3 minute read

Superpowers

After touring with Dua Lipa and releasing his first EP, British R&B artist Col3trane prepares for music-world domination. Here, he joins forces with the latest member of Moncler's genius family: Palm Angels.

ALL CLOTHING AND BOOTS (THROUGHOUT) 8 MONCLER PALM ANGELS | COL3TRANE WEARS: RING (RIGHT HAND) BULGARI | RING (LEFT HAND) ATELIER SWAROVSKI | NECKLACE HIS OWN
ODILE AND CAMILLE WEAR: EARRINGS BULGARI

20-year-old R&B singer Col3trane is feeling hazy, having celebrated in advance of his EP, Heroine, which would drop a few days later. He calls this releaseweek regimen “running wild,” before clarifying: “I am not wild out here, but I am fucking lit,” he says on the phone, at his girlfriend’s house in Surrey, outside London. He sees the rowdy days and late nights of youth as grist for future pop songs, so is game to put in the research.

A songwriter as well as a singer, Col3trane released his first mixtape in 2018. With his EP in the bag, he has yet to set his sights on a full-length album—partly because he thinks he hasn’t logged enough lived experience to fuel a longer-form work. “I don’t feel like I am at a stage in my life to do a whole album,” he admits. “To really dig that deep into who I am as a person; I have some more things that I want to do.”

Born and raised in London, Col3trane, né Cole Basta, writes from the time-honored perspective of the lovelorn bad boy, alternating between hyper-sexual posturing (“Money, pussy, power, that’s my superpower/I’ma fuck around and fuck around and fuck for hours,” he croons on “Superpowers” featuring GoldLink) and confessional vulnerability. “[The songs] are about feeling lost and then feeling found. Feeling salvation. Whether it be with girls or with drugs or whatever,” he says. On “The Problems in Us,” he promises a paramour he’s “soberin’ up” and can be her “best man on [his] worst behavior.” Then there’s “Divine Intervention,” a reflection on the precariousness of young life. “Someone close to me had an accident that could have happened to me,” he says cryptically. “It’s just about being an irresponsible young adult and feeling powerless. I don’t like talking about shit, so with sad things, or things that make me anxious, music is a pure release. To make me feel better about things without actually having to confront them.” Having tackled relationship stresses and mortality on Heroine, it’s no wonder he’s ready to ease into a little post-release levity.

Music has served as Col3trane’s primary outlet since taking up drums at eight and singing in the school choir. The son of a Rust Belt-born mother and Egyptian Deadhead father, he found his way to a wide audience like so many aspiring MCs—SoundCloud. After mastering at-home production techniques (having snagged his brother’s GarageBand at 15 or so) his deeply felt tracks soon found traction on the streaming platform. “It snowballed, snowballed, [and] snowballed,” he says.

Not yet of legal U.S. drinking age, Col3trane is knee-deep in the self-discovery of early adulthood, all the while figuring out how to retain his homegrown, bluesy authenticity, in an industry designed to snuff it out. “I learned a lot in the last year or two about myself,” he says. “I don’t want to be rushed.”

And so, at this early, notoriously conflicted chapter, one wonders what Col3trane might say to that hallmark of adulthood, the ever-nagging uncertainty, the forever-lingering question mark: “What do you want?” He pauses, perhaps still a bit bleary. “I don’t know, man,” he says. “I don’t know.” Exactly the right answer for a 20-year-old.

COL3TRANE WEARS: SHOES NIKE | RING (RIGHT HAND) BULGARI | RING (LEFT HAND) ATELIER SWAROVSKI
[The songs] are about feeling lost and then feeling found. Feeling salvation whether it be with girls or with drugs or whatever 

– Col3trane

COL3TRANE WEARS: RING ATELIER SWAROVSKI

HEAD TO VMAGAZINE.COM FOR AN EXCLUSIVE “SUPERPOWERS” MUSIC VIDEO FEATURING COL3TRANE!

Makeup Laura Dominique (Streeters) | Hair Shiori Takahashi (Streeters) | Models Nova Orchid (Premier), Odile Jordan (Select), Camille Munn Francis (Select) | Manicure Nickie Rhodes-Hill | Production Lisa Davies (Serlin Associates) | Digital technician Cavit Erginsoy
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