Musician Cole Riddle recorded his first single of original music in his Hermosa Beach bedroom. He played all of the instruments and mixed and mastered “Among the Blue,” which was released on Dec. 22.
“I wanted to do everything myself,” said Riddle, who released the single under Cole in Space. “I want to be an artist. I want to have my own image and bring my own self to the table where I'm not behind someone else... I wanted to get a project out there that was me.”
Riddle also added his own vocals.
“I've never put my voice out there... there are a lot of different techniques to make you sound like you're not terrible,” Riddle said. “I'm probably not a terrible singer... probably decent, but I'm definitely not a singer.”
Riddle graduated from Mira Costa High School in 2015 and UCLA in 2019 with a degree in ethnomusicology and an emphasis on jazz. The 23-year-old also teaches drums and piano at Coast Music in Hermosa Beach. He has played keyboards on 10 records and can be seen playing live locally with various bands.
After graduating from UCLA he felt he need to “move onto a new chapter.”
“College is crazy. You accumulate all this knowledge and all these feelings and all these friends and you graduate and then everyone goes their separate ways,” Riddle said. “You have a few good friends you keep in touch with, but the people I used to see every day I haven't seen at all.”
To preoccupy himself, Riddle said he started working on new music, including “Among the Blue,” a personal story.
“It's about being away from something that you once had,” Riddle said. “This was written about my ex-girlfriend and removing yourself from a situation that's causing you a lot of turmoil... but then looking from the outside and seeing how much you miss it... seeing what could have been.”
Riddle said he is proud of the fact he played all of the instruments on the single.
“The learning curve is crazy,” said Riddle, but he added he did receive advice from his musician friends.
Riddle is working on his next project, a full-length album he calls “terrifying but also sweet.” He hopes the album, which fuses his influences from John Coltrane and Prince to Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin, will be released mid-2020.
Riddle also plans to have live recordings on the new album.
“It's one of the only art forms... here is the performance, you're seeing this live and then it's gone, which is great,” Riddle said. “You get to really savor that moment, it's kind of euphoric.”
Riddle will be performing with the Kara Turner Band at Patrick Molloy's on Saturday, Dec. 28.
“Among the Blue” is available on most streaming services including Spotify and iTunes.