Cords For Music
Cords for Music Cords for Music empowers young people through the learning of music.
Cords for Music sells lifestyle products with a portion of each sale going to help fund music education initiatives in public schools. Of all the art forms, Music is the most inherent, making it also the most effective for shaping a young person’s thinking process, their confidence and building their leadership skills.
I interviewed my friend Nicholas Coblence, the founder of Cords for Music who lives in New York city to find out more.
How and why did you begin Cords for Music Nicholas?
After spending over ten years between the luxury business and the arts I felt like I wanted to do something good with my career. Inspired by my love for music and socially motivated brands (ie: Toms, Apolis, Westward Leaning) I decided I wanted to start my own brand that I could use to do good. One day I was playing my guitar with a pick and I started to think to myself, what would this look like around my wrist? That’s when it all started…
Favorite websites blogs and publications?
I go online for two purposes, inspiration and information. These days I actually enjoy what brands are putting together like my friends over at Life after Denim and their newsletter. Otherwise I’ll read what is sent to my inbox like Need2Know, Mister Spoils, BoF, WWD, NYT and sometimes the Financial Times (print) when I get to my office. I get very inspired by Humans of New York, he has an amazing way of communicating.
Tell us more about the charity that your venture supports.
It’s called Education Through Music and their mission to create sustainable music programs in Public Schools. They are really quite amazing. They are in 28 different schools around the city currently and have been able to impact over 50,000 children so far with their music programs. www.etmonline.org
Artists, musicians, creatives that have influenced you the most?
Most of my influence comes from music and fashion. Pink Floyd, Slash, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Sam Cooke, Ray Charles and Radiohead to name some of the primary influences. Fashion wise it’s so varied. I grew up in fashion and so my early influences were couture brands such as Yves Saint Laurent and Thierry Mugler and then Alaia, Chanel and Gaultier to name a few. Today I love the crossing of tech fabrics and design. I really like American brands such as Aether Apparel and Nau crossed with Zegna and Armani crossed with Y3 and Prada Sport. Urban Zen is also pretty amazing. I buy most of my things at Uniqlo and JCrew though. I’m a bit of a minimalist, I love small details and subtlety. Oh and one can’t forget Hermes, the most beautiful leather in luxury.
Most interesting exhibition or concert you have gone to this year?
Robert Wilson’s Life and Death of Marina Abramovic at Park Avenue Armory was my favorite performance I’ve seen. I’ve also attended a lot of concerts of newer musicians recently in more intimate or private spaces. Kris Bowers (who is also a friend) is always my favorite to see perform. There are very few who play like him. Others are the New Orleans Swamp Donkeys, Rahzel from the Roots and Goodbye Motel. My most memorial exhibition (in a gallery) was actually in 2013: Ragnar Kjartansson, The Visitors at Luhring Augustine.
Whats new and funky happening in new york in the creative scene?
I like the fact that I’m seeing a lot of breaking boundaries between mediums going on with the happening and the experience based art installation (rooted in performance) being very popular these days. I love when artists and organizations like to create new conversations and explore ideas from an intellectual perspective. Sometimes it’s a bit too much but sometimes it hits the right chord.
Otherwise, I don’t really that much new going on. There are always new trends and things that are popping up but that stuff bores me. I like to get excited about something that’s going to last and have an impact.
The newest thing I think is the workspaces that have been popping up. I work myself out of one called Neuehouse in the flatiron. There is a ton of programming and super interesting things happening here for members, its really a great place. Speaking of which, we recently did a visit of Kings County Distillery at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. I would keep a close eye on the Navy Yard, some interesting things are going to be coming out of there.
Anything else you want to share?
I’m the kind of person who gets really excited when I see how things that we consume get made. Factory visits, artist studios, kitchens, these are all the places I want to be at all times. I always want to be making.
We’ve had a lot of that over the years and I hope it keeps going. We as a country need to continue to build on our talent and make sure the next generation has even more talent and knows how to live from it. That’s why it’s so important for children to learn the tools of creativity at a young age and why music is so important for them to learn. Without being able to express ourselves we are nothing and everyone should feel like they are someone in the world.