Kota the friend is the number one artist to watch out for in 2017.
In today’s musical landscape it is rare that you stumble across an artist with a sound that is so undeniably his own. After the release of his freshman EP Palm Tree Liquor, KOTA set himself apart as a unique artist who applies all elements of creativity into his body of work- whether it be conceptual, lyrically, or symbolically within his videos, KOTA never fails to deliver.
After previewing his sophomore EP Paloma Beach, it became clear KOTA has his foot on the rap game’s neck and isn’t letting up anytime soon. We caught up with KOTA to get an inside look at his musical career and latest EP set to drop August 20th. You can the exclusive sit down along with The Knocturnal’s feature review of a few tracks from Paloma Beach, below:
Exclusive: Get to Know KOTA The Friend:
On the Creative Process Behind Paloma Beach:
“On Palm Tree Liquor it was helping me as I was making it. Like as I was making songs I saw the patterns in my thinking and that’s how the concept developed. And Paloma Beach had a similar process, as it developed and every time I made a new song the story developed.”
On Growth Between EP’s:
“I think it [Palm Tree Liquor and Paloma beach] is very connected , I think that in the first project it was completely different in the way it’s like the first part of my life. I think that Palm Tree Liquor is when you’re in the midst of all of the drama and negativity and you’re in the moment of everything is happening at once and Paloma Beach is more of alright I went through all of that and I’m in a good place, I’m a better place, and I understand where I was messing up, and I’ve grown from that and now I’m ready for the next step.”
On favorite track from Paloma Beach:
“My favorite song is the “outro” I feel like it’s the perfect way to end it and it just wraps up and summarizes what the whole project is about. Which is like finding that place of peace where you can actually be happy.”
“It comes from so many different places, it comes from Jay Z, NAS, Kanye, Bob Dylan, The Beatles. Like I’ve listened to so much music over the years from folk music to hip-hop, and rock, and so it’s kind of a cumulation of everything I’ve ever heard.”
On Being Independent:
“It’s great to be able to do what you want when you want. We can release anything we want like today I could release a single for no reason, just because. So it feels good.”
On what he’s excited for viewers to take from Paloma Beach:
“Honestly, I’m just so excited for them to hear the whole story from start to finish because I feel like it’s beautiful all throughout. I’m really proud of it, like I’ve been making songs up until now- I may even make a new song or tomorrow or the next couple days and add it because I really want it to be that great. So I just want them to hear the whole body of work.”
“I really feel like it’s time for me to tour because I’ve gotten a fan base all over the country and all over the world so I feel like we’re kind of just seeing where everything is and where everything is at so it’s definitely a possibility. I’m going to be in Texas at the end of this month and then I plan on doing a little West Coast Tour in October so I’m thinking LA, Bay Area, and Sacramento.”
“Paloma Beach” Track Review:
Proving his versatility, the Brooklyn MC, is able to effortlessly switch flows between a laid back, hazy, California hook and quick-tongued fiery verses. “Like Water” gives you a closer look at Kota’s lyricism, as the rapper effortlessly glides across the track all while tackling heavy issues like stopping the past from blocking your future. While the track’s visual counterpart is even more sick, “Like Water” features oceanic images juxtaposed with a completely still and reflective Kota inside an NYC bodega.
“Sun Lady” featuring Ol’ soul & Emma.
The perfect chune to just lay up under the stars and relax. With vocals from Ol’soul & Emma, “Sun Lady” is both dreamy and eerie yet personifies everything beautiful about a chill sunday afternoon. You’ll get lost in this track.
One of my favorite songs from the new EP, “Lawn Chair” is a smooth compilation of KOTA’s stream of conscious laid on top of a jazz inspired beat. The live horn instruments set this track apart from any of its modern counterparts . The slow horns combined with the killer base will drift you into another world you didn’t know existed. Perfect for a late night vibe.