ILLUMINE COLLECT BLOG

Staying True To The Music

An interview with singer-songwriter Cole

Interview by Jeremy Lux, article by Eric Gasa

Cole is a singer-songwriter who makes music for the young and young at heart. Singing moody songs of teen angst and stealing her boyfriend’s hoodies, Cole’s music is a lovey spread of lush pop and agile vocals reminiscent of Ariana Grande and other Top 40 stars. But make no mistake, Cole (real name Nicole Starr) isn’t a LA native or New York transplant, she’s from right here in Springfield, Mo. A city, that she admits “isn’t the most glamorous” but certainly has her thanks and its place in her heart. She’s a singer bringing a cutting edge sound to the Midwest.

For the latest episode of the Life In Motion podcast, Jeremy Lux chats with Cole, Springfield’s rising vocalist, about her upbringing, claim to fame, thoughts on signing her first record deal, and her once in a lifetime opportunity to perform with The Chainsmokers onstage.

Cole always knew she wanted to make music since she was a child.

“I was 11 in my dining room one night playing on this really out of tune, beat up piano and I just started writing lyrics to this piano piece and it all kind of came into place,” says Cole, “I was shocked that I was even able to do that.”

It’s no surprise though that musical talent runs in Cole’s family. Cole’s mom and dad both played in bands and fatefully one night met when they performed at the same gig.

COLE

“So music has always been a huge part of my life, part of who I am, part of my family. It's just in my veins, I guess,” explains Cole.

Family is also another big factor in Cole’s life. She mentions how supportive her mom and dad have been in helping her kick start her musical career. In fact, Cole’s mom was the one who kind of gave her the first nudge. When Cole was 9 her mother recorded her singing Taylor Swift’s “Love Story”. Impressed, Cole’s mom posted it on Facebook.

“I remember being like so mad at her,” Cole recalls, “I was like, why would you post that? But then I remember reading all these comments from friends and family saying that I was good and like sing that I had a good voice and I was like, ‘What? I do?’”

Before she knew it, Cole’s parents started a YouTube channel and began posting vids of their daughter singing. Cole now boasts a strong social media following on YouTube and Instagram, but despite being an influencer she tries to keep herself humble.

“I feel like with a lot of celebrities and social media influencers, people think that they live this like perfect life and like they have all this like money and success and fame and like, I just want people to see me as like a normal person.”

COLE

But Cole still does plenty things out of the ordinary…like perform onstage with The Chainsmokers. Cole and her parents were on their way to a Chainsmokers concert when she said how cool it would be to perform onstage with them one day.

“Well, why not?” asked her Dad. “DM them.”

Cole thought it was a longshot but did it anyway. She then posted a screenshot of the DM to her Snapchat and asked her fans to message the band about possibly letting her perform. It was worth the shot!

Cole wouldn’t hear back until she was literally in the stands.

“We were sitting in the nosebleed section when I got a DM from them and I was like, oh my God. I bawled my eyes out I was so shocked.”

The Chainsmokers’ manager contacted Cole and led her to the dressing room where she got to meet the duo of Andrew Taggart and Alex Pall. Cole admits she was beyond nervous but when the moment of truth came, when she began to sing, all of her nerves simply melted away.

“It was so weird,” says Cole.

COLE with The Chainsmokers

After the show, the band posted a clip on Instagram and tagged Cole in it. That next morning, she woke up to an avalanche of new followers and emails from producers all across the country. What started as a DM on Instagram transformed into a huge opportunity for Cole’s music career. After the windfall of attention Cole was later discovered by StreamCut, an exclusive Spotify label based in Atlanta that flew her out for studio sessions.

Even with all these big moves Cole still has plans to stay busy. She has been recording a single per month this year, practically a full record, all the while shooting music videos and plotting music collabs. When she’s not heading over to Nashville or Atlanta, Cole can also be found recording over at Studio 2100 in Springfield.

But despite all the success and industry connections, Cole remains humble throughout and reminds herself that it is important to say genuine.

“I always try to keep in mind is that there are thousands of other people trying to do the same thing… as artists and musicians, we really have to like push ourselves to be different and stand out from everyone else,” Cole explains, “but I think the most important thing for me is I don't want to change who I am. I don't want to put that in jeopardy because I want people to love and respect me.”

She says it plainly: “If they don’t respect me for who I am then they aren’t the fans for me.”

If there’s one thing about Cole, it’s that even while in the limelight she stays true to herself.

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You can check out Cole’s music on Apple Music, Spotify and YouTube, as well as follow her story on Instagram @thenames_cole. To hear the full interview be sure to listen to the Life in Motion podcast with Jeremy Lux on iTunes, Spotify, and Google Play.

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