How an FHSU student became a recording country artist


Fort Hays State, with its choirs and instrumental groups, is no stranger to music. However, one student by the name of Cole Harris stands out as he begins his career in the industry.

“My music is country, but it falls under the subgenres of Texas/Red Dirt country and Americana, which is basically country, folk, and rock and roll all mixed into one,” he said.

He later explained that he enjoys the Americana genre because of the way it blends the style of rock and roll with traditional country instruments like fiddles and steel guitars.

Harris cites artists such as Johnny Cash and Jimi Hendrix as influencing his music, but his interest began as a child.

“My mom was really big into music and was always playing some kind of music in the house or in the car,” said Harris, “and she’s a really good piano player.”

According to him, it was also his mom who bought him his first guitar. It was when he was in junior high that he learned to play it and began singing. He started writing his own songs while in high school.

It wasn’t until years later that Harris decided to record those songs.

“I realized that this was the only chance in my life that I’m really going to have of trying to do anything with music as a career,” he said. “I decided to take the chance, so in the future, I’d be able to sleep at night and chose to record.”

The studio he chose to record at was 115 Studios in Norman, Oklahoma. His producer is Wes Sharon, who produces Turnpike Troubadours and is a Grammy nominee for producing the music of John Fullbright.

Harris’ single “Ball and Chain” was released on March 8 while the release of his full album is on April 26. Both will be available on streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music.

As is reflected in his own life and new career, Harris believes in the importance of music, whether it’s country or rock, Cash or Hendrix.

“Music is a way to express yourself and influence your own moods,” he said, “and can kind of help you build your own well-being, really.”

Sound Off!