Cole Rolland is best known as a singer, guitarist, and producer, with 1.25 million subscribers and more than 200 million views on YouTube. After a guitar video went viral when he was just 15, Cole spent the next decade transforming that initial spark into a blazing inferno. Quickly selling out a limited run of his Midnight guitar led to a full-blown signature deal. His inventive song reinterpretations earned invitations to perform with EDM/dance-pop duo Krewella and Grammy-nominated artists ILLENIUM and Adventure Club.
A longtime self-made artist at every step, Cole summoned the courage to leave a stable career in Sarnia, Ontario’s Chemical Valley, to follow his dreams full-time. He aims to inspire burgeoning creatives of all kinds to follow in his footsteps with his empowering original solo song, “IGNITE.”
“I started making videos when I was 15 years old, so in a way, the internet kind of watched me grow up,” Cole says. “I want people to feel like they’re on top of the world when they listen to my music, to feel inspired to conquer their goals. Some of the most rewarding comments I’ve gotten about ‘Ignite’ were things like, ‘Man, I’ve been watching your videos for ten years now!’”
A guitar prodigy inspired by Eddie Van Halen, Randy Rhoads, and Zakk Wylde, Cole’s cover of “Through the Fire and Flames” by British power metal band DragonForce launched his career in 2009. The video, capturing Rolland at 15, amassed close to 3 million views. (A celebratory second cover version of the song, posted in 2019, sits at 19 million views as early 2021.)
Cole earned an audience with the series of top-caliber videos that followed, uniquely combining his technical guitar prowess and genre-bending exploration of rock, metal, EDM, and pop music.
Each successive cover resulted in steadily explosive growth on YouTube; coverage from outlets like Kerrang!, Guitar World, Premier Guitar, and CBC Radio; as well as the Cole Rolland DC600C Midnight signature guitar, launched with longtime endorser Kiesel.
As his channel blew up, Rolland put precision focus and nuanced showmanship into every endeavor, bridging the gaps between several genres, including alt-rock, hard rock, pop.
Cole transformed classical pieces, from beloved composers like Vivaldi, into metal arrangements. He breathed new life into EDM hits with the addition of live rock instrumentation, garnering accolades from top genre artists like The Chainsmokers, Zedd, and Alan Walker. His ardent supporters know him as a skilled videographer, graphic designer, and producer. More importantly, they connect with his drive, optimism, and “pay it forward” motivational outlook.
As Guitar World noted, he “built his brand posting dazzlingly accurate guitar covers and phenomenal six-string reinventions of classical pieces.” Original music was the next logical step. In 2020, the Passenger EP brought his compositional skills to the forefront. In late 2021, Cole released “Ignite,” the first wholly original composition of his career to put his lead vocal atop his guitars.
“I’m very comfortable behind my guitar, but I felt vulnerable stepping out as a singer,” Cole admits. “It’s a high-risk situation on a personal level but with potentially high rewards. In life, we have to commit, see it through and have the courage to put ourselves out there.”
“Ignite” is the first in a series of forthcoming anthems showcasing his vocals and guitar work with maximum impact. “I made a ton of things happen for myself, mistakes included, and refused to let any circumstance stand in my way. I want my most dedicated fans to realize they can do it too.”
Following the release of “Ignite,” Cole began collaborating on new music in Los Angeles, California, with up-and-coming producer Zach Jones (From Ashes To New, Nova Twins, Lil Lotus, Fever 333).
Rolland is a fearless creative risktaker. His voice, literally and creatively, already appeals to fans of bands like All Time Low and Simple Plan, with multiple possibilities for where his future may lead.
With his combination of raw talent, hard work, passion, determination, charisma, and positivity, he’s blazed a trail for others to follow. His music and performances' ascendance and continued evolution demonstrate the unlimited potential of an authentic community built from scratch.
“I work hard to connect with my audience in an authentic way,” he explains. “I’ve had the right people believe in me through my career so far, and I feel like it’s my turn to pay it forward.”
Undoubtedly, his burgeoning rise, from obscurity to the stage, will continue to inspire.