Beyond The Music: Flo'Jo (Cool Blu)
Discussing Life and Music with Flo'Jo (Cool Blu)
The first time I listened to Cool Blu was last summer. I’d stumbled across his Instagram page and into an album that turned out to be exactly what I needed at that time. Everyone was in quarantine and I had decided that (for some reason) this was the best time for me to face some demons.
The isolation sucked and so did the demons - but there was an honesty in Cool Blu's music that made me feel less alone.
There are songs that are not meant for me to sing along to; true connection - both interpersonal and personal - comes from listening.
Cool Blu approaches his music, soul first.
"Journey" by Flo'Jo (Cool Blu)
“Love is the balance
I’ve been fightin’ to keep/
They tell me if I show feelings
they consider it weak…”
In an e-mail about his newest album, "I've Been Runnin'" Cool Blu says:
“This project is basically a personal conversation I'm having with God. As I reflect, I go into different stages of my life and how I truly felt at the moment.
Most adults don't really warn you of certain things you have to adapt to once you hit your 30 plus. My goal with this tape is to offer transparency from the eyes of a young black male learning to transition to another level of adulthood. Hopefully it is received as such.
My sound is soulhop. If it doesn't come from the soul I try not to record it.”
Cool Blu has a rhythm you can feel in your bones. His voice reaches something honest inside, which encourages us to slow down, reflect, and never to stray from what keeps us true.
Cool Blu reminds us that “the journey is long.” Growth is not meant to be done all at once; growth can be complicated. The journey itself doesn’t have to be traveled alone, though. Faith, love, music, and family can inspire us to keep going, every day.
"Open Letter" by Flo'Jo (Cool Blu)
Emily Keeler: Who are the people in your life who have supported you the most throughout your journey?
Cool Blu: My wife (Lady Blu) has definitely supported me the most throughout my journey; She's my go-to for just about anything.
Cool Blu continues to say, “My grandmother used to let me pick her brain for hours. She is a huge piece of the puzzle to my success thus far.”
EK: What keeps you grounded?
Cool Blu: God. I've been through some serious rough patches throughout my life. I used to get stressed about things that were out of my control; I had to have a hand in everything. I had a few conversations with God and learned to leave matters up to him. My grandmother used to constantly say "Remember, God is in control." It's funny how those words ring super loud now.
"Lovin' You" by Flo'Jo (Cool Blu)
EK: What is something that you wish you knew before you were 30?
Cool Blu: I wish I knew not to take life so serious. When I grew up everyone preached a certain level of urgency. It was the norm for folks to look busy and be busy. Now some of those same individuals come to me for life advice, it's gratifying.
"Flowers" by Flo'Jo (Cool Blu)
EK: What (or who) inspires you?
Cool Blu: I'm a huge fan of Marvin Gaye. He put his heart and soul into all of his work. Regardless of the subject matter, you knew it came from a place of sincerity. That level of vulnerability is unmatched. He delivers a body of work with meaningful concepts; That's where I draw from...
That's what inspired this project. Really allowed me to dig deep as an artist and pull from a place unfamiliar.
EK: What advice would you give to a young artist today?
Cool Blu: Find your lane and stick to it. It's okay to develop your sound as you go but never stray away from your core. Even when people criticize you, never let up. If you strongly believe in what you're crafting, go perfect it. Those same individuals who'll try to discourage you will turn around and mimic your formula.
EK: Do you have any last piece of insight or advice that you would like to leave your listeners with?
Cool Blu: Time is currency. Use your Time to the best of your ability. This life is short; Love more, travel, explore different cultures, try different foods and drinks. Be your authentic self at ALL times.
How You Can Listen to Flo'Jo (Cool Blu)
Cool Blu also produces a podcast on YouTube with his wife, Lady Blu. On their podcast, #BluTalk they speak about love, culture, and growth.
Cool Blu and Lady Blu remind us to "move through the fear" and to appreciate all that we are capable of. They remind us of the power that comes from believing in ourselves.
"#BluTalk: Suffering in Silence S2 Ep. 2" by #BluTalk Cool Blu & Lady Blu
Note From the Author
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this interview! I would also like to say, "thank you" to Cool Blu for his time, energy, and transparency while conducting this article. I feel so honored to have been able to work together on this piece, and I can't wait to share some of your incredible art.
Thank you again, so much.
I hope that this piece made your day a little brighter.