Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The Cotton is High

by Kendrick Daye (writer), Coconut Grove, May 24, 2007

As Janelle Monae finishes her smoky performance two shadowy figures can be vaguely seen looking onward from backstage. They simultaneously nod their heads in approval to the beats pulsating from the speakers. Those shadowy figures are Chuck Lightning and Nate Wonder and they are the two that make up the enigma that is Deep Cotton. When the duo is not recording their own music they're working on music for other artists including the aforementioned Janelle Monae, Scar, Outkast, Bilal, DC and others under the name Wondaland Productions.

Chuck and Nate met at Morehouse College while Chuck was working as a grant writer, and Nate was still a student finishing his degree. It was almost as if fate led the two together after numerous mutual associates kept mentioning them to each other.

The pair is like night and day and at times it's hard to fathom how they even get along. Chuck who notes his musical influences as Talking Heads and Iggy Pop among others is the more vocal half of the group. Chuck is eager to talk about their music and music in general while Nate who grew up singing in a choir and notes Jodeci and Nat King Cole as influences is more coy and reserved. Overall they compliment each other.

"We met in 2002," Nate explains I just got back from Spain and I was writing music, working on websites, and finishing my degree at Morehouse, Chuck just founded [The Dark Tower Project] and they needed a website, so that's how we linked up."

Chuck describes his leave from his position at Morehouse College as a grant writer as "emancipation." After working at Morehouse in the day and writing, recording and performing music at night and on the weekends Chuck left in late 2006 to fully pursue his first love, music.

Both Chuck and Nate have been deeply involved in The Dark Tower Project, an arts group on Morehouse and Spelman College's Campus that promotes anything involved in the underground arts movements. The duo owes meeting each other and their protoge Janelle Monae through the organization. Although both are currently away from Morehouse they remain loyal to The Dark Tower Project and admit they will always be involved in its various endeavors.

"That's like our child," Chuck says of The Dark Tower Project.

"We can never, not be involved with [The] Dark Tower [Project], we eventually want to take it across the United States," he later added.

When the duo is producing for other artists besides themselves they work under the production name, Wondaland Productions. Although the duo is busy helming tracks for Outkast member Big Boi's solo album (which Nate Wonder will be co-executive producer of), DC, Scar, Bilal and Janelle Monae the two still find the time to create their own music and don't find it hard to switch back and forth from the role of producer to artist. But the project their most excited to see released is their own debut album.

"It's done," Chuck smirks while speaking about their debut album. "Its something to reckon with [and] we had a lot of fun making it."

"The music is exciting, it's a little bit different, because of what its saying," he later added.

Exciting and different are two words that can be used to describe their music which sounds like everything and nothing you've heard before, like a cross between George Clinton, Missy Elliot and Fishbone, not quite rock, not quite Hip-Hop influenced, not quite punk, but overall good music. Songs like "Dumb Angel" and "Young Kings" two tracks off their debut album showcase their intense sound and poignant thought provoking lyrics.

"I think more than anything we want people to realize that life is an active thing," Chuck explains. "If you're living you have to be active, and anything you go through do it as hard as you can."

To find out more information on Deep Cotton please visit:

About the Writer

Kendrick Daye is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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1 comments on The Cotton is High

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By Ariel on May 24, 2007 at 01:12 pm
Very interesting and well written article. I will definitely check them out
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