Sonoma's Emoney raps, and people are listening

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Though Ethan “Emoney” Cohen’s self-produced mixtape is titled “It’s Over,” the reality is his music career is just beginning.

Cohen found his passion for hip hop in high school, rapping verses at school events and at small shows at a local venue then frequented by teens called “The Shop.” Since then, he’s made a name for himself freestyling at “cyphers” put on by Team Backpack, an organization that describes itself as “the soapbox for hip-hop.”

He says his music, “talks about the transition from the corporate world to saying ‘screw it, I’m going to try to live my dreams.’”

“It’s about putting the past where it belongs and not letting the past affect your future or even your present state of mind,” says Cohen.

Cohen graduated from San Francisco State University in 2013 with a bachelor’s in broadcast and electronic communication arts in 2013 and, soon after, started work as a social media manager for Protective Business and Health Systems out of Santa Rosa.

“I felt pressured by society to get a corporate job,” Cohen said.

His stint in corporate America didn’t last long, and he left PBHS in August last year; that’s when he first started to seriously work on “It’s Over,” which was released online last month.

The first song on the mix, “Emotion,” he says, is an anthem to anyone who wants to pursue their dreams. It starts off with a shout out to Sonoma Valley High School, where he graduated in 2009.

“I promise you[‘re] not my number one fan, ‘cause my mom is,” he says in a verse. His mother, Judy Frey-Cohen, teaches at SVHS.

When Emoney first released the mixtape, he and his family listened to it together.

“He said, ‘Mom, this one’s for you.’ I didn’t know what to expect and I was so moved by that,” Frey-Cohen said about his reference to her in the song.

Frey-Cohen says her son has been making music since he was 2 years old.

“I love what he’s doing and he’s exploring all options; hopefully, he’ll always stay with the music, but he’s got his foot in a lot of different things,” she said.

Though it’s been over half a decade since Cohen attended SVHS, he’s still well known through its halls. Frey-Cohen says she never has behavior problems in her class because students know she’s Emoney’s mom.

Since releasing the mixtape, Emoney has performed various live shows, worked on music videos as well as continued to record and collaborate with other artists.

Emoney has been performing live shows all year, from his alma mater San Francisco State, to Petaluma, Berkeley and even in Sacramento.

His most memorable show in recent history was at a Team Backpack event in Los Angeles called Music Underground LA, or MULA, a weekend event including auditions, live performances and cyphers, or hip-hop freestyle competitions.

“They knew all the words to my lyrics, it was crazy to me. They were just so into it,” he said about the audience reception.

Though a rapper and a musician at heart, Cohen is working a lot, in and out the studio, before he makes it big. He works for Sports Byline USA, a national sports radio network based in San Francisco, where he’s able to utilize his degree and his love for sports. He also works at Hopmonk Tavern – both in the restaurant, as well as his role as a marketing assistant, creating posters and working with bands, etc.

These days, he’s looking to collaborate with various artists and continue with his music. He plays piano and hopes to produce his own beats to rap over in upcoming projects.

“It’s Over” can be found on soundcloud.com/emoney-is-chill/sets/its-over.

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