We had the good fortune of connecting with Hunter Cohen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Hunter, why did you pursue a creative career?
I chose to pursue an artistic/creative career for a few reasons: the first of which being that making and playing music excites me and makes me truly happy. Secondly, when I get to perform or teach, I get to help bring some amount of happiness to others. We go to concerts because we want to hear music/artists we enjoy, experience something new or want to forget about our troubles for a moment. Through performing and teaching I love being able to help people escape and have fun, or learn how to make music for themselves. Third, music feels like home to me; serving as a sort of emotional home base as well as providing some nostalgia. Finally, one of the most important reasons I love music so much is that it seems to be the closest thing we have to magic. Music can trigger incredibly vivid memories and a wide range of emotions, and I believe there is a lot of power in that. That being said, any chance I can get to help create magic for others, I’m going to take it, and getting to do that for a career means everything to me.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
It wasn’t easy getting to where I am today, and I am of the mindset that I will always be growing, learning, improving, and reaching new levels throughout my life and career. Artistically, I have a very refined ability to adapt to many different genres of music and to faithfully replicate and create parts. However, I’d like to think the thing that sets me apart is my own “voice” in my playing. The tone I get from my hands, the way I can sit in a pocket and the emotion in my playing is my own artistic flavor I get to provide; it’s undeniably me.
Getting here has taken thousands of hours of practice and learning. The challenges were immense at times, but from some great mentoring from my dear friend Yogi Lonich I’ve grown so much and gained the tools to continue growing at a rapid rate. For example, rhythm has always come very easy to me. I never have any trouble finding a groove and making the rhythm feel good, but my theory knowledge and my ability to “hear” and quickly analyze harmony were limited. It took some time, but staying persistent and practicing everyday got me through these hurdles and continues to refine my skills.
Throughout my journey I have learned a multitude of lessons in self-care, patience and professionalism. A few that come to mind are: not being too hard on myself, remembering that every good thing takes time (you can’t rush and expect the same results), the virtue of patience, always being aware, and always being professional. Taking care of yourself emotionally is extremely important; I try my best to not put any unnecessary stress or pressure on myself and stay focused on the tasks required to meet my goals, remembering that everything will come together. This leads to the importance of not rushing and staying patient. There have been countless times where I pushed myself harder than was necessary to learn or perfect something and it always ended in time wasted from stressing myself out. Taking things slowly and being patient would have led to more efficient progress. Being aware is another key lesson I have learned. From learning a song (and trying to get the most out of it) to being in a session or performing scenario, awareness is key. Managing the emotions, intentions and desires of others has made me a strong teammate when working with others so I try to exercise interpersonal awareness at all times. Finally, being professional is maybe the most important lesson I have learned, and it’s pretty straightforward: who wants to hire someone that isn’t professional or taking their job seriously?
As far as what I want the world to know about my brand or story, I think the most important thing I want others to know is that while I have a bit of a knack for playing the guitar, it’s not something I take for granted and I have worked tirelessly on. My love and passion for music and playing the guitar runs very, very deep and I always wear that on my sleeve, giving it my all every time I pick up the instrument.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Ahhh this is such a tricky one… But I do have some faves that I always end up taking my friends too if its their first time here: drinks at the rooftop of EP&LP or El Carmen in West Hollywood, the One Up in Sherman Oaks, Noree Thai for amazing Thai food (from he two sweetest chefs I have ever met here, special shoutout to Chef Noree!) sushi at Summer Fish & Rice in Beverly Hills, The Arts District in DTLA and Zuma Beach/Point Dume and pretty much anywhere that has a solid happy hour.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are so many people, but to name a few I would have to start with my parents, my uncle Phil Garfinkel, Yogi Lonich and Paul Ill. They have all played such an important and significant role in me being where I am today both personally and professionally.
Youtube: Hunter Cohen Music
Other: Hunter Cohen on JammCard