is the pen name of Andrew Coles, a multi-disciplinary artist, activist, manager, producer, and curator + DJ. He currently serves as the Founder & CEO of The Mission Entertainment, a storytelling company whose purpose and philosophical foundation lies in serving as advocates for storytellers that have been traditionally overlooked, undervalued and underrepresented. - those who identify as others. Those who have walked into a room and been 1-of-1, and know what it feels like to fight for the true depth and breadth of their humanity – however that otherness is defined – by virtue of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, socio-economic background, religious orientation, and so on.
Come as you are – be empowered – be liberated.
An honors graduate of Harvard College, specializing in cultural expression and political imagery, his artistic expression has ranged from writing to singing (he toured Italy with a classical chorale in high school), to musical theatre, public speaking and playing the alto saxophone. His childhood dream was to become a civil rights criminal defense attorney. However, while pursuing his “Atticus Finch” aspirations, he realized that he could marry his passions for storytelling and social justice advocacy through working in the entertainment industry, helping to create images that are truly representative of the world we live in. After graduating undergrad, he worked at Creative Artists Agency, Overbrook Entertainment, where he worked for Franklin Leonard (founder of The Black List), and ran development for Scott Rudin Productions in NY (focusing on film, television and Broadway) before founding The Mission Entertainment in 2013.
“the mission radio” is his latest project, a multi-platform community storytelling project built to amplify the voices of those who have been silenced + to empower those who have been disenfranchised. at its heart, it is an attempt to use music + storytelling to shine a spotlight on our shared humanity in the hopes of illuminating the universal truth - that the ties that bind us are fundamentally stronger than that which divides us. built on a foundation of an online radio station, a quarterly publication + live events, “tmr” is a community of conscious creators + storytellers banding together to create work to help others know they're not alone
we create storytelling experiences for a community that feels forgotten, that feels invisible, that feels voiceless – for the rare reflections in which they do see themselves are so distorted, they do more harm than good. we know what it feels like to question your value, the worth of your own life in a world that seems indifferent to your existence.we seek to build communities of sound, storytelling + movement that remind us all of that which makes us most human – our need for connection + our instinctual love of music.
to help us all realize that we are worthy as we are + that we all deserve to have a good + safe time
+ most importantly, the simple fact that WE ARE ALL CONNECTED...
his artistic philosophy is best encapsulated in this quote by Pulitzer Prize winning author and activist, Junot Diah
“You guys know about vampires?
You know, vampires have no reflections in a mirror? There’s this idea that monsters don’t have reflections in a mirror. And what I’ve always thought isn’t that monsters don’t have reflections in a mirror. It’s that if you want to make a human being into a monster, deny them, at the cultural level, any reflection of themselves.
And growing up, I felt like a monster in some ways. I didn’t see myself reflected at all. I was like, “Yo, is something wrong with me? That the whole society seems to think that people like me don’t exist?
And part of what inspired me, was this deep desire that before I died, I would make a couple of mirrors. That I would make some mirrors so that kids like me might seem themselves reflected back and might not feel so monstrous for it.”
he lives to MAKE MORE MIRRORS.
X lives in LA, right around Melrose/Fairfax (shoutout to those blunt burnin boys outside The Hundreds!).
Musical inspirations (in no particular order):
Fela Kuti, Nina Simone, Michael Jackson, OutKast, Willie Nelson, John Coltrane, Kanye, Beyoncé, Flume, Bonobo, Al Green, Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye, Prince, David Bowie, Billy Joel, Jimi Hendrix, Parlimament/Funkadelic, Bootsy Collins, J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, SZA, D.R.A.M., N.E.R.D, M.I.A, Janelle Monae, Erykah Badu, Common, The Roots, J Dilla, Goodie Mob, UGK, Trae, Drake, 6lack, Bob Marley, Shlomo, Miguel, Gabor Szabo, Shirley Bassey, Nat King Cole, Nick Cave, Jonny Greenwood, Chris McClenney, Soulection, Anderson.Paak, Clint Mansell, Kronos Quartet, Olafur Arnalds, Mac Quayle, Hamilton, Roy Ayers, James Blake, Bill Evans, The Weeknd, Little People, Mogawi, Jet Audio, Fred Hammond, SPZRKT, Trent Reznor + Atticus Ross, Lil Wayne, KiD CuDi, Donnie McClurkin, T.I., Massive Attack, Wale, Childish Gambino, David Sanborn, Tina Turner, Duran Duran, Steely Dan, Jamiroquai
…among many others