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Interview: Aaron Cole on Uplifting Hip-hop, Why He’s Confident, and Touring with TobyMac

Our next featured guest is one of the most promising artists in hip-hop today. Energetic, skilled and compassionate, he’s touched the hearts of millions with his Billboard #1 hit “Right On Time”. He’s currently riding high on TobyMac’s “Hits Deep Tour” which rolls into our backyard, Grand Rapids at Van Andel Arena, on March 4th. Please welcome to…Aaron Cole!


Aaron Cole_making history (2) TobyMac’s “Hits Deep Tour” lineup is stacked with stellar artists. Aaron, what do you bring to the tour that improves it?


Aaron Cole: Off the rip I’d just like to say I’m grateful to be on the tour. I’m from Bristol, Virginia, I’m 18-years-old… It’s just an honor to be out here being able to do this night in and night out. I’m performing in arenas that some of my favorite basketball players play in! I bring to this tour something different. All these acts are amazing with their live bands and the lighting effects! This is more a CCM/Pop thing, then I come back out on Toby’s set and do a hip-hop verse. I bring an edge but still glorifying the Lord at the same time. Have you and TobyMac had a chance to freestyle together during down time or rehearsals?


Aaron Cole: No, not freestyle, but back in Nashville we play basketball and when we’re in the studio I love just learning from him. I love how he writes. He takes his time. Toby was the main guy that told me to be patient with what I’m doing, making sure everything is right before presenting it. We haven’t freestyled together yet, but on shows he’ll tell me to come out and throw a verse. He put me on the spot like that in North Carolina! Something that tends to happen more and more now on social media, so everywhere, is established hip-hop artists being called out by up-and-comers to battle them. If someone challenged you, and you accepted and defeated them, and that defeat left them feeling deflated, what would you do to lift their spirits?


Aaron Cole: First off, I would only battle someone if I felt like they were amazing and it would be fun to do. If I beat them and they felt deflated, I would just tell them I wouldn’t have come at you if you wasn’t raw. The main thing we should be pushing is all of us are dope in our own way. I would tell them to not get down on themselves and I would keep encouraging them.


Aaron Aaron, does it concern you that hip-hop, overall, is not as uplifting and encouraging as it used to be?


Aaron Cole: Yeah. I feel like they have positive times. They’ll start talking about important stuff and sticking together. From day one it was a way to express yourself, to express about your life and how other people can connect to that; people that can relate to stuff you went through. That’s where people like me come in. I base my music on God and God’s word, and I use my life as an example. I try to get the positive outlook on everything. We all go through different situations, but the bible says “all things work together for the good for those who love Him, who are called according to his purpose”. We’ve got the creator of the universe on our side. That’s powerful! You’re too small to stop God’s plans for your life. You’ve been in the game a long time already. You started rapping when you were 3. As your success continues to grow you’re going to encounter media who will harp on your age and how young you are, and they’ll ask blah-blah-questions about the youth of today. With that being said, what can you teach someone about life and music that’s twice your age or older?


Aaron Cole: That’s a good question. My dad always taught me if you pay now you’ll reap the benefits later. You can pay now, you can pay later, but you’re always going to pay. I know I’m going to mess up, I know I’m not going to be perfect but that’s where God’s grace steps in. That comes into play with music by putting in work, making sure everything you do is to the best of your abilities, making sure you’re putting out the best music that you can. With life, make sure you take in every small detail; you’re a man or woman of integrity, you’ve got good character, and you’re treating people with the same respect. Real character is showing people you are important, and God made you great. Everyone is great in their own way. Treat each other like kings and queens, and sons and daughters of God. Being on tour with TobyMac has already taken you to some cool places. Why are you confident in where your faith is going to take you?


Aaron Cole: Man, that’s a really good question! If you would have told me 7 years ago that I would be doing an interview with while sitting on a tour bus before my show in Oklahoma City where the Oklahoma City Thunder play, I’d be like “You’re tripping!” The reason I’m confident is God has proved himself to me over and over again. Through my mess-ups, through my falls, God always showed his grace and that he’ll always be there for me. He always comes through. |


CREDITS Written by Jiddoe S’Phatt | Photos – Search Engine Exploration | Aaron Cole – as Himself | Producer – Liquid Arts & Entertainment | Creative Director – The Liquidation Committee | Editor – Mr. Joe Walker | Copy Editor – Mr. Joe Walker | Site Editor – Doug Sims | Webmaster – Doug Sims | Twitter – @LiquidAEMag | Instagram – @liquidmagazine

Liquid Arts & Entertainment is committed to presenting engaging conversations with top artists. We hope you enjoyed this interview with Aaron Cole.

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