King Cole might just be the most legendary figure in music history, that you have never heard of. His story seems as if it were penned by the most creative Hollywood screenwriter, but as we have learned, again and again, truth is stranger than fiction. It’s mind-bending to try and decide just where to begin with Andrew “King” Cole. It’s unclear, precisely when Cole began creating and performing music, but his story dates all the way back to the 1960s. After a horrendous tragedy that saw his Mother being slain by his own Father, Cole and his siblings were relocated to live with an Aunt in NYC, from his native Washington D.C.
It’s during his time in NYC, that he first discovered the healing and liberating power of song and sound. He was blessed to meet an unfathomable litany of music legends, including Duke Ellington and the one who gave him his name, none other than Nat King Cole. From there, Cole’s journey is fraught with dizzying twists and turns, including a lengthy battle with addiction. He’s had countless brushes with death, some attributed to his demons, others purely circumstantial. How Cole’s life story is not yet an Oscar-winning motion picture is astounding, but never say never.
King Cole’s newest single is almost surrealistically titled, “Your Story Is Mine.” It’s almost something of an isochronous swan song and a triumphant comeback. His sound is drenched in 70’s style soul influences, yet has a modernity to it, thanks in part to guest vocalist, Xavier Keyz. There is an unmistakable sense of spiritual trials attached to “Your Story Is Mine,” though it never ventures into somber territory. As a matter of fact, the song leaves you with a distinct feeling of optimism and resolution.
“All our mistakes fading away/cause we know love is all it takes.” It’s never short of remarkable that those who have taken residence in the darkest terrains of life are among the most hopeful. “Your Story Is Mine,” could have just easily been written by an 18-year-old King Cole, the only thing it would be missing is the steady stream of wisdom. It’s well documented that King Cole has stepped away from music at various points in his life. For those of us who have pursued a life as a musician, we know just how unapologetically consuming it can be. There are moments that you realize that you no longer have anything to give, and if you continue to let your passion be fed from your soul, both will face indefinite depletion.
In reading the life of one Andrew “King” Cole, we are reminded how each and every choice we make is imperative to the shaping of our fate. Whether our fate is predetermined, or a matter of choice is irrelevant, when we consider that the ultimate destination is unchangeable. When Cole wrote the line, your story is mine, he is reminding us that we are all intrinsically connected. Our pain is felt in varying amounts, as well as our joy. We are all the cynosure of our own stories, and those stories are the crux of our entire existence.