Cooly G

Pure, untainted natural talent

It’s finally happened. Someone has made Coldplay cool. Well, maybe not the band themselves, but after hearing Cooly G’s dub-washed, UK funky-endowed cover of ‘Trouble’, you’ll never look at them in the same way again.

The track is one of a range of gems from the superb debut full-length by Cooly (Merrisa Campbell), ‘Playin’ Me’, and like the rest of the record, it’s a heartfelt snapshot which dips effortlessly into a range of contemporary urban ideas.

Every track on ‘Playin’ Me’ has a distinct musical character, and the album evolves clearly over the listening process, covering a range of styles along the way – all with finesse and flair; from the sun-kissed soul dub of ‘He Said I Said’ to the rhythmical carnival/footwork onslaught of ‘It’s Serious’, via jittered synth blasts and spacey backgrounds in the title track.

“It’s weird ‘cause it just happened”, says Campbell of the writing process. “I just go with the flow and that’s how it came out. I didn’t think, ‘I want to make it like this or that’. I didn’t know what it was gonna be like.”

You hear this chat a lot when interviewing producers, but in Cooly’s case it sounds absolutely genuine, and it seems that ‘Playin’ Me’ is simply a stone-cold example of pure, untainted natural talent.

It is, however, still a personal album, with more emotion squeezed into the smoky, soul-progressed framework than in previous (excellent) tracks which took a straight-up approach, like the blissed-over tones of ‘Love Dub’ or the jukey impulsiveness of ‘Phat Si’.

“I wanted to make an album where people could tune into me more than those ‘Phat Si’ tunes”, she says. “I can make those kind of tunes any day. All the [album] tunes are about little experiences I’ve had. When I was making the album, I wanted people to understand me a little bit more.”

‘Love Dub’ (HYPERDUB)
‘Landscapes’ (HYPERDUB)
‘Playin’me’ (HYPERDUB)

Download Cooly G's 'Landscapes' as part of Clash's Cross Section Download album.

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