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KOTA The Friend, an Independent American Rapper, Singer & Songwriter Creating Soulful Hip-Hop Hit Albums From Palm Tree Liquor To Lyrics to GO, Vol. 5


Kota unveils his latest project, "Lyrics to GO Vol. 5," a culmination of his profound journey that echoes his previous releases. This album delves into life's priceless moments, the thrill of self-discovery, and the inner peace that shields us from the chaos of the outside world.



KOTA The Friend, government name-Avery Marcel Joshua Jones, was born on October 16, 1992. This talented individual is not only an American rapper, but also a singer and songwriter. Known for his introspective lyrics, smooth flow, and laid-back style, KOTA The Friend hails from Brooklyn, New York. Interestingly, his stage name was inspired by the Disney movie Brother Bear. He chose the Native American word "Koda," which means friend, to represent himself, he believes it's a fitting name for someone who values friendship and connection.

I started playing trumpet in the fourth grade. First day of school, my teacher was like, “He’s gifted.” Since then, my mother was like, “Trumpet. Trumpet. Trumpet. You’re going to play the trumpet.” I played forever and went to a specialized high school (Brooklyn High School of the Arts). I went to Five Towns College for trumpet. When I got to high school, I played keyboard, guitar, bass. I started venturing into producing, making beats. That’s how I traveled into the world of hip-hop. That’s kind of how my life has been like: gaining skills along the way and bringing it all together.

Despite his success in the music industry, KOTA The Friend remains grounded in his personal life. He is happily married and has two children, aged 7 and 1. They all reside in the vibrant and diverse borough of Brooklyn, where he grew up.


KOTA's love for music began at a young age, as he immersed himself in various music channels from MTV to BET. In the 4th grade, he started playing the trumpet in a Brooklyn public school. His talent was recognized, and he was accepted into music programs throughout middle school, high school, and college as a trumpet player.


“Kota The Friend is back with a smooth uplifting single “Backyard”, a record that exudes gripping summery energy. He sure knows how to draw the listener in with his syllable-bending melodic lyricism and highly descriptive style layered over the warm, soothing production.” – Earmilk

Not only was KOTA The Friend gifted with the trumpet, but he also taught himself to play the guitar, bass guitar, and keyboard. This expanded his musical horizons and eventually led him to explore music production. After leaving college, KOTA embarked on his music career as both a writer and performer. His dedication and passion for music shine through in his work, captivating audiences with his unique style and heartfelt lyrics.



KOTA's journey in the music industry took flight during the 2010s, as he embarked on a path of independent music releases. His unique approach to rap, characterized by thoughtfulness and positivity, quickly caught the attention of listeners. Influenced by legendary artists such as Nas, Jimi Hendrix, JAY-Z, Kid Cudi, and Bob Dylan, KOTA crafted a sound that resonated deeply with those seeking authenticity and substance in hip-hop.


For a long time, I suffered from sadness like many others. I want the project to tell the story of a young person growing up in Brooklyn, dealing with loneliness, trust issues, uncertainty, alcoholism and cynicism.


I feel every time I listen to PLT, there around sounds and things I did that I can’t really recreate, and I’ll listen to thinking ‘Damn, what I did there was dope’…and it was something that came together at the time because it was the right time to come together. I feel this will be one those projects people will return to and say ‘I feel this project was fully him.’

In 2016, KOTA The Friend made a significant impact with the release of his debut project, "Palm Tree Liquor," on July 12th. This mixtape showcased his exceptional storytelling abilities and smooth delivery, solidifying his position as a noteworthy artist in the independent hip-hop scene. Touching on topics ranging from race to nostalgia, KOTA's lyrical prowess garnered over 18 million combined streams, with his biggest single, "Alkaline," amassing over 6 million streams.


From Notion....I’m a rapper because I rap. I love rap as much as soul and R&B and jazz. Listening to Jay-Z or listening to Biggie Smalls is an education on lyricism, wittiness and nuance that you really can’t learn anywhere else.


The track "Alkaline" by Kota the Friend delves into the themes of introspection, personal development, and overcoming obstacles. The lyrics explore various facets of the artist's life, addressing emotions of detachment, acknowledging mistakes, and emphasizing the importance of taking a pause. The central message encourages letting go of negative influences and concentrating on what truly holds significance.


In the initial verse, the artist articulates a wish to create distance from specific individuals or circumstances..(Lyrics)...Lately, I just say I'm outta town / 'Cause I don't really care to be around / I been making up for my mistakes / I've been through a lot, I need a break / More life, never caught....They openly admit the challenges they have confronted and underscore the necessity of prioritizing self-care. The phrase "More life, never call" might signify a longing for a new beginning or a hiatus from current situations.



Themes of trust and genuineness are also touched upon by the artist. There's a sense of skepticism towards those who claim to be truthful, suggesting that trust needs to be earned....(Lyrics)....Stay alone, 'cause a lot of y'all the faux kind / I don't trust you if you tell me that you don't lie / Asking how I'm doing, yeah, I'm doing fine / Don't you know the foolish always grow wise? / Capetown with the kinfolk, we don't play around / Grandma was on the slave ship, but we home now / Mama do not work the grave shift, she in Rome now / USA be on that bullshit, better go now / .....Moreover, the line "don't you know the foolish always grow wise?" implies the essential nature of learning from past errors for personal advancement.




Continuing his musical journey, KOTA released his second mixtape, "Paloma Beach," in 2017. This sophomore EP, released on August 23rd, further showcased his growth and artistic development.


I just want to be able to make a living off of making music that allows me to reach people, live off the grid and take care of my family.


....iloveugly.com...With Paloma Beach, I want to say some things that need to be said. I hope to free people from the shackles of society, remove stigmas, creating a healthy environment for people to thrive mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I became a better person while making this project. I want others to listen and decide that they want to be better themselves. I hope it reaches the masses because I really want to change lives for the better.

....iloveugly.com.....Paloma Beach is the place you go to be yourself, be honest, understanding, kind, forgiving, accepting and light hearted. Paloma Beach is mental freedom from all the things trying to bring you down. Paloma Beach is a place you take with you wherever you go, granting you inner peace through the darkest times and the brightest.

In 2018, KOTA unveiled his third mixtape, "Anything," which delved into the depths of his search for answers, clarity, and purpose. This introspective project resonated deeply with his audience, expanding his reach and solidifying his place in the music industry. The following year, in 2019, KOTA released his first independent studio album, further captivating listeners with his exploration of life and love.





Kota's projects, Lyrics to GO Vol1 (10 track list), Vol 2 (10 track list), Vol3 (10 track list) and Vol4 (10 track list), are unique endeavors where he releases episodes on YouTube. The inspiration behind this project stems from his desire to overcome financial constraints for music video production and to enhance his presence on social media as an independent artist.

I made an album full of soul/house/funk love songs that I'm in love with. made me remember why I love making music


Each track in this series lasts for approximately one minute and is personally filmed and edited by Kota himself. He plans to release tracks on a weekly basis, without specifying the total number of episodes.



Kota's tracks are a delightful blend of captivating quotes and soothing beats that effortlessly immerse listeners in the music. This project stands apart from Kota's previous more conventional works like "Everything" and "Foto". However, it is precisely these differences that make this series truly special. Vol. 2, in particular, showcases Kota's undeniable passion for rap.


From Billboard.....It’s rare to be so intuitive and retrospective at 26. What do you attribute to that?
I’ve always been hyper-sensitive. After I made this project(Foto), I definitely felt like I could close a few chapters. It feels good to say all that stuff, put it on wax and really have it out to the world. And, 95% of it I produced. So this is me. To really have something that is me. Me and my family. Me and my experiences. No holds barred. It really feels good.


Released on May 15th, 2019, the album "Foto" is a cool piece filled with captivating melodies and enchanting soundscapes. Kota, the talented artist behind this 19-song collection, showcases his exceptional skills as a producer, creating a truly mesmerizing experience.




Each track on this album strikes a perfect balance, offering a comfortable blend of confidence and vulnerability. Songs like "Bagels" exude an airy atmosphere, intertwining self-assurance with a subtle admission of insecurities and social anxiety. On the other hand, tracks like "Koala" deliver powerful lyrics, seamlessly blending with the lighter, more energetic tunes such as "Backyard."



......Billboard....What’s been the experience releasing FOTO as an independent artist?
The new album has been getting so much love organically. We’re just staying on top of it. My team is fairly small. It’s me on the creative side. I’m the creative director of this whole process. I have a publicist that also wears different hats. I got a manager that comes from the booking agent world. He handles my tour and a bunch of things. And my Dad is on my team! He’s kind of like my business manager and he makes sure that everything is on point. And I got my DJ, my photographer and that’s the team.


....Billboard...What’s your creative vision behind FOTO?
It’s all about reminiscing and sentimental things. Trying to paint a picture of the things that happened in my life. Every song is like a snapshot of my life. Good times, bad times. I wanted people to hear it and touch on every single part of [the listeners’] spirit and heart.

However, the true brilliance of this project lies in its hidden gems. "Mommy" stands out as a carefully crafted narrative, shedding light on the disconnect between a mother's intentions and the unintended consequences her lifestyle has on her son's life. Yet, the crown jewel of the album is undoubtedly "Solar Return," featuring Saba. This heartfelt song serves as a love letter to Kota's son, assuring him that despite embarking on another tour, he will always return.



Describing Kota's artistry in a few words is a challenging task. For those new to his music, he embodies the essence of hip-hop, stripped of any unnecessary noise. His music is timeless, resonating deeply without feeling outdated. Tracks like "For Colored Boys" offer poignant insights without being preachy or overwhelming. Kota's approachable musical style makes "Foto" a soul-nourishing experience that deserves to be replayed countless times.



Introducing MEMO, the latest album by Kota and longtime DJ e madonna, which was released on July 8th, 2022. This musical piece takes you on a journey through a diverse range of tracks, from the exhilarating highs of "UP" to the soothing downtempo chords of Good To Be Home II. Kota's exceptional talent in songwriting, captivating sonic arrangements, and subtle yet profound understanding of music come together to create an album that resonates deeply with the souls of a new hip hop generation. Get ready to be captivated by the magic of MEMO!

....In an interview with Notion....I loved the single “UP”! What are you trying to convey with it?
I’m just trying to say that no matter how you feel, me and the people around me are going to go up. We live on a completely different frequency, you can’t even see me, the stones you are throwing at me aren’t hitting me



“Memo is an album about emotional growth. It’s like the end of a long journey. You can finally rest; appreciate how far you’ve come and build a house that you can call home. It’s about acquiring an inner peace that the world can’t take away from you no matter how hard it tries.”

Protea another album, released June 30, 2023, starts with the jazz-infused track "Super 8" featuring Wolftyla, setting an intimate atmosphere. Kota's warm vocals and Wolftyla's falsetto complement each other, expressing their desires for a passionate love affair. The album also explores the complexities of relationships in tracks like "The Good" and "The Bad." "Barcelona" brings back breezy summer vibes with Kota's infectious hook and Samm Henshaw's vocals. Other notable tracks include "Forget About It" featuring Zak Abel and "Road Rage" featuring Aloe Blacc. The album concludes with captivating house textures and introspective thoughts from Kota.




From underground hip-hop blog-"Protea" is like a love letter expressing appreciation and admiration for the person that stood by me in my darkest hour. The protea is my wife's favorite flower and I wanted to create a piece of art specifically for her that stand the test of time. The artists that are featured on the album, are people we listened to a lot when I was driving her to and from work. In that was she helped me curate the album. I want this album to serve as a reminder to give people that stand by you their flowers. We have to show appreciation for the people that love us and uplift us at our most vulnerable."


Finally, Kota unveils his latest masterpiece, "Lyrics to GO Vol. 5," a culmination of his profound journey that echoes his previous releases. This album delves into life's priceless moments, the thrill of self-discovery, and the inner peace that shields us from the chaos of the outside world.


the 12 track list includes Each track in this album serves as a gateway to a different realm, with titles that transport you to a specific place, evoking a sense of belonging. From the bustling streets of "MILAN" to the vast deserts of "YUMA," the serene tranquility of "OREGON," and the enigmatic allure of "VIETNAM," Kota presents a tapestry of experiences that resonate deeply with each listener.


From Hype Magazine “The inspiration for ‘YUMA’ came while touring in 2023,” Kota reveals. “It’s a reflection of our journey, a band of inner-city dreamers traversing the nation, and the raw essence of that experience.”

As you embark on this lyrical voyage with "Lyrics to GO, Vol. 5," Kota the Friend emerges as a true symbol of authenticity and musical brilliance. This album not only showcases his growth as an artist but also leaves an indelible mark on the music industry..






Stay tuned for exciting updates on Kota's upcoming "Lyrics to GO Tour." This album is a journey, a story, and an experience waiting to be explored. Get ready to be captivated.


.....From Notion....I feel like it’s easier to be honest in music than it is in real life. People don’t like to be subjected to honesty in real life, whereas if you hear it over a nice beat and package up the honesty nicely, it lubricates the pill so you can swallow it. In the past few years, I’ve learnt that the truth is easy in music. As an artist, you have to detach yourself from what people think of you. You have to allow your music to be your music, and as a person you have to live your real life that is completely separate from what people think. If you are inspired by my music then great, but if you feel spited by my music then that’s how you take it. But me, I have to be over here, living my own life, learning and growing, and raising my family.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME




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