Coely (pronounced Co-elly) is an MC of Congolese descent from Antwerp, Belgium. The indepedently released ‘Ain’t Chasing Pavements’ is her first odficial single and with Belgian national radio StuBru picking it up (who says you can’t discover acts on the radio anymore? You just gotta know where to listen), it’s currently buzzing like a beehive packing pagers.
With a bona fide hit record in her home country on her hands, unexpected doors open to Coely, like Manchester City and Belgian national soccer team captain Vincent Kompany flying her out to Manchester so she can attend a Premier League match of his from the VIP lounge. Coely (who had never flown before) doesn’t let the sudden accolades faze her though, in a recent interview with Belgian newspaper De Standaard she was asked if she felt her career had really launched now, to which she humbly replied:
I have no idea. I’ve only just begun, so I wouldn’t dare looking that far ahead yet.
She certainly seems to be on the right track though. Her background in the African church choir her mother ran has provided her with an additional tool next to her serious flow: a singing voice. Girl with a mean flow who can more than decently carry a tune too? Does that remind you of someone?
My influences are mainly old school stuff, like Lauryn Hill or Erykah Badu. Strong women who have stories to tell.
To an old head like me, hearing those artists being described as “old school” is a bit jarring, but when you’re only 18 years old, like she is, I guess they are. While she lyrically still has quite a few steps to take to reach the level of her inspirators, her flow is energetic, authoritative, and switches from rhythmically tight to melodic in the bat of an eye. Her Beatville compatriots provide her single with an attention-grabbing acoustic guitar strum that coupled with the slightly EDM-influenced synths has as much crossover appeal as dancefloor potential.
In short, while there’s precious few material available so far (she says she’s working on an EP that’s to be released early 2013), the facts that she’s so young, has only been rapping for a year (!) and already has such a well-crafted and catchy tune like this under her belt, sure make it seem like Coely is an artist worth keeping an eye on.
Below is a video promo for a show of hers at a festival this summer, its song starts at approximately 40 seconds in.