The Future President: Interview with Coley
How did the conversation go down about starting up Revel Music?
Prolly somethin’ like this:
Tyler: Hey, man. It’s Tyler Nicolo. Heard you were doin’ some shit in music and figured we should talk.
Coley: Yoooooooo, dude. I figured I should hit you one of these days. Your production is bonkers.
Tyler: Thanks, man. I heard you some kinda biz whiz kid.
Coley: Together we could probably do some crazy shit….
A serious bromance followed and we both had the same philosophy on the music biz. We both wanted to make credible pop music that had the potential to go around the world. We both wanted to play big league ball, but neither of us had egos about it. Could just tell we both loved music and the game so much. I told him about how I was starting a record label and I’d love to partner with him. He was with it, and then I started leaving work to travel back home to Philly to meet with him and his father Joe “The Butcher” Nicolo (founder of Ruffhouse Records, which launched Lauryn Hill, The Fugees, Cypress Hill, Kris Kross, Wyclef Jean…) to plan it. We all partnered up and the rest is currently being written.
That’s incredible, man. Working with someone whose name is so big in the industry. So I’ve heard about Cole Thomas the CEO. Now I want to know about Coley the artist. What attracted you most to rap, the hip-hop philosophy in general?
Mainly all the money and women. Lol completely kidding. Hip-Hop is my true love. There are all different forms of hip-hop/rap, and people can have their different opinions on what is credible vs. what is not and what’s good for our youth vs. what is not. I’m not gonna get into that because it’s not my place. But at its core, hip-hop is about overcoming struggles of any kind and expressing yourself. Being original and true to who you are. And escaping by just having fun, people forget that in the beginning a lot of the records like Sugar Hill Gang’s Rapper’s Delight) were fun party records. I love it for those reasons, and I have my own particular brand of Hip-Pop.
Your music is most definitely unique. It’s just so damn clever. From start to finish, from when the beat drops to when the song fades, everything is snarky and sarcastic and intelligent. What’s your creative process? Beats first then bars? Do you get an idea in your head and go from there?
Aww, you gon’ make me blush, Camiele, thanks! Sometimes I give a hook idea to the producer and he builds a beat around it then I write the rest of the song. Sometimes the producer has a finished beat, and I write the whole song to it. I meditate, then crazy shit just pops out, I really don’t do too much thinking about it. It’s my pure truth that I’m feelin’ at that time delivered through my ridiculous but hopefully insightful Coley view. I have a pretty crazy life and love tellin’ stories, so I just turn the beat on and start talkin’ shit.
What’s the most important aspect of the craft for you? Writing and working in the studio? Performing?
I love it all. Writing is probably my favorite part. I also love to perform. It’s all f’in awesome even down to the smallest most unexciting parts, I love the journey.
Who inspires you?
My Ma. Jay Z. Richard Branson. Bill Clinton – that dude is a straight up pimp.