NEW ORLEANS, LA – When NAVY recruiters try to entice new enlistees, they often cite the opportunity to visit unique places all over the world. Collis James Foster – AKA Nola B – definitely had that experience during his years as a Corpsman. But at first those new experiences were so overwhelming that he had to find an outlet for the emotions he was feeling.
His solution was to write songs.
“I was isolated from my family and music was my way to release,” he said. “I did three tours – Iraq and two to Europe – and it was during my first tour that I first started making music. One of my first songs was called ‘My Shine,’ and it was based on my time as a psych tech in the NAVY and one of the stories I heard during that time. And ultimately that’s what my tune is – just life. I pull from my own or other people’s experiences to tell great stories through music.”
His artist name also comes from the NAVY, during which time his fellow servicemen and women would refer to him as Nola because of his home town of New Orleans, Louisiana. Growing up in New Orleans, he was inspired by lyricists such as Jay Z and Lupe Fiasco. He says their “gritty and colorful wordplay” was what first attracted him to hip-hop. After his service in the NAVY, Nola B started High Council Recordings LLC – his own production and recording company. Within a year-and-a-half he had recorded and made more than 150 instrumentals, carving out a niche for himself throughout the country by featuring and producing for artists he met on social media.
“My music has passion and purpose backed by clever punchlines and subtle humor,” Nola B said. “When people listen to my music I want them to know they’re going to get a good story and be entertained, with a nugget of knowledge in there, as well. My music is an experience. Not to sound cliché, but I find the difference between my music and other artists is that you’re going to feel like someone entertained you and told you a story.”
His most recent project is an album called “Book of Nola.” He said it’s a project that features a number of features from local artists throughout New Orleans, and he hopes that the album will shine a light on the great music and hip-hop coming out of his home town.
“It shows off a little bit of hip-hop and a little bit of R&B,” he said. “It’s flashy and gritty and street and just a mixture of multiple flavors. More than anything, it’s a collection of New Orleans artists.”
“Book of Nola” is slated to drop sometime in December. The first single from the album is “24 Hours” and is already available to sample on all digital distribution sites.
To listen to Nola B’s music or to follow him on social media, please visit the following: