Be authentic.

At some point in your life have you compromised your identity to please someone or to hide something that you felt would bring you humiliation? If your answer is yes, just know that you are not alone. This is common because revealing our true selves requires vulnerability, meaning we must open ourselves to potential criticism and pain. Scary, right? Yes, but necessary because as researcher-storyteller, Dr. Brené Brown once said, “Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, accountability, and authenticity.” Creatives know this all too well because they choose vulnerability every time they release a product that is a genuine representation of themselves. Cole Walowac, 1/2 of Capital Kings, is one such creative who wants to encourage everyone around him to be vulnerable and authentic as well.

Growing up Cole was a multi-sport athlete. He played basketball, baseball, and football, and had his sights set on becoming a scholarship athlete in college. At the same time Cole was the drummer of a high school rock band and produced Hip Hop beats for some of his friends. Though he always loved music, this was not his #1 career choice. His junior year of high school he felt called to pursue music instead. Though it was one of the most difficult decisions he has ever made, he quit all sports, pursued music full-time, and chose not to go to college. God’s purpose for Cole became very clear to him.

Fast-forward to 2016 and we’re all glad he discovered his purpose at such a young age. The duo have become world-renowned artist, TobyMac’s protégés after signing to his label, Gotee Records, in September 2012. They have toured all over the U.S. and internationally, and their latest album titled II peaked at #2 on the Billboard Dance Chart for 28 weeks. They’ll be opening for TobyMac in 2017 on his “Hits Deep” arena tour.

After talking to Cole, the most recent challenge has been breaking into the dance/pop music scene. Cole and Capital Kings’ new singer, Dylan Housewright, are taking certain steps in 2017 to reach this new audience such as: releasing singles rather than albums, planning to perform at clubs and festivals, and trying to get a song on Top 40 radio. Once their music is heard it should resonate with dance music fans because their productions and lyrics are extremely positive and euphoric, inspiring us to embrace our stories…even the messy parts. It is also a refreshing taste of dance music that encourages us to celebrate life.

“We make positive music. We write songs about what we’re going through in life and there’s a message of hope. Our faith in God is a huge part of our lives so yes, that comes out in some of our songs. We want our music to be meaningful and have substance to it. We feel all great artists do those two things. When people listen to our music, we want them to walk away feeling inspired and passionate about living life to the fullest.”

 Considering there is a large party culture and God is rarely mentioned in lyrics associated with dance music, Capital Kings are courageous for wanting to expand their message to this scene. Though it may definitely be an intimidating feat, vulnerability and authenticity are two of Cole’s core values. He knows his unique gift and purpose. Therefore, he must follow through with this calling. He loves to share his art with people because there is a chance it will resonate with someone. There is a chance someone will listen to his music and be challenged to share their own stories as well. Knowing this is what inspires him to maintain authenticity and so he leaves you with this…

“Be authentic. Be who you are created to be and find your purpose.”