CRACK

Aesthetic:Infinite Coles

Words: Davy Reed
Photography: Jack Grange
Styling: Luci Ellis
Make-Up: Rachel Sheperd

Jumper: 3.Paradis

Tucked into the second half of Everything Is Recorded – a star-studded project from XL Recordings co-founder Richard Russell – are three songs featuring the soul-stirring vocals of Infinite Coles. It's a name you might see around more often in the near future. Over a FaceTime video call the rising artist already looks like a star, with his hair pulled back in a bob to accentuate a face framed by flamboyantly styled eyebrows. He also bears a striking resemblance to his father Dennis Coles – known to the world as Ghostface Killah, the Wu-Tang Clan’s surrealist storyteller.

Having starred in Gang – a Dazed commissioned short film described as “like Saturday Night Fever for the vogue-tumblr generation” – in 2015, doors have been swinging open for Infinite Coles. He’s since starred in an Apple advert, had a track featured in a Fenty Beauty campaign and made bold strides in the fashion world.

“I really, really appreciate designers who have no gender to their clothes,” the 24-year-old says of his personal style. “It’s like anyone can wear whatever you want, and you can feel comfortable, and you can look fab.” He lists Nicopanda, Gypsy Sport and Hood By Air as some of his favourite brands. Lamenting the current hiatus of Shayne Oliver's label, he proudly pulls up his HBA hoodie – one of the many items Oliver himself gifted him after he helped shift their stock to a new warehouse.

Top: Maharishi
Trousers: Maharishi
Boots: Sorrel


Top: Liam Hodges

Top: Alex Mullins
Trousers: Alex Mullins
Trainers: Nike

The story goes that the first time Infinite Coles sang for an audience was at the Wu-Tang house in New Jersey, where the family had gathered to celebrate Christmas. A 14-year-old Infinite performed a rendition of O’ Holy Night, impressing RZA – the group’s visionary leader and primary producer, who is also Infinite’s uncle. While Infinite Coles' aesthetic is far from the hardcore hip-hop of the Wu-Tang style, being in the bloodline of the most mythologised group in rap history has had an influence.

“I’m not really close to my real dad like that – my uncle has been taking care of me as long as I can remember, so he is definitely one of my biggest inspirations,” Infinite explains, pointing out that he’s calling from RZA’s home. “He had me listening to a whole bunch of throwback music, from Luther Vandross, Marvin Gaye, Patti LeBelle. That’s what I like to listen to, especially when I’m around my family. If I’m alone I go off a vibe, so for the new singers I’d probably say like SZA, [FKA] twigs, The Internet,” he smiles. “The list could go on, I love music.”

When we’re discussing the Everything Is Recorded project, Infinite beams with gratitude. The link-up came via producer and engineer Alex Epton, who soundtracked the Gang film and swiftly recommended Infinite Coles to Richard Russell. With sessions in New York and London, Russell weaved Infinite’s voice – which brings to mind comparisons of Shamir and Jeremih – into the Everything Is Recorded LP. The project also features artists such as Kamasi Washington, Giggs and The Internet’s Syd, and he’s since become a central part of the project’s live show as a singer and dancer.

“I was basically in awe,” Infinite remembers of first working with Russell, who he credits for helping improve his self-confidence. “And then meeting all the other artists he introduced me to like Giggs and Sampha and the Ibeyi twins – it’s like a family. They make me feel comfortable. I never thought anything like this would happen.”

Our call takes place shortly before Infinite flies to London to perform as part of Everything Is Recorded alongside the likes of Sampha, Ibeyi and Warren Ellis. Having struggled with insecurity and loneliness, Infinite Coles is beginning to thrive. On top of nudging him further into the spotlight, these accomplishments are benefiting his spiritual well-being too. “I don’t have many fans, but people who are fans of mine, they give me a reason to keep going and they make me love myself,” he says. “After I started loving myself, a whole bunch of opportunities started knocking at my door.”

Everything Is Recorded is out now via XL Recordings

Words: Davy Reed
Photography: Jack Grange
Styling: Luci Ellis
Make-Up: Rachel Sheperd

Jumper: 3.Paradis
Trousers: Maharishi
Boots: Dr. Martens

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