Through the centuries, the popular process of creating music has undergone immense change. Long gone are the days of a single musical genius locked to their harpsichord composing intricate melodies for the heavens, with today’s sessions circuit where songwriters from all over the world are paired with one another with the sole intention of creating that next smash hit becoming the norm. Ralph Waldo Emerson might be rolling in his grave at my impending use of his grossly overused epigram, “It’s not the destination, It’s the journey,” but in today’s creative climate of “song math” and “bangers,” an artist with a unique creative process cuts through the noise in a very special way.
One of these artists is 20-year-old Canadian, Callum Afcouliotis, popularly known as COTIS. Residing in a musical nook somewhere between hazy hip-hop and dance-inducing R&B, COTIS’ sound is characteristic of the music of today, thriving as an evolving melting pot of genres. Uncharacteristically of today is how COTIS goes about creating his music, which usually involves dedicated periods of writing and that one perfect producing partner.
For his sophomore EP Patience, that partner is fellow up and comer Andrew Luce. Unrestrained by any calculated creative intentions, what you hear on the EP is unfiltered and raw—a true reflection of COTIS’ life at that distinct moment in time. In his own words,
“‘Patience’ was made during the last year of my life with Andrew in his apartment studio in Hollywood. Every time I took a trip to LA we just kept chipping away at it and it turned out to be a very reflective and youthful sounding record. I feel like I’ve grown so much since starting this record and really feel like it represents that last year of my life perfectly. It’s nice to finally be able to drop the project and say goodbye to that chapter of my life and start a new one.”
A treat for the ear, Patience hosts a myriad of complex rhythmic lines, rich melodic flows, and a healthy combination of natural and produced sonorities. A one time listen through isn’t enough to grasp Luce’s production in its entirety and even nearing countless listens in, new sounds seem to emerge. Kicking off with a track that leans closer to electro-dance with splashes of funk, “Don’t” is an infectious tune, a move-your-body-feel-the-music-in-your-soul type of vibe. Following with the single “Prom” then “Peace of Mind” and “Timeless,“ the listener is able to revel in COTIS’ unique vocal tone, often heavy with reverb and laden with tight interlacing harmonies.
The title track and personal favorite “Patience” is a slow-burning R&B track, a testament to millennial romance complete with the innate paradox of wanting someone desperately while knowing the likelihood that it won’t last. Concluding tracks “Control - Freestyle,” “B.B. Belt,” and "Outro” largely showcase COTIS’ stream of consciousness flow, honest musings in their most unadulterated state make the listener feel as if that really know COTIS, like tapping into his private thoughts or ripping pages from a scribbled journal.
Listen to Patience below: