Photo Credit: Don Elliot (@don_elliot_tx)
By Alissa Arunarsirakul // June 19, 2020
Having experienced periods of depression and loneliness, Bryson Cole wrote letters as a way to cope with his troublesome emotions. Eventually, the Texas-based artist converted these self-reflections into songs that now make up his fantastic new record, Letters to Myself. Given recent events, Cole recognizes that Letters to Myself is now more resonant than ever before.
On Letters to Myself, Bryson Cole reflected,
“The album can be helpful to people who are in a dark place and wanting to rise victorious. ‘Letters to Myself’ couldn’t have come at a better time. This album exemplifies the peace I found, and the peace I want for others.”
To celebrate the release of his new music, we recently chatted with Bryson Cole about mental health, the music industry, and of course, Letters to Myself.
HH: How did you first get into music?
BC: I first got into music when I was 16. Growing up, I wasn’t super into rap music, but rather poetry. When I turned 16, I went to the studio for my birthday, purchased a beat, and rapped my poetry on the track. I uploaded it to Soundcloud and people loved it. The rest is history.
HH: In a state of depression and loneliness, you discovered that writing letters to yourself was a great way to cope with your emotions. At the time, did you at all suspect that these letters would become a fantastic record?
BC: Truthfully, no. This was just a way to relieve stress and tension. After writing the first letter “Otherside,” I realized how other people may be going through the same emotions. Maybe this was something bigger than me and these songs or “letters” weren’t only helpful to me but to others. So I decided to make it into an album.
HH: Mental health has a very heavy presence in Letters to Myself. What are you doing now to keep your mental health in check?
BC: Now I make sure to keep a healthy relationship with the people close to me. I trust God and understand that life has its ups and downs. It’s all about balance. Most importantly, I give myself the time to breathe and stress less on the things I cannot control.
HH: Which track on the album was the most difficult to write?
BC: The most difficult would have to be the outro. “Letters” is one of my favorite songs, but I had to make sure it summed up how I felt correctly. I think I did a pretty good job, and my mother’s voice cameo was the icing on the cake.
HH: You really do have a great ear for thoughtful lyricism and soothing beats. What inspires your sound?
BC: Thank you so much. My sound is definitely a culmination of all my favorite artists. I like to use them as inspiration but not a direct copy. Sometimes I’m truly inspired by XXXtentacion and Post Malone’s cadence, other times it’s Pusha T or J.Cole’s lyricism. It’s a variety of factors, but it definitely took a while to develop my own sound. Now that I have my own sound, I try to focus on my own creativity.
HH: What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned from being in the music industry for the past few years?
BC: Being an artist is expensive. People think artists make a song and post it and get famous but that is far from the truth. Most independent artists don’t make a ton of money, but they do it for the passion. After making the music you must brand yourself, promote it, advertise it, market it, register it, and the list goes on.
HH: If you could collaborate with anyone in the music industry, who would you pick?
BC: I would love to collaborate with 6LACK and J. Cole. Those two artists are so deep and they always put their soul into the sound and everyone can tell. I admire an artist who can get into the hearts of an audience and be genuine in not only their music, but in real life.
HH: What are your three hidden hits?
BC: “Frank Ocean” – Kaash Paige
“Let Her Go” by Kid LAROI
“Stephanie” – Adrian Stresow