Col3trane is 19 years old. At that age, I believe I was surviving off Mi Goreng—the Londoner is headlining shows around the world, thanks to an unshakable work ethic. Tsarina, his unwaveringly confident debut release, won him fans like Jorja Smith. Tracks like ‘New Chain’ and ‘Penelope’ riff on young love and big ambitions, bearing more than a passing resemblance to Frank Ocean. This year’s follow-up release, a seven-track EP titled BOOT, is the most nuanced work we’ve heard from Col3trane yet; recorded over eight months between L.A. and London. ‘Fear and Loathing’ and ‘Chemicals’ highlight his growth as an artist; with brilliant production from the likes of Rogét Chahayed, J Moon, and Cadenza.
Currently en route from his home in London to Australia for a string of festival shows, Col3trane wrote us between tour buses and aeroplanes: talking Hunter Thompson, artistic growth, and the websites that waste his time.
You’ve had a pretty incredible year so before we get into anything, congratulations. As a listener, I could hear a lot of growth betweenTsarina and BOOT. I’m interested to know how you experienced the eight months between those releases.
Yeah, it was very different. When we made Tsarina, we spent over a year on it. We took a lot of time on it. BOOT was made back and forth between LA and London, [with] a lot of travelling in between. I feel like I’m more open to experimenting musically now; just because I’ve travelled more and met more people who have inspired me.
I know you based ‘Fear and Loathing’ around the acclaimed novel by Hunter S. Thompson. Would you say you’re more a Hunter or his Attorney?
Probably Hunter. I like to be at least attentive and aware of my surroundings. Sometimes Attorney though—but rarely.
You’ll be in Australia for Listen Out in September – will this be your first time? Do you like Vegemite?
I dunno what [Vegemite] is—sounds really strange. I’m gonna have to find out!I’m definitely looking forward to playing shows! Meeting people, and maybe catching some AFL or some rugby if there’s any on. Just excited to see what Australia is really about.
What can fans expect to experience from your live show?
An emotional rollercoaster, good energy, and live music. Expect to get sweaty too!
Alright, I know you’re about to jump on a flight, so let’s do some quick-fire rounds. What are the three albums that have been on your high rotation lately?
John Coltrane, Giant Steps; Lil Skies, Life of a Dark Rose; Travis Scott, Rodeo.
Link me three videos that are in your Youtube top recommendations.
Three websites you waste the most time on?
Spotify, YouTube, and Pornhub.
Ha! Tell me the first three albums you ever bought?
Kanye West, Late Registration; 50 Cent, Get Rich or Die Tryin’; John Mayer, Continuum.