Co.Lega is the genre-defying music producer and songwriter behind an exciting new multidimensional project. He made his debut in March with the experimental trip-hop groove “Lay my love on everything”. That track introduced the groundbreaking new collection, ‘infused by Urbzz’, a sci-fi/hip-hop/jazz project built on the original compositions of fusion pioneer Michal Urbaniak.
Michal Urbaniak (aka Urbzz) is a legendary multi-instrumentalist jazz musician, originally from Poland and now a US citizen and New Yorker. In a career spanning more than fifty years, he has played with a voluminous list of modern jazz giants, including Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Qunicy Jones, Wayne Shorter, and even the iconic Miles Davis. CoLega’s new album Abstract was composed entirely of derivative works created from samples of music composed by his longtime friend, Urbzz.
“Urbanator the computer boy” is the latest single from Co.Lega, released worldwide via all major streaming services on June 30, 2023. The track opens on a noir abstract jazz vibe as Urbaniak’s saxophone dances to a funky jazz-hop/glitch groove. Bass, vibraphone, trumpet, and a syncopated mix of electronic and organic percussive elements all work their way in and out of the mix. On the mic, vocalist Silke continues the philosophical examination of man’s relationship with technology that is the central theme of Abstract.
Check out “Urbanator the computer boy” below. You can also hear the song on the Deep Dive : Jazz playlist, or listen on your favorite streaming service. We had the chance to chat with Co.Lega about the new album. Check out his answers to our 8 questions below. And follow the links at the end of this article to connect with the artist.
8 Questions with Co.Lega
How long have you been making music?
Long enough to have tons of songs which have been sitting there and soon to be released.
Who are the musicians involved in your project?
Silke – A singer to whom I owe a lot. She is so talented, and it took me much time to try so many singers before I finally found her.
Mr. Ho – An excellent producer, who helped us achieve great results.
Michal Urbaniak – renowned violinist and saxophonist, not much introduction needed.
Apart from the musicians there are also visual artists who also contributed to this undertaking like Julia Królikowska, a painter, Agata Kulczyk, a graphic designer and Dana Danylova, a video artist, among others. I’d constantly open to let other artists who’d like to contribute and form a kind of collective if you like. Check out the project website.
Who are your biggest musical influences?
I’ve drawn a lot of inspiration over the years. I’m constantly on the lookout for fresh, innovative sounds—something that’s catchy yet crafted in a way that’s completely unfamiliar to my ears.
Lyrics hold a significant place in my heart as well. There’s a whole world of issues out there that can ignite your creativity, such as the profound impact of religion on individuals (for the record, I identify as agnostic), the impending climate migration, the significance of refraining from mowing lawns for the sake of bees, the fascinating realm of permaculture, the vast expanse of the universe, the advent of AI and quantum computers. Love, or lack thereof, doesn’t need to be the sole subject of creative exploration, right? However, for the purposes of this project, I could suggest checking out the works of Portishead, DJ Shadow, and Michal Urbaniak. They’ve all contributed tremendously to the musical landscape.
What is your greatest non-musical influence?
Wim Hof, iceman, who inspired me to start winter swimming several years ago. I love to go to the Baltic sea in the winter, I’ve got my favorite little beach there. I love it, it is reached by a two-kilometer trail through a dense forest, where you won’t encounter anyone. There’s also no one on the beach. Using driftwood washed ashore, I construct “hangers” for my belongings. As I enter the sea, the first few seconds are intensely cold, but then, gazing at the endless water, you feel something extraordinary—Mother Nature envelops you, and you experience a sense of awe.
What inspired you to create this project?
Long friendship with Michal Urbaniak and my admiration for his ability of blending different styles, his fusion unique style – there is only one music 😉
What are your plans for the future (musically)?
I plan to release more music soon, a bit different style. Six songs have been already produced. The songs done with Michal are, in essence, a reinterpretation of the tracks that I will soon unveil, remixes of the original ones.
Is there anything else you would like to say?
I am truly grateful to Michal, who has played and worked with many great artists such as Miles Davis, Quincy Jones, Herbie Hancock and others, for giving me the opportunity to collaborate with him. It has been a grand adventure and a tremendous honor for me.