Hip hop

Norwich-based artist COLL is known to blur genre lines as he regularly showcases his energetic and motivation delivery atop eclectic beats. An innovative self-starter, COLL taught himself how to write, produce and engineer his music. He credits his family and their do-it-yourself ethos for this unwavering drive and determination that has earned the rapper endorsement from the likes of BBC Introducing, BBC One Look East, Arts Council England and Evening News Norwich, as well as stage-time at Sundown and Latitude Festivals. Through the founding of True Music Records, his own label based in Norwich, COLL has become a role model in his hometown: securing over £12,000 worth of funding for local artists, as well as a partnership with Pirate Studios that gives those artists the opportunity to rehearse their material for free. Along with its event arm – True Music Events – COLL is hopeful of leading his local music scene out of shadow of Covid-19, using True Music to connect, aid and promote his peers. Since 2019, COLL has been releasing new music on a monthly basis to his steadily growing online following. His recent efforts have garnered him over 40,000 streams, and over 200,000 views across his social media platforms. The rapper’s most successful offering to date – ‘Rockstar’ – is a brief, life-giving reprieve from the severity of modern times. The bouncy, anthemic track cooly embraces reggaeton, afrobeats and contemporary rap, and has received over 70,000 views since its release in July. Inspired by the likes of Outkast and Eric B. & Rakim, storytelling is at the heart of COLL’s music, which can motivate, humble and reassure. Hot on the heels of ‘Rockstar’ is the multi-faceted artist’s defiant brand new single – ‘Tell Me Nothing’. Beneath a garnish of belligerent synthesizers and blaring sirens, ‘Tell Me Nothing’ chugs, thumps and rumbles with an unrelenting swagger matched only by COLL’s effortlessly confident flow. Both ‘Tell Me Nothing’ and ‘Rockstar’ form the bedrock of COLL’s sophomore EP: BLUE MAGIC 2. Recorded and produced during the United Kingdom’s Covid-19 lockdown period the EP is themed around self-motivation, and reflects COLL’s entrepreneurial spirit. Featuring samples from the likes Smokey Robinson and Mobb Deep, BLUE MAGIC 2 is due to release this September.