Fayetteville native J. Cole brought the 8,000-person audience in Carmichael Auditorium to its feet as he headlined UNC’s 2012 Homecoming Concert Sunday night. Director of Enterprise Sarah Glen caught up with Cole after the show to talk about what it was like for him to be back in the Tar Heel state and what fans can expect from his next album.
Daily Tar Heel: What was it like coming back to perform in North Carolina, especially here at UNC?
J. Cole: Being here was incredible. Like I said during the show, I always wanted to come here when I was growing up, so getting to perform here was really coming full circle. I’m a huge fan, and the crowd was great. I just want to give a shout out to every Tar Heel that came out.
DTH: You mentioned the speakers blocking your view during the show. How was the venue?
JC: Over the last few years, I’ve really learned how to adjust. The speakers were blocking part of the crowd’s view, but you just gotta roll with the punches. You learn how to fight through it. Overall though, the sound was really great. You’ve just got to learn when to show extra love to the fans.
DTH: You specifically requested to have Elle Varner open the show. Do you expect to collaborate with her again soon?
JC: You know, she’s super talented. We both went to school in New York, I went to St. John’s and she went to NYU, and I met her sophomore year of college. It’s just funny how life works because we just knew each other through some mutual friends. To see her be so successful now is real dope, and she’s great to work with.
DTH: There’s a lot of hype buzzing around about your second album. What can you tell us about that?
JC: The album’s going to be coming out early next year. You should really expect it to be on the next level. I’ve been in a great place this year creatively, so things have been going good. I still go through some stress but it’s more of a good, natural stress rather than worrying about how many records are going to sell.
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