When singer-songwriter Kole (born Nicole Cohen) was 17 years old, she took a class called Songwriters on Songwriting at the University of California, Los Angeles. One week, songwriter-producer Rick Nowels (Sia, Madonna) visited as a guest speaker and Kole, then a second-year ethnomusicology student, volunteered to sing Lana Del Rey’s “Young and Beautiful” for him. After class, her professor offered to connect her with an industry veteran who later became Kole’s first manager.
In 2014 that manager introduced her to Sue Drew, GM of creative and acquisitions at Kobalt Music Publishing, who immediately offered to mentor her. “It was obvious that she had a natural talent,” recalls Drew. “It was just a matter of encouraging her and offering up select co-writes when I thought they were appropriate for her. We like to pride ourselves on discovering talent early and then helping get it to a point where they’re ready to join the roster.”