There’s certainly a heavy dose of accuracy when KOTA The Friend references Sam Cooke in “Sedona,” as the DIY mentality present throughout KOTA’s impressive catalogue leaves little room for any outside party to claim stake in the blossoming artist’s work. From the production to the prose and the filming to the editing, KOTA has educated himself on the creative process from start to finish. With absolute ownership of his art, and creative freedom to boot, KOTA continues to use his always evolving skill set as a means of spreading positive energy, uplifting vibes and heartfelt lessons with all those who take the time to open their minds to his beautiful music.
During a recent trip to Sedona, Arizona, KOTA brought his camera into the vibrant vastness of the desert in order to capture the footage that would become “Sedona.” Decked out in a raincoat and his fltbys cap, the Brooklyn-based artist brings the FOTO joint to life, reciting the poetically thought-provoking lyrics while the scenic landscape stands powerfully in the background. The self-shot visual treatment also includes interwoven clips of candid videos, which help to set the tone of the Sedona getaway and the experience that was the video shoot.
It’s one thing to cook up a bop, but it’s a different skill entirely to piece together an authentic, meaningful record that just so happens to also be a bop. As his library of sonic storytelling exhibits, KOTA is well on his way to mastering this balance of vibe and depth. “Sedona,” like the rest of the album it lives on, features a captivating coupling of substance-laden content, comforting instrumentation and silky, confident delivery. Using his own experiences as the lighthouse, KOTA details the importance of putting in the work and making the sacrifices in order to experience, remain open to and appreciate all the lessons life has to offer. Rather than take the easy route and fall victim to shortcuts, it’s important to take the journey step by step, learning from the trials, setbacks and momentary “failures.” Whether what you’re experiencing is blissful or uncomfortable, it’s happening to teach you something that will serve you and your growth. Life is about the full journey – it’s not a destination, it’s an ongoing adventure with twists, turns, highs and lows. And each part – each step – is manifested here in the physical to lead you towards your purpose, your happiness and your greatest version.
With “Sedona,” KOTA shines a light on the forest through the trees. He’s grounded in the present moment – the now – while never losing sight of his vision and goals for the future. Simultaneously, he’s letting go of the weight of the past but holding on to the lessons he’s learned along his travels.
“Sedona” finds life on FOTO, which is available now on all your favorite streaming platforms. If you’re looking to catch KOTA while he’s on the road, you better get on copping tickets as most the dates are nearing capacity or already sold out. And, while we’re at it, you might as well stop by Flight Boys for your official merch.
Catch the vibes and lessons below.