Cobi’s been around the block. Before breaking out into an exciting solo career, the Minnesota native joined a blues cover band, went on tour and sang vocals for the progressive trance group Above & Beyond and eventually gained popularity with indie synth alt-rock band Gentleman Hall. Not bad for a guy that started teaching himself how to play guitar as a child.
Now signed to 300 Entertainment, Cobi’s work as a solo artist is perhaps his most evolved and enticing yet, having made a big splash with the release of his single “Don’t You Cry For Me” back in May. His mastery over blues and soul draws an easy comparison to Hozier, while the overall tone of Cobi’s work remains unique and enthralling in its own right. It doesn’t hurt that the dude’s also a 10/10 stunner, which led Paste to inquire about his sense of style. Check out “Don’t Cry For Me” below, as well as an interview with Cobi on how he keeps himself looking fresh to death.
Paste: Is fashion something you’ve always been interested in or is it more of an afterthought?
Cobi: I started paying attention to fashion when I fell in love with music. The two have always come hand in hand for me. What you wear can greatly enhance the persona of the artist and the overall experience of the music.
Paste: How would you describe the clothing people wore where you grew up?
Cobi: I grew up in northern Minnesota where it’s winter for 8 months out of the year and fashion wasn’t really practical. I remember when I was in high school, I insisted on wearing this thin leather jacket all winter cause I wanted to look cool more than I wanted to be warm. I almost froze to death many times. Everyone else was wearing thick Carhartt jackets, snow pants with big snow boots, and tons of other layers. That was the practical way to dress most of the year.
Paste: Who are some of your style idols?
Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Prince, MGMT, Little Dragon, to name a few. I love how they express themselves to the fullest. It’s the attention to detail that really brings out the nuances of their personalities.
Paste: Is there a movie, TV show or music video that’s had a large influence on your sense of fashion?
Cobi: There were many, but I remember the first time I saw clips from Jimi Hendrix live at Monterey festival. The freedom he had to be himself inspired me to find ways to be free in my own self-expression. Many other artists have inspired me in the same way, but I remember that moment specifically as one of the first.
Paste: Do you dress any differently in your normal day-to-day than you do onstage?
Cobi: I generally dress the same on stage as I do day to day, but there are instances I may be more daring to try something different. It really depends on my mood, the weather, and the type of audience I’ll be performing for. All these things come into account when I’m deciding what to wear on stage.
Paste: Do you feel that you dress more for yourself or for others?
Cobi: Myself. I’m not sure how one would go about dressing to please other people. Seems like that would be a miserable way to go through life.
Paste: If you had to sum up your style in three words, what would they be?
Cobi: Denim, Cotton, Linen
Paste: What is the worst fashion trend that ever existed?
Cobi: Frosted tips and short spiked hair.
Paste: How does fashion relate to music?
Cobi: Fashion is like music in the sense that it is another form of self-expression. The two become one when an artist is coming from an honest place. On the flip side, I haven’t been to many fashion shows but I’d image models would seem rather dull walking down the runway to no music. The two work together to create an experience of the senses.