Singer/songwriter Cobi has taken his fans on an emotional ride in 2020 with 6 momentous indie style singles. ‘Keep Climbing’ was released in March via 300 Entertainment giving his fans a bluesy alternative anthem. Simultaneously, an epic animated lyric video was released to further empower this rock ballad.
Cobi, formally Jacob Michael Schmidt, grew up in Minnesota. His backstory is that of all classic rockstars; saving up change from odd jobs to buy his first guitar, a Squier Stratocaster, at the young age of 8 years old. Teaching himself to play guitar by ear, he grew up with an unshakable love for music. Cobi is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music and is no stranger to the starlight. In 2008, him and 5 other Berklee alumni formed the band, Gentlemen Hall and were signed to Def Jam Records. The band would go on to win an MTV Video Award and even performed at the Billboard Music Awards. Despite the success, the band decided to part ways and Cobi was able to focus on his music solo.
In 2015, he signed with 300 Entertainment and launched a very successful unary music career with over 70 million streams on Spotify alone. After the birth of his beautiful little girl and the loss of his father, Cobi seemingly put all of his emotions into his music, showing his fans a vulnerability that we were not familiar with. Like a phoenix from the ashes, ‘Keep Climbing’ was released unleashing an auditorial empowerment that his audience can surely relate to. The single is a perfect combination of blues, soul with a sprinkle of gospel. In a modern twist, it has elements of synth and electronica which compliments the vocals flawlessly.
Concurrently, ‘Keep Climbing’ was paired with an almost ethereal professional animated lyric video for the song. When watching, the audience can immediately recognize the theme of the lyric video as it is an exact replica of the single artwork done in a photo realistic illustration. We see Cobi himself rising from the ground, arm raised to the sky. The fans can recognize him instantly; his chiseled jaw line, long wavy hair, and that necklace that he always wears. The attention to detail in the illustration and animation of Cobi is so precise and vivid.
The color choices are just as powerful. Mirroring the single art, we see a palette of fire, burnt oranges, sandstone and ginger. Warm colors as these are effective in evoking emotions which is exactly what this song is for and amplifies the significance of a quality lyric video. When the choir chimes in, we see the silhouette of a crowd watching on as our animated protagonist is rising toward the sky. This scene is timed exactly as the choir sings, “Keep climbing, keep moving, keep reaching for heaven..” The lyrics are figurative, and the visuals are symbolic. The song is poetic and the fans can feel the strength of the words when he sings about bringing back his father and being a father himself to his daughter. Professional lyric videos like ‘Keep Climbing’ allow us to read through the story and sing alongside the independent artist. The lyrics are presented in a unique way, showing movement and using large bold texts for power phrases.
This custom lyric video is by far one of my favorites and it succeeds in delivering a feeling of empowerment using dreamlike illustrations and animations. We as the audience are equally hypnotized by Cobi’s soulful singing, the rhythmic beat and the captivating imagery used to bring the theme of this powerful song to life.
Check out ‘Keep Climbing‘ on Cobi’s YouTube channel here: