bad guys to be compared it! I just keep it moving!

We’ve obviously only heard a snippet of your sound so far; do you plan on exploring any sub-genres or anything? I reckon you’d sound good on a Garage beat or something you know!

I have got a couple of tunes with that type of vibe! I wanted to get out my first few singles and let people know what I am about and then further down the line start going into other lanes! In due time I will be going down other avenues and creating more music!

What about features? Are there any in the UK or U.S that you would like to collaborate with?

There is a guy called Kamal., he’s sick I want to collaborate with him! Amaria is sick, I was on ‘The Voice’ with her when I was 13 and she’s killing it now! There are loads of people that I want to make tunes with, I want 2021 to be a Leeds thing!

What have you got in the pipeline for this coming year? Project at all or?

I’ve got a project in the works now! I’m just keeping it moving and making a load of music, there is something there in the pipeline waiting! I’ll keep you all updated! *laughs*

Keep up to date with all things Cole LC via his Instagram here.