The Coastal Collective
Fri., Sept. 21st • Doors: 9 p.m.
255 N. Front St. • $10-15
Sitting still seems to be as much of a challenge for energetic rapper Jared Sales as a hamster drinking Red Bull. While I sip my coffee across from him (as well as drummer Andrew Kranstover) and jot down a few notes, Sales is emphatically gesturing with not just his hands but his entire body.
“He can’t help it; he’s always rapping even if he’s not,” Kranstover remarked in laughter. In Converse shoes and thick-rimmed glasses, Sales is not the type you’d normally peg for a rapper. That’s part of what sets The Coastal Collective apart from any other hip-hop group—not one member fits into the stereotype. Starting out with scribbled poetry during middle school, then moving up to rapping solo shows as a high-school student in Raleigh, Sales invested his heart in music long ago.
“I like the poetry aspect, but I also like the performance of it,” Sales explains. “I like the attitude of it and the whole culture of hip-hop.”
It wasn’t until Sales came to UNCW that he seriously pursued his musical career. Through networking with club owners and playing various shows, Sales started getting the attention he’d been hoping for.
“I started branching out, meeting producers in the area and people that make beats,” Sales says. “I kind of got my start more at the Soapbox. Then, I picked up a guy at a show that owns County Lines Clothing, and he started booking me.”
While Sales’ voice and vision are a huge part of The Coastal Collective, the creativity and innovation of the group as a whole should not go unnoticed. Aside from Kranstover and Sales, the band comprises Trey Caeser with vocals, Cameron Tinklenberg on piano, Aaron Gallimore playing guitar, and Sean Meade on the saxophone. After only a few rehearsals as the Collective, they opened a packed house at the Soapbox for Nappy Roots in March.
“It was a big show, right off the bat,” Kranstover recalls. “We kind of exploded onto the scene right here. There were so many people that came out to that show. It felt really good. The crowd was really vibing.”
The Coastal Collective will play another show with Nappy Roots at the Soapbox on September 21st, this time with their own fans in attendance. “We got asked back and we’re gonna kick ass at this show,” Sales confidently remarks.
Since March, they’ve added in a singer and their sax player, smoothing out much of their sound. It transported the feel from what Sales calls “a harder, jazzy funk/hip-hop” to a sound he can’t quite pinpoint.
“We’re doing popular rock covers now,” he shares. “We’re covering things like Kings of Leon’s ‘Sex on Fire,’ which is not something that hip-hop and R&B vocals should be combined with.”
Figuring out ways to make their music stand out is a crucial part of their process. “Another thing we wanted to do after our first couple of shows—we didn’t want to just play with hip-hop artists,” Kranstover notes. “In order to reach a broader audience but also really meet some truly good musicians, you have to play with metal bands; you have to play with reggae bands; you have to play with a DJ. And that’s what we were trying to do. We’ve met some really great people.”
A combination of style and experience gained from previous endeavors allows The Coastal Collective to easily flow ideas and experiment. Aside from the raw talent of every member, long hours and serious dedication have gone into their creatiion.
“Since I graduated, I had the option to go and find a job. To get a 9-to-5 and whatnot, but I’m hanging on for the music,” Sales said. While this may sound stereotypical—as pointed out by Kranstover—the amount of work they put into the music shows there just might be a long-term future for the Collective.
“He works like an animal,” Kranstover explains. “Every minute he has free, he’s writing. And if he’s not writing, he’s with us—making music and putting his lyrics to the music. If there’s anybody who encompasses what it means to work to get where you wanna be, it’s Jared. And it pushes us to do the same. It’s been a really exciting start and it’s just beginning.”