An Act To Watch: Coozablack and Sin City
The story of Coozablack and Sin City—the name enough on its own to pique one’s interest—is one of trial and error, a series of coincidences perhaps; but ultimately, one of such strong belief, passion, and drive, that success, coupled with a name and a sound that much like the band is like none other, was and is inevitable.
The roots of the band trace back to 2008, and tell the story of a musician and entertainer on a mission.
“I was a rapper first and always loved to entertain, I wanted to be an entertainer. I worked my way through the underground dance circuit, and opened up for Rick Ross in 2008. Watching the videos back that my brother ‘Big Reg’ always filmed, I eventually noticed an empty drum set in the background after watching it back, and I said to myself, how cool would it be to have a band back up what I wanted to do? I wanted a rock rock band, but also wanted it to be in a category all its own,” said frontman Cooza.
The year was 2009, and Cooza set out to put his vision together. After a series of auditions that he lined up from numerous responses to a Craigslist ad for a keyboard player, a drummer, and guitarists, various auditions were held and a band started falling into place.
“We had 12 variations of my band before it got to the band we know now,” Cooza said, reflecting on the trial and error, that, fast-forward to current day, led up to the current group in 2019 consisting of Cooza as the frontman, Tyler Durden (bass), JT Licious (guitar), and T-Wrecks (drummer). “What was to be our first really big show at that time several years ago, with huge names like Solider Boy and Trina at the Verizon Wireless Center (now Revention), was not promoted well, and there was very little turnout,” he said.
These hiccups, however, did not stop Cooza and were merely a bump in the road to growing success. Through a growing relationship with Rod Ryan of The Rod Ryan Show, other key players at 94.5 FM The Buzz, and songs created specifically for the Houston Texans that were put in rotation on the show as well as used for when the Superbowl was in Houston, Coozablack & Sin City became a name and sound known for being in a category all its own, a hip-hop rock band with a distinctive mix of progressive rock and an aggressive rhyme style.
“It’s been great, 94.5 has been really responsive to us. Our song ‘I Am’ has been getting a lot of love on the station; it’s one I really like to perform, and it bangs hard in the car too,” he said.
As far as the writing process for their songs, it’s definitely a collaboration.
“I pen the lyrics, and the music is done in rehearsal. JP might catch a riff, and then we just go off of it. Everything we do is ours, and very personal,” he said. “’Karma’ is an original of ours, for example, that is fun to perform, and one that everyone gravitates to. But it’s actually a true story sprinkled with fiction about a woman who was being physically abused, the individual was caught who was creating the abuse and they came up missing. So there’s that lyric that goes, ‘Don’t cry about it now, the damage is done’… This is what it’s about. It’s about things we believe in as well,” Cooza said.
Most recently, performance-wise Clear Lake residents at Scout Bar’s Tune Out Cancer Music Fest 2019 were stopped in their tracks and completely blown away in March — presumably many of whom were seeing the band for the first time — which was further evidenced by the explosive response and excitement of the crowd there, and those wanting to know just who this band was after the show, in addition to the raving feedback and postings on various social media platforms which followed.
All of this is really just the beginning of Coozablack and Sin City, however.
“We believe in the vision we have and that’s what has kept us going. An EP may be coming soon. More dates are always coming. But there’s more, we want more. We want to pull up in the back of stadiums, we're looking to arenas. I envision us in those spaces. We study musical icons because that’s where we see this, where we see ourselves. If you don’t have that vision, where will you go?” said Cooza.
For now, however, Clear Lake residents should consider themselves lucky to catch a Coozablack and Sin City show locally, while they can. Though they regularly play throughout Houston, after the Tune Out Cancer Music Fest 2019 performance, they were quickly asked back to wreck the Scout Bar stage once again in May, where Cooza promises a big surprise.
“We gonna do that song on May 4. It’s undoubtedly classic. You will know it when you hear it, it’s our spin on this song and that’s the damn song you’ll want in your car!” he said.
For those that haven’t caught a Coozablack and Sin City show yet, the best advice is really to just buckle up and expect your jaw to drop repeatedly.
“You’re going to see a band who seems part of an international tour. You’re not gonna say to yourself, ‘oh, those guys will be okay one day.’ No. You’re gonna say to yourself, ‘Damn, who are they? Damn!, what is this, are they on tour?” said Cooza.
Coozablack and Sin City will destroy the stage next at Scout Bar on Saturday, May 4, along with headliners (HED) p.e., and co-liners Andrew Boss and Kerosene Shores. Doors open at 7 p.m.; show begins at 8 p.m. Advance tickets and VIP tables are currently on sale through the Scout Bar website. Day of show tickets are not guaranteed, so grab them now!
By Sarah Piña