Stijn Cole walks away with gold in the performance category at the International Songwriting Competition
Beat boxing, theatre, rocking. You name it, Stan Lee Cole Stijn Cole has done it. But his new single sensation 'Separated' and his album 'Devil’s Ringtone' have finally secured him a position as singer-songwriter. Last week he walked away with gold in the performance category at the International Songwriting Competition. Quite a feat if one considers among the members of the jury were Tom Waits, rapper Nas and Robert Smith from The Cure. “I’m totally blown away by the prize,” said Cole. “I’m hoping to receive a report from the jury as I’m curious to know what Tom Waits thinks about Separated.” This multi-talented instrumentalist is a true all-rounder who started his training in singing at the Herman Teirlinck Studio. This was followed by a stint in theatre and ended with his great love: music. In 2004 he started the beatbox formation Off The Record, which didn’t last long but nevertheless impressed on festival stages. In 2008 he ended his theatre activities and went to New York for a year to perform in New York clubs, which was a tough learning curve. “There are so many clubs in New York that offer entertainment every night of the week. With such a glut of bands the competition is gruelling.” The most significant song on Devil’s ringtone is Separated. With its Spartan drumbeat, soft piano sounds and Cole’s soothing tenor voice it’s no regular pop song. The album laments the loneliness of divorced parents and children. To bring this theme to life, Cole engaged Mark Borgions, founder of the Handmade Monsters animation. Cole gave him free range and Borgion came up with a rare video clip. As a slow-moving animation film it forms quite a contrast with the usual frenetic pop videos. “The song has a laid-back, slow-moving tempo. The video does the same. Separated needs slowness,” explains Borgions, whose animation is done only in grey with blue tints. The clip shows half a man who only becomes whole when he finds love. Says Cole: “If there’s a reason to part, there’s also a reason to be together. The animation shares that optimism. Bad things always bring about good things.” It’s that simple.