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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Artist Of The Week - Coole High
Monday, July 28, 2008

When someone comes to me being cosigned by both Conscious and Tah Phrum Duh Bush I sit up and take notice. When people hear the music of Coole High, they sit up and take notice, too. I actually met Coole High a while back at an M3rd show in NYC at the club formerly known as Midway. He signed up for my email list and appeared on stage with Tah for a song. Dude was cool. I checked out his music and it turned out he had skills, too. Over the course of the next few months I’d hear both Tah and Conscious rave about Coole High and this week I finally caught up with him again to find out more about who Coole High is, where his jazz background comes from, and why he doesn’t limit himself to just one form of music.

Adam Bernard: Start me off with a little background info. Who is Coole High, where is he from and what kind of trouble did he get into growing up?
Coole High: Coole High is from Brooklyn, NY. Born, raised, stole, boinked, fought, lost a few, etc. I was very mischievous but never a troublemaker.

Adam Bernard: How did you become Coole High and why do you spell it the way you do?
Coole High: I went away to college at Tuskegee University. I used to wear black frames and Kangols, or driving caps, back then. Well, people there knew the classic 70's film Cooley High and started calling me Preacher the Poet, who is a character from the film. Being that I did write a lot of poetry and songs it kinda fit, but anyways, they cut it to Cooley High for short. When I came back to NY some of my people here just started calling me that out of the blue! I was like, none of these people know each other from north to south and they're calling me the same thing, what better way to get your name, huh? The spelling was to not conflict with the movie or any other Cooley High's out there but hey, so what? There are two that I know of with different spellings and we all seem to be "cool" with it.

Adam Bernard: What are some of your most recent projects? Where can people hear you?
Coole High: My most recent projects are my new “Hip-Hop” album Futuristically Speaking, due end of the summer, and a lounge music project titled ReddOktoba Lounge Series Vol.1: Casual Attire, which is more jazzy, funky and soulful than my "Hip-Hop" music and is due early fall. This was actually a secret project, but I leaked a few joints! Jazz is my origin. My pops played the sax with a quartet when he came to the states from Trinidad and it pretty much stuck with me growing up.

Adam Bernard: Wow, that’s awesome. So stylistically how has your work changed over the years?
Coole High: I guess that the many influences of good music today (he says sarcastically), combined with my personal goal of pushing myself to think out of the box and do different things has allowed me to play with different sounds and instruments when it comes to production. Artist-wise, I don't curse as much! I do still incorporate life messages and experiences throughout my music. You'll get a lot of different vibes from Futuristically Speaking than from any of my previous works. Never been a gangster or nothing like that, but I did roam in the same circles as those who were. I was always cool and laid back. I guess my style has evolved to a cooler state of cool than it was previously, mainly through life experiences and relationships.

Adam Bernard: What do you like to get out of music and how are you making sure people will feel that way when they put on one of your songs?
Coole High: I get inspiration from GOOD music, so much that it inspires me to create some good music of my own. I like to feel good when I hear a song. I like to be able to not resist bobbing my head or tapping my feet when I listen to a good song, no matter what genre. I send sample cuts to my Circle of Different and Eclectic People and listen for their feedback. If the general consensus is that it makes them feel good rather than it's just a good song then I know it's a winner.

Adam Bernard: I know there’s another side to you, as well. Tell me, what's the difference between Coole High and EL-BLEN? Do we have a split personality disorder on our hands here?
Coole High: Coole High is the artist and EL-BLEN is just some other guy that mans the boards and does some of the other business stuff with ReddOktoba Productions, Inc. You're getting this info from Coole right now.

Adam Bernard: So how’s the role of president of ReddOktoba Productions Inc. treatin ya? Is it a crazy gig?
Coole High: EL-BLEN is better at answering this one… Hey Adam! I'm a behind the scenes kind of guy that maintains the day to day operations of blah blah blah and so forth. Actually, just making sure deadlines are met, taxes are paid and money is made, the latter being a very challenging thing in this day and age of music, maintaining the websites, making sure Coole gets his coffee in the morning, etc. Basic business, dude.

Adam Bernard: Thanks EL. Finally, as both an emcee and a president, how would you realistically go about changing the mainstream?
Coole High: It sucks, but I think the mainstream is where it needs to be right now. I mean, it makes really good music stand out even more so. The only thing I might change or add is the inclusion of independent or "underground" music and plugs for "underground" shows and events. If we got a fraction of the time that some of these other "word-associating" rappers and entities get we would probably be able to sell more music, thus introducing the world to "good music." We as free thinking artists should really stay steadfast and continue to make good music. Eventually something’s got to give.

Related Links

Coole High: coolehigh.com
ReddOktoba: reddoktoba.com
MySpace: myspace.com/coolehigh
Reverbnation: reverbnation.com/coolehigh


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:41 AM  
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