Philly Local artist Cole Redding covers The Beach Boys
Cole Redding | photo courtesy of the artist

A few weeks ago, Philly Local artist Cole Redding joined us for our Musicians on Call afternoon of music. He’s been in the studio recording and shared with me his cover of The Beach Boys’ song “God Only Knows.” This Beach Boys song came in at #22 in our 885 Greatest Songs Countdown that was voted on by our listeners, so I thought I’d talk with Cole about his cover of the song and his forthcoming album. Cole will also be one of the Philly Local artists joining me for the 6th Annual Philly Local Home for the Holidays show to be aired on XPN in December.

Helen Leicht: I know you are working on your debut album and the first song you shared was “Save Me.”  How long have you been writing and singing?

Cole Redding: I’ve been a lover of music as far back as I can remember. I think somewhere  around 12 I discovered my own ability. I’d write at nighttime and put it in song, but only keep it for myself. It wasn’t until I was 15 that I started doing it publicly.

HL: You are currently in the studio recording.  Who are you working with on your new album?  And where are you recording?

CR: My producer, Obie O’Brien, and I have written the bulk of the album. We’ve been lucky enough to collaborate with Desmond Child, of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the legendary Jon Bon Jovi. We actually used Jon’s home studio, Sanctuary II. What wasn’t done at Jon’s was done between Nashville and Philadelphia.

HL: Can you tell me about recording the classic Beach Boys song “God Only Knows”? The string arrangement is especially beautiful.  You also have a video for it, which really fits the feeling of the song.  Who did you work with on this video?

CR: Remaking “God Only Knows” was Obie O’Briens’ vision. The song is so classic, I was hesitant to touch it. But I trusted his intuition and I’m thrilled I did. The string arrangement is magical. That was the moment I understood what Obie envisioned. We wanted to do something tasteful and intimate for the video. To compliment how emotional the song is. It was shot by Surreel Flims.

HL: I see that you have encouraged your listeners to support BBC News and Children In Need!  Can you share more information about this connection?

CR: As for the BBC, I have no connection.  I just loved that the “God Only Know” single and video supported something positive, the charity Children in Need. I encouraged people to donate. I believe in the “pay it forward” mentality.

HL: You’re from the Philadelphia area? 

CR: Yes, born and raised in the Philadelphia area.

HL: What are you plans for releasing the new album?

CR: Honestly, we have been focused on getting the album right. We have just started talking about it’s release. We are exploring options.

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