Growing up with a strong passion for blues and classic rock, Cobi is on a path to resurrect the guitar solo. His music is super unique; a bit of gospel with a strong R&B influence mixed with classic rock. Cobi received his first guitar as a gift from a family friend when he was just a kid. He was self-taught, learning to play by ear, and by the age of twelve Cobi knew music is what he wanted to pursue. His musical influences can be traced back to Prince, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, and Bob Dylan. We sat down with Cobi at Hangout Fest and picked his brain about going viral on Spotify, his upcoming album, and why music should stay in schools.
With over 550k monthly listeners on Spotify it was no surprise Cobi’s first single was going to be big. ‘Don’t You Cry For Me’ went viral on Spotify last year and the attention it gathered left Cobi quite shook. Very humbly he said “It was really cool. I was on tour with another group at the time called Above and Beyond, and I just released [Don’t You Cry For Me]. I didn’t really know what to expect. When it hit number one I was really excited, really pumped.”
Cobi has two singles out on Spotify at the moment, along with an acoustic version of ‘Don’t You Cry For Me’. His other single, ‘Prophet Story’ is very rustic with only an acoustic guitar and his brilliant vocals.
When we ask Cobi what to expect from his live shows, he quickly responds “guitar solos”, and he was right. He’s definitely unleashing some demons on stage. The decline of the guitar has been a trending topic for a while and every time we think it’s gone, someone brings it back. It’s almost a lost art, but Cobi won’t let it die out. He agrees but accepts the challenge of bringing them back. He says, “It’s cool because then I can take them on.”
However, Cobi is not a singles machine, there’s an album in the works. He says, “We’re just finishing it up. It will be very bass heavy, and it’s got a lot of guitars on it. You know we worked on the songwriting a lot in the last couple years, so it’s really a group of what I thought is the strongest material I put together over the last twelve months or so. I write it all or a lot of it myself, and I have a few friends, close friends, I like to write and jam with. Yeah, it’s all home grown.”
I saw on his Twitter that he went to a school to talk to kids about music. Especially today, so many schools are cutting funding on arts programs, but it’s just as important as other classes.
Cobi says, “It’s something I want to advocate for, so I was happy to go over there and just talk to the kids and play a song. I think it’s really important to inspire people, especially kids, and to try and keep music in school. There are so many reasons.”
He adds, “It’s been proven music in schools helps kids with other subjects. It helps them with math, with reading, with everything else, so I don’t see why it would not be important. But, not only that, it’s also another outlet for someone to have, like someone like me I felt like it’s what my calling was. To take that opportunity or that potential opportunity away from somebody is a crime, I think.”
We closed out our chat with this last question, what’s your best advice for a young guitarist? His response: “Just make sure you’re doing it because you love it and have fun with it. Always have fun.”
If you haven’t heard ‘Don’t You Cry For Me’ you need to ASAP, it’s amazing and I’ve had it on loop all day. Follow Cobi on Spotify. Also you can watch the music video here: