I spoke to Cool Nutz a few weeks ago, prior to him announcing a deal with Suburban Noize Records. The deal is another step for his career and the progress of the Northwest. The days of our region’s talent being ignored are fading quickly.
The Northwest is on the rise. Cool Nutz has always been a big part of the progress.
Enjoy the words and visit www.CoolNutz.net on August 14th to pick up his free album Portland.
Looking forward to the new album, I saw you post on Twitter that you thought this was your best work. How so?
At times I am modest about my work and my progression with each album. but with the completion of this album and going back over everything, I feel that I have put together an incredible piece of art that will speak for itself. I feel that I am making music that is definitive of being Cool Nutz, and that I am creating unique music that represents the City of Portland and myself. With the production, features, and overall song ideas, when you listen to this album with an open ear, 40 oz of Colt 45, and a blunt of Pineapple Haze, you will understand why this is some of my best work. Shout out to all of the people that contributed to the album. Especially Zeb who spent extra time on the project and used his master engineering Jedi skills to help me carryout the vision that is “Portland Ni99a”.
Zeb is a great guy. Did he talk about the Seahawks a lot while you were in the studio?
The Seahawks are always a major part of any session that we do at Momentum. It helps complete each session and brings the true essence and spirit to our sessions.
Truth. How have your goals changed as an artist and business man over the last decade? And what do you see happening for yourself in the future?
First and foremost, being a husband and father changes all of your goals and direction. I am really focused on creating a solid foundation for long term success and stability for my family. Regarding the music, I would just like to maintain my relevance and continue to create quality music that keeps my legacy intact as one of the prominent musical voices from the Northwest. As far as my future, I am consistently evolving and growing. From being an artist, manager, consultant, tour manger, radio personality, and more, I have gained valuable skills that will keep doors open for me for years to come. It’s really about which roads I choose to walk down. I feel like I am making the best music of my life and I will be releasing a few more projects to continue to validate why people should look to me as one of the pillars in the structure of the Northwest music scene. There is still plenty of work to be done by Cool Nutz.
I know putting out quality projects is not cheap. Are you still generating income off of your albums or is it more about the passion of making music at this point?
I generate income from the overall music industry. Being Cool Nutz the artist/rapper/MC is what has opened all of these doors for me. From album sales, digital sales, doing shows, selling merchandise, booking shows, managing artists, consulting jobs, promoting events, and more, the overall music industry has been good to me and my family. God has truly blessed me with the ability to not only live, but live well through hip-hop commerce. The key for me is, I’m one of the few Northwest artists that still see’s revenue from albums that I put out 15 years ago, as well as still seeing sales of those catalog titles. I still have the passion to make music, but when you have a family, that passion must also equate to revenue.
Talking to you in the past, being a tour manager is a place where you have really made a name for yourself. Not many artists in the Portland area tour at all. Why do you think this is? Is touring still necessary for success in the music business? And what can artists do to get out on the road and get exposure?
Cool: Well actually me being Cool Nutz the rapper/businessman opened the door for the opportunity of tour managing for artists. A number of artists that I booked or would take on tour noticed how I handled my business, so when they needed someone they were already familiar with my abilities to run a tour responsibly. In regards to Portland artists touring, I think that it boils down to having the right relationships and being able to get out on the road for extended periods of time. A true tour is getting outside of your normal area and exposing new fans to your music. You also have to be worth something to a tour, otherwise if you can’t draw, someone is really just giving you an opportunity, but you aren’t bringing anything to the table. In today’s industry, touring is mandatory. Albums are selling less, and now you have to get out on the road and take your music to the fans to create better awareness. You have to reach out to booking agents, talk to artists directly, and just stay up on which artists potentially have tours going out. It’s not an easy things to accomplish, cause you don’t want to just be on the road, you want to be on the road increasing your fanbase, generating revenue, and setting up a base for future business in the markets that your tour hits.
What Portland artists currently have a draw outside of the region?
The artists that come to mind at this point would be Lifesavas, Braille, Chillest Illest, Sleep/The Chicharones/Oldominion, Sandpeople, Illmaculate,Sapient, IAME, and a few others. But don’t let my word be the final point of reference, as I also know artists like Luck One that is getting out doing college gigs in other regions as well. I know Tope, Diezel P, DubbleOO and a couple others have also been on the road as well. But the people I named are the ones that I know that are hitting overseas, and in other spots across the US as well.
Posted by Jacob Espinoza