We had the good fortune of connecting with Colin Haviland and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Colin, what do you attribute your success to?
There is nothing more valuable than being authentic. If you are true to yourself and what you believe in, gimmicks aren’t necessary. Real recognizes real.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am 1/3 of the group Boom Box Brothers (myself, Mic Hogg & DJ 001), 1/2 of the group CoCec (myself & TsohTso) and the entirety of ZILLA ENT. (an independent cassette label). Boom Box Bros. was formed out of the idea that Hip-Hop could use a more family-friendly approach (an unconventional idea, at best). We refrain from using curse words in our lyrics, but still leave all other content open for interpretation. While to some this is a pretty big compromise and an affront to the genre, by doing so we have had more doors open than close. Our group has played local festivals, headlined outdoor performances in the heart of our city and even been a part of the 4th of July Parade (twice). All of these being firsts for a local Hip-Hop group in our town. CoCec (/kōsəs/) is the other side of that coin. With producer TsohTso (formerly Whatever Cecil) providing the instrumental backdrop, I am able to experiment 100% with no holds barred. If Boom Box Bros. is somewhat of a compromise to my writing style, CoCec is where I let it all out. Finally, ZILLA ENT. is my micro-label that I started as an effort to further distribute my friends music in physical formats (mostly cassette). As a fan first and foremost, I started to see how easily people were making and distributing cassettes again. Knowing that most of my peers didn’t know how (or care to learn), I stepped in to offer a service for anyone wanting physical releases of their album. It’s a passion project more than anything, with most releases being my “Frequency Response” series. As someone who is passionate about Hip-Hop and the physical packaging thereof, it’s just a fun way for me to nerd out and give back to the genre I love so much.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If you come to Flagstaff, you will need to spend some time downtown, no matter what. Top recommendation would be Flagstaff Brewing Company (FBC). One of my favorite places to grab a burger, but their Buffalo Chicken Sandwich is probably one of the best around (get it crispy with bleu cheese)! They also brew their own beers and always have some delicious choices on tap, plus outdoor seating that is perfect for summer. Flagstaff is a small city with a lot crammed in it but surrounded by incredible forests and trails. Driving to Snowbowl to take a summer ski-lift ride is a great way to see the mountains or you can explore more with the Urban Trail system weaving its way through town.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
First, shoutout to my Mom & Dad for enrolling me in music classes from a very young age and starting me on this path. Shoutout to Mr. Riddle, Mr. Bame, Mrs. Colvard & Mr. Eder for teaching me about the wonderful world of music and how I could play a part. Shoutout to The Roots for opening my eyes to a world of Hip-hop I didn’t even know existed. Finally, a HUGE shoutout to Gopher Sounds, Bookmans, Zia Records and any other store that put up with me digging through their crates, 7 days a week.