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For the talented artist, COBI, Music is a “torch that lights (his) way through life.” Following music and his heart, his journey so far has been everything he could imagine and more. At the age of nine, a family friend brought over a sparkly blue electric Fender Stratocaster which marked the beginning of a lifelong relationship.  Bringing the passion and spark in the studio or on stage, Cobi may (or may not 😉 ) have some projects on the horizon so make sure to keep an eye out!

How has your relationship with music evolved in the last 10 years?

I have never thought of my music as a relationship. It’s been more of a torch that lights my way through life. I’ve always followed my music and my heart and everything has turned out alright so far.

When did you know you wanted to pursue a career in music? Was there a specific moment/person who inspired you?

It was probably the first moment I picked up an electric guitar. I was around 9 years old when a family friend brought over his sparkly blue electric Fender Stratocaster. He plugged it into a small amp and handed it to me. He showed me how to play my first chord and after that, I was obsessed. I saved money by mowing lawns that summer to buy my own electric guitar. A few months later I bought my first Squire Stratocaster from Schmitt’s Music in Minneapolis MN and immediately started learning Nirvana songs.

Growing up, what kind of music did your family play? What music got you through high school?

My dad mostly listened to the oldies station that played all the 50s music that he loved. But I think the memory that stands out the most was singing along to Bob Marley and records in his truck. My mom listened to Van Morisson, Neil Young, Willie Nelson, Michael Jackson, Joni Mitchel, The Beatles, Buddy Guy, Robert Cray, and many others.

My brother turned me onto a lot of different music that got me through high school. The Doors, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Queens Of The Stone Age, Rage Against The Machine, Mars Volta, Tool, Nine Inch Nails, Peter Tosh and so many more.

Share with us a time where music brought you and someone/people together. 

Most of the relationships I have were forged out of music in some way. Whether from being on the road and meeting people or just sharing a common love for a particular song with someone. It’s led me to so many places and given me the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people that it’s hard to think of a relationship that wasn’t because of music.

Tell us more about your music and what you hope it makes listeners feel. 

I hope my listeners experience everything from euphoria to feeling blue. I want to take them on a rollercoaster of emotions and feel a yearning for unattainable love. My music is meant to be hypnotic and release inhibitions. It’s not meant for the faint of heart.

From studio to performing, what do you like the most from each of those scenes?

I love the studio because it allows you to create something that will outlive you. There’s really nothing like the feeling of being tantalized by the muses to chase an idea all the way to its completion. With recording, you’re trying to capture special moments and make them last forever.

Performing live is different. It’s not meant to last forever. It’s meant to be a special fleeting moment in time. I like to reserve parts of songs for improvising during my show to keep the music alive and fresh. To me that’s a key ingredient to making the experience truly LIVE.

While on stage, where does your mind go to usually? What are you thinking about the most?

On stage I’m doing my best NOT to think. I really try to focus on getting lost in the music and express each note as genuinely as possible. The challenge with live performance is the changing circumstances and outside stimuli that are out of your control. Being able to maintain that meditative state throughout a changing environment takes a lot of focus.

If you were to see yourself perform on stage, what are things you would want to change? Things you would be very proud of?

I record my shows whenever possible so I can go back and see how I look and sound after each performance. I get very picky about how I move on stage, or how my face looks when I sing a certain part, or how the lighting looks for each moment of the show.  I’ll always be my own worst critic, but I feel proud when I see how far I’ve come. It makes me want to continue to get better.

Personal hobbies?

I like to be out in nature whenever possible. Camping, hiking, swimming, and fishing are rejuvenators for the soul.

Any new projects on the horizon?

I can neither confirm nor deny the existence of any future projects ;

Talent COBI @cobimusic
Photography YASMINE KATEB @yasminekateb
Interview ALEXANDRA BONNET @alexbonnetwrites