Intense, introspective lyrics, heart-thumping baselines, gyration-inducing percussion, and the energy of persevering young people overcoming stereotypes – at the library?
Hard to believe, but very true. D.C.’s very own Coolots performed one of their final stops on their Ascension tour at the Martin Luther King Library as part of the library’s Fringe Music in the Library series. ‘Ascension’ is their first official tour, although they have have many shows in and around the DMV. The idea of the tour came from lead singer Crystal. The group had found themselves in a new space, ‘moving up’ and reaching new heights. ‘We were trying to figure out what we wanted to call ourselves – so ‘the Ascension Tour’ was kind of like the perfect nomenclature for it. It kind of fit,’ said Dappho, vocalist and bass guitarist.
In an intimate set, Huggie (guitar and vocals), ‘The Amazing Boomclak’ (drums), Dappho, Crystal, and Awesome Rita (vocals and bass guitar) brought life to the normally quiet building, gathering the attention of patrons who didn’t hesitate to show their appreciation for the group throughout their performance.
The Coolots’ influences range from Rage Against the Machine to Erykah Badu but they define themselves as a rock/soul band. “We’re definitely in the queer community,” said Dappho. “[We] definitely don’t want to pigeon-hole ourselves but we don’t hide ourselves so what you see is what you get. We’re proud of who we are and how we present to the world.”
Performing heartfelt pieces like “Every Time She Smiles” and delivering a smorgasbord of tunes evoking summertime glee with a melodic nod to the “Black Lives Matter” campaign, the band showed the audience why the Coolots are destined to make a mark in music history.
The lyricism of their soulful sonnets is a ‘collaborative and organic creation process,’ according to the band. “I might be working on a riff at home and Huggie might be working on a riff and [Rita] has flows for days – [Rita] has bars on bars on bars,” said Dappho. “And then we go to practice and mesh it all together and develop it. And Boom is really good about helping us develop the songs as well – breaking it up, arrangement and things of that nature. So we all use all of our talents to make a song what it is.”
So what’s next for The Coolots?
“Hopefully we’ll be in the studio,” said Rita. “We have about 30 songs that nobody has ever heard before. Right now, if we could go into the studio and have our way – we could easily put out three albums – easy.” While looking forward to opening for A-list bands, The Coolots would most like to work with artists like N.E.R.D., Walk the Moon, 311, and Meshell Ndegecello.
The Ascension Tour will conclude on July 25 at Rhinestone Steel in Pittsburgh, PA. You can find out more at Rhinestone Steel’s website here. Keep up with The Coolots through their site at www.thecoolots.com.