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Tradition and originality are two traits that can be found on opposite ends of the modern human spectrum. Traditions are handed down for years, they’re safe, we know they work. Being original requires bravery, and an immense amount of creativity. Both are admirable traits to possess, and you’d be hard-pressed to find someone that balances them evenly.
Meet Cole King. Born Cole Charbonneau to parents Peter and Sally, Cole was fortunate enough to have grown up in the historic city of Saratoga Springs located in Upstate New York. Peter owned his own roofing company, while Sally stayed at home juggling Cole and his brother and three sisters. Traditional values such as hard work, humility and proper grammar were instilled in them at a young age. They were also taught to think outside the box. While Cole and his brother grew up eating, breathing and sleeping soccer and other sports, the girls in the family were all taking piano lessons and dance classes. But there was a creative bone in each of the 5 kids. Cole developed an early infatuation for hip-hop and occasionally wrote his own verses just for fun. It wasn’t until 8th grade when he started showing people these verses, which to their collective surprise, were actually good. He taped these verses and freestyles with his friends on a karaoke machine in his basement until his family got their first iMac. Thus spawning a new era in his life.
Cole started discovering recording and production software, bought his first microphone and keyboard and began independently creating his own original work in 2004. He wrote songs about everything from his high school to his neighborhood, from girls to sports, from party songs to socially conscious songs and everywhere in between. He was starting to fall in love with music and the process of creating it. He, along with his younger brother (producer Frank Drake) seemed to be naturals. Blame it on their father, who also wrote and played his own original music on his grand piano every night.
Over the years, Cole has developed his sound and musical identity while gaining respect along the way. He still carries the traditional values that he learned growing up in his five-kid home in Saratoga Springs, New York, and he uses them as an anchor at each stop he makes in our exponentially changing world.