Aaron Cole caught the attention of critics and music fans alike back in 2017 when he garnered two back-to-back #1 singles on the Billboard HOT AC chart. This summer, on August 30, 2019, the 20-year-old will release this first full-length album with Gotee, titled NOT BY CHANCE that will feature 13 dynamic hip-hop tracks appealing to fans of Jon Bellion and Drake.
The record was produced by Chino and Chris King along with with fellow rapper and former Capital Kings member, Cole Walowac who recently produced seven songs on NF's latest album "The Search." Together, they created a masterpiece that infuses pop, hip-hop, and soul together to tell his authentic story of growing up in poverty, working hard for your dreams, and standing tall in your faith. NOT BY CHANCE features special collaborations including Derek Minor, 1K Phew, Chastity, Evan Ford, Kaleb Mitchell, and Montell Fish.
Q: Aaron, thanks you so much for doing this interview with us. Let's start with yourself: how did the Lord lead you into the music ministry?
When I was 3 years old, my dad had a studio back in VA and different artist would come in and out. And I would sit into the sessions. My uncle used to be a Christian rapper so I was in every one of his sessions. I mocked all of his lyrics and then they decide to give me a shot and I started from there. I did it all the way up till I was 7 years old and then I kind took a break and focused on school. And then at the age of 12, I got saved for myself and figured out that this was my calling and I went full speed ahead... there wasn't a plan B for me.
Q: How did you get to meet TobyMac and how did you end up signing to his label?
Toby was mutual friends with one of my dad's friends for years and one time Toby was in the car with their mutual friend and my cd was in the CD player and Toby called me on the spot. Took some years, but I said with him not too long after that.
Q: Besides TobyMac, former Capital Kings member, Cole Walowac, who recently produced seven tracks on NF's #1 album "The Search," co-produced your new album. What was it like working with Cole?
Cole is my homie. We connected cause of music, but that's my dawg. And making music with your real friends is the best feeling.
Q: You have other artists collaborating with your on this project, who are some of them?
Derek Minor, Kaleb Mitchell, Chastity, Evan Ford, Montell Fish, Chino, and Chris King
Q: How would you describe the sound and theme(s) of this new record?
I would say it's new school, soulful influenced hip hop and R&B with a hint of Pop. The theme is my story. A kid from VA that made it to where I'm at by the grace of God, being an outcast and being not the first one to be picked all the time. And I feel like people can relate to that on so many levels.
Q: In your press release you did say that you spent a lot of time and energy on making this record. What aspects of this new record are you proudest of?
I think really just my transparency. In all the records I really tried to be as honest as possible, and that takes time to craft something so honest.
Q: Talk to us about your new single "Why." Why are you excited about "Why"?
I felt like "Why" is needed because a majority of the songs I hear about relationships are derogatory. And I wanted to shine a light on my relationship in a way that people can relate to but also come at it in a way that's pleasing to God.
Q: If you were to pick a song on your new album that best sums up who you are, which would it be? And why?
"Say Less". I think the message of "Say Less" is being a person that doesn't have to talk about what they're doing they just live it. I wanna be a person that treats everyone no matter who they are with the same respect and I wanna be known as a hard worker. And rather than say that all the time I would rather people just say that about me without me having to do the taking. That's how you know it's real.