• Martina Stramaccioni

L8 Nights With COLL

Norwich based artist, producer and engineer COLL is making a comeback with his first single of 2021, L8 Nights, a debut track from his third mixtape Blue Magic 3. The drill, grime and rap inspired track discusses the importance of self-love and hard work meanwhile demonstrating his own grind and energy, such as his skills in handling all musical roles. Born in Zimbabwe and raised in the UK since his youth, he grew up absorbing rap flow from inspiring hip hop artists Tupac and The Notorious B.I.G. Writing from experience makes L8 Nights even more relatable for listeners - it is your new motivation anthem when you feel like giving up. His dedication to music is further reinforced through setting up his own label, True Music Records which was funded by The Arts Council England. In addition, a successful collaboration with Pirate Studios has provided local musicians with studio access. It is clear that L8 Nights is an embodiment of COLL as he makes enough room not only for himself but also for local talent to flourish.

“L8 nights is about working hard and keeping yourself happy and positive at all times."
“I wrote, produced and engineered the song at my house at the start of the most recent lockdown and just wanted to release something upbeat and experiment with production. This will be the first single from my next mixtape project, Blue Magic 3 which will be out this summer and it features artists in Norwich and around the UK.”

COLLs Interview

You’ve set up your own label, True Music Records - given the current climate, why is it important for you to remain independent and support more emerging artists?

I think it's important for artists to see other artists making great music and being successful. It is possible for you to build a team and do it independently and still achieve great things. Especially in smaller cities like mine, I felt this was something that we needed and something that we can own and call ours.

What would you say your ethos is when it comes to being positive?

I live by 4 rules which have changed my life, Always do my best, Always stick to my word, never take anything personally and never make assumptions. These 4 things keep me positive and grounded at all times and I constantly come back to them when making decisions in life.

Can you tell us more about your latest EP Blue Magic 2 and what was your writing process like?

With Blue Magic 2 the process was simple, I made a lot of different beats whilst in Lockdown and then started coming up with ideas and samples and images of how I wanted the project to sound and look like. From then on it was easy to write and it was natural as nothing was strained. I managed to get a singer called Nalah involved and she recorded 2 songs for me and sent them back withing 48 hours so it worked well. I wanted It to be natural so every song was written without too much thought.

What mindset do you experience when you’re switching between the roles of a producer, writer and engineer?

As a producer my first thought is does it sound good, does it make me move? Then as a writer I'm concentrating more on how to paint a picture and describe something in a way that's entertaining and meaningful, wordplay, flow, sound of my voice.

As an engineer I have to listen to the track from a critical point and pick out everything that can be enhanced or improved. This is my least favourite part as it requires a lot of concentration and it's very repetitive but the results make it all worth it to be honest.

If you could describe yourself in 3 words, what would it be?

Creative, tenacious, focused!