Inspired by the lakes of Prince, Jackson 5, Amber Marks and Kiana Lede, T. Cole is a vibrant young artist from Ireland. Merging elements of rap, contemporary pop, R&B and hip-hop, the songstress has a unique genre-defying style to her sound. We speak with her about her sophomore single ‘Sipping Not Tripping’, future plans and discovering new music.
OSR: What drew you to music?
T. COLE: Singing in church choir initially. That was kinda my first real introduction to music and singing, but I guess what really drew me to music was that it was everywhere. In the car, in the shops, on the bus, on the television, at parties. I was immersed in it. I couldn’t get away from it really, for lack of a better phrase. It would be hard but to be drawn to something like that don’t you think?
OSR: What is the inspiration and backstory to your single ‘Sipping Not Tripping’?
T. COLE: Ever since I wrote the song I’ve been saying and thinking to myself that everybody has had an “on my mind moment”, as I like to call it. An OMM moment is a moment in time when you miss someone, simply put. Either you’re on a night out or at a house party or just having fun in general, but you’re struggling to have genuine fun at times because you know there’s someone that would make that experience a whole lot better. That person could be a love interest, a partner, a crush, a best friend, a family member, anyone. It’s an “I wish so-and-so was here right now” type of feeling. I know I’ve felt that once or twice before so I wrote about it. But the song goes on past that feeling and the hook ends in “get off my mind” meaning you alone are enough. And this, I guess, relates best to a love interest. As you don’t need an external source of happiness or joy that person doesn’t necessarily need to be there for you to have a good time; have a good time regardless. So, in essence, I guess what the song is really portraying deep down is about being your own source of happiness.
OSR: Did you face any challenges when recording the track?
T. COLE: Well, for starters, my manager wasn’t sold on it at first. I can laugh about it now cause he loves it, but initially when I played the demo for him, no harmonies, no adlibs, he didn’t like it. But my producer and I continued to work on it and I think that little push from my manager might have made the song what it is today. Apart from that, there weren’t any challenges actually and I’ve said before that’s what I love about this track, it was so effortless.
OSR: Which do you find more difficult – melody or lyrics?
T. COLE: Usually lyrics. I always have some complex melodies that compliment the beat but putting words to it isn’t always easy. Most times, the melody for the hook comes first, so my downfall is always the verses and tryna maintain the listeners interest for the verse as well as the chorus. Having sick word play is something I’m yet to master and I would to incorporate into my verses and music. Something rappers tend to possess and that’s why I love Drake, J. Cole (my uncle ?), Kendrick and Eminem because they do just that.
OSR: If you could change anything about ‘Sipping Not Tripping’ what would it be?
T. COLE: I’d make it longer! No, I joke. I would probably play around with the pre-chorus a little bit more. Keep the ‘Sipping Not Tripping’ component but change up the lyrics a little so there’s less repetition.
OSR: What do you hope people take from your music?
T. COLE: I want people to take a feel-good vibe from my music. That’s it. I want you to feel good when you listen to T.Cole. I also want people to be able to relate and apply my songs to aspects of their life, no matter what that walk of life is. Whether the song is of love, heartbreak, gratitude or even a good time, I want people to be able to reflect on that.
OSR: How do you think ‘Sipping Not Tripping’ compares to your debut single?
T. COLE: I definitely feel like ‘Sipping Not Tripping’ is more me with the strong melodies and the stronger drum pattern in comparison to my debut single. However, I do think that it would be difficult if not impossible to go through a worldwide global pandemic and come out of it untouched. I think my debut single is a presentation of who I was and how I was feeling during the pandemic and was a reminder to both myself and others to be thankful.
Now with ‘Sipping Not Tripping’ it’s kind of business as usual. It’s back to business, back to me in a sense. I think my debut single is different because I’m different and I think there’s beauty in that. This quite literally is the soundtrack of my life and each track, each project, each single is a journey on its own and is an element of who I am. A multifaceted dynamic person and that’s fine.
OSR: Describe your sound in one word.
T. COLE: Ooooh, that’s a hard one. I would say…energetic. No matter the topic of interest there’s always energy behind the melodies and the project.
OSR: What do you think is the best way to discover music in today’s climate?
T. COLE: Tiktok or through avenues other than music streaming platforms. Finding music has changed since when I was younger and we’d listen to whatever was on the charts or on the radio. That being said I do think radio is elite. I recently stumbled across a song by Bobbi Arlo that I’m obsessed with from just listening to the radio in the car, but I do feel like these days we like what we hear and what’s being consistently played around us.
OSR: Do you have future plans?
T. COLE: Loads. I don’t even think I’m ready for them, let alone you guys. I have a lot of music projects that are going on behind the scenes that are really fun and exciting. Lots of stuff in the archives ready to go. So I’m excited for that. Outside of music, I am graduating this year. So this year is definitely one for the books. Keep an eye for me, T.Cole is my name!