As if London was somehow lacking in upstart musicians with sounds that need to be heard here in America, Col3trane is turning heads with his modern take on R&B. 2017 saw him impress with his debut album titled Tsarina, placing more eyes on the skilled singer as we await his 2018 moves.
Talented at both rapping and singing, the 18-year-old artist born as Cole Basta first started making music around the age of 16, when his mother purchased him a new set of speakers. Raised in London by American and Egyptian parents, he’s always had a global background, tying into his versatility on the microphone.
Right from the get-go, Col3trane’s debut single “New Chain” revealed his ability to make a strong name for himself in the industry. The song was released in May 2017, and finds him wandering up and down the musical scale with ease while always discovering new flows in the process.
The album itself paints a fuller picture of what Col3trane can accomplish, with plenty of gems for fans to peruse through. To date, “Penelope” has been the most popular song off Tsarina – and for good reason, with its downtempo, sparse groove and Basta’s beautifully stuttering rhyme scheme. Halfway through the song, the gentle production turns much more aggressive as the beat switches to a trap-influenced, booming sound, as Col3trane cries for a lover named Penelope to return: “Penelope come back and check on me / I need you to rescue what’s left of me.”
The dreary music video matches the vibe of the song, complete with distorted b-roll and shots of Col3trane enjoying the nightlife with his friends. Evidencing his rapid ascent, the visuals to “Penelope” were handled by Prince’s personal photographer Nicole Nodland, and have garnered nearly 400,000 YouTube streams since its release in September 2017.
Deeper into the tracklist, “X.X.” is yet another standout, bolstered with its atmospheric production that creates a hazy, pensive energy. The song’s lyrics match the mood as well, as Col3trane sings “It makes me sad that when you call me / I can’t promise I’ll be with you.”
If you haven’t heard all of Tsarina yet, it’s time you corrected that error and pressed play on an emerging talent. Stay tuned for more updates, as we’ll be watching closely in the near future!