Catching Up with Tristan Cole (2019 Edition)

Singer-songwriter Tristan Cole returned to Jake’s Take to talk about his latest music. (Photo courtesy of Tristan Cole)

By: Jacob Elyachar,

It is a privilege to welcome back singer-songwriter and model Tristan Cole to Jake’s Take.

Over the past few years, Tristan Cole has rebuilt his music career by changing his name and sound. He recorded covers that ranged from Sir Elton John’s “Your Song” to Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect.” Also, Tristan collaborated with fellow up-and-coming performers including Eddie Heartthrob, Jacob Colon, Kalli Therinae, Shaadie, and Yahosh Bonner.

In this edition of Catching Up, Tristan Cole opened up about his rebranding process, his new single: “Christmas Eve,” and revealed which music industry heavy hitters are on the top of his dream collaborations list.

Jacob Elyachar: Tristan, it has been three years since we last spoke. How have you grown as a musician since the last time we talked? 

Tristan Cole: Has it been three years?

Jacob Elyachar: It has.

Tristan Cole: Oh, man, time flies. First, it’s great to be back on here, so thanks for having me. In the last three years, I would say I am growing a lot. I have new management and rebranded myself quite a bit. I am still releasing some music, but I think I slightly went in a different direction than I was three years ago previously. However, the fan base is growing steadily. I am grateful for that, and the opportunity befitting.

Jacob Elyachar: Let’s talk about the rebranding process. What were some of the reasons that you decided to rebrand? 

Tristan Cole: I have experimented with a few different looks, image-wise. It happened three years ago. Then, my sound, my direction a little bit. I still am in the same genre, Pop-R&B, but I am dabbling in EDM now, and I tried to make a great effort to have more purpose and a message behind my music now. Well, I guess my recent single, “Out of Time,” talked about suicide prevention. I released a Christmas song. I also have another song on my new EP dropping at the beginning of the year called “Champion.” That song has a lot of meaning for me. I want to be able to encourage and support the underdog. I am going to have a lot of people from a lot of unique backgrounds that are going to appear in the music video. I am going to shed some light on their situation and provide them with a voice.

Jacob Elyachar: What have been some of the significant challenges that you have faced in your career since the last time we spoke? How have you overcome those obstacles?

Tristan Cole: Man, that is a tough question. I have been struggling with some health issues lately. I do not put that out there in public per se. I like to stay encouraging, try to inspire and motivate people, but life happens sometimes. We deal with different struggles. I have finally gotten my bearings on it. I feel like I am doing better now, but autoimmune diseases are, I think, to be concerned for. I believe that it’s given me a leg to stand on, and I have learned to not only cope with the autoimmune situation but also to take care of my own body better, then gain the knowledge to help other people who might be struggling with similar things. Our world is ever-changing. I think it is essential to take care of our health. I am grateful for the opportunity that the health situations in my personal life are given me to be able to speak to others and educate them on how they might do better.

Jacob Elyachar: I am grateful that you were able to open up about this to me because I am very grateful that you trust me to come on this platform to talk about that obstacle. I’m glad that you are healthy and doing awesome, Tristan.

Tristan Cole: Thank you. I appreciate it. It has not been easy, but I see the light at the end of the tunnel, it’s good.

Tristan Cole covered Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” with rapper Shaadie. (Music video property of Tristan Cole)

Jacob Elyachar: Throughout 2019, you have released four singles. Two covers: one of Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” with Shaadie and “A Whole New World” with Kalli Moon. You also recorded two originals songs: “Body Shots” with Eddie Heartthrob, and “Out of Time” with Shaadie. Could you please describe the recording process to my readers?

Tristan Cole:

The recording process starts with me collaborating with the producer and voicing what type of vibe I am going for and the concept that I have been thinking about. Sometimes, it’s not something intentional; it just hits me. The “Superstition” track was something that just hit me out of the blue. I was, I was visiting family, and we decided to go to some volleyball activity. They were playing music, and Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” came on. I mean, who does not love Stevie? Anyways, I am singing along the song, because I was like, “I love this song. I know this song.” A lot of people were like, “Oh, you sound good.” I wasn’t even trying to sing for anybody, but just myself. But I started thinking, “Oh man, maybe I should cover this song.” The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to do a remix or remake of the song. I searched all over the internet. I had not found anything like that; I thought it would cut through my genre, and get it more of a spotlight. Anyways, we ended up working on that. That was a long-winded explanation, but I started with a beat, then after the beat is put to the vibe that I want, I start writing.

Sometimes I will bring in a co-writer. After the lyrics and the melody are constructed, we go into a studio. A lot of times, I will work remotely. I go to a nearby studio location; I record my raw vocals, then I email them to the producer. Then, the producer will do a lot of the mixed mastering, and just the vocal effects. That’s how we get it done most of the time.

Tristan Cole put his spin on Justin Bieber’s “Christmas Eve” for the 2019 holiday season. (Music video property of Tristan Cole)

Jacob Elyachar: Let’s talk about your holiday track, “Christmas Eve.” When you sent me a preview of the song, it reminded me so much of a 90s boy band songs such as NSYNC’s “Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays” in my head. Then, 98 Degrees’ “Christmas Wish.”

Tristan Cole: Those are good choices.  

Jacob Elyachar: Can you describe the story behind the song?

Tristan Cole: I was going for more of a Pop and R&B vibe, but NSYNC and 98 Degrees are some of the great boy bands from that time. They were super popular; I will take that as a compliment. But yeah, I mean, I guess anytime you go about singing about Christmas, it’s going to be more along those lines. It gets that bubble gum pop, happy go lucky feel, you want to feel warm inside. That’s what Christmas is all about. Still, a lot of people are not familiar with the song, from just because it’s a mistletoe song, and his Christmas album was so incredibly popular that this is like a secondary song on the album. I liked the fact that a lot of people aren’t super familiar with this song. That way, it gave me more originality, I was not so intensely compared to a previous artist who had done the song. Instead, they focus more on my artistry and musicality.

Jacob Elyachar: Who are your dream collaborators (singers, songwriters, and producers) that you would like to work with in the future? 

Tristan Cole: As far as producers are concerned, my wish list includes DJ Khaled, Pharrell Williams, and Timbaland. Both Timbaland and Pharrell are geniuses. They are the beasts behind one of my heroes, Justin Timberlake’s biggest hits. As far as his sound and how dynamic his career has been, I can’t help but want to rub shoulders with those same people that it took to mold him. As far as songwriters are concerned, I think Babyface is a fantastic songwriter. There’s so many, to be honest, I do not want to give you a laundry list, but artists, I am not too particular with. I think it just depends on the vibe of the song.

Every artist has their platform and message to convey. I would guess an example if you wanted one is NF. I feel like he teeters on a lot of subject matters that hit home for me. I feel like he would be cool to have. Maybe not collaborate on the phone with, but as a rapper to have featured out on a track, I think it would be awesome. I mean Bruno Mars would be fantastic to be able to work with. I. Also, Halsey would be awesome to collaborate with. I think not only does she have a great buzz, but she’s got a great sound, she’s got a remarkable story. I think she’s just a dynamic person in general. One final singer-songwriter that I would like to work with is Mike Posner.

Jacob Elyachar: What can my readers expect from you as you begin a new chapter in 2020? 

Tristan Cole: We are going to start the year off strong in 2020. In the first quarter, I’m going to be recording a new EP. It’s not titled yet, but I do have the EP wholly finished. It’s going to consist of five solid tracks. We wanted to give diversity to it; I think that my listeners are going to appreciate it. Other than that, I mean, the sky’s the limit. This next year, 2020, I set out to focus more on performing. I would say a four is in store; it’s definitely in the works. But other than that, it’s just continuously touching with my fan base. I will continue to be singing some covers. New singles later on in the year after the EP’s done. But I would say concretely, have the EP set to release, and then after that, I am going to focus a lot on forward promoting that EP.

You can connect with Tristan Cole on social media. Visit his Facebook, Instagram,Twitter & YouTube channels. 

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