How Singer Cortnie Frazier Wrote Coyboi’s Stunning Love Song, “Violets”

Cortnie Frazier (right) and Ihlan Magloire (left) wrote Coyboi's song "Violets" together | Courtesy of the artist, graphic by Bonnie Zerr

Welcome to Songwriting School, where we talk to local songwriters about how they wrote one song.

Coyboi is a collaborative songwriting effort between Cortnie Frazier and Ihlan Magloire, two musicians whose friendship traces back all the way to elementary school in Green Cove Springs. 

Frazier’s lyric-writing style is as confident as her singing voice. Here’s our conversation with her about Coyboi’s song “Violets.” (Read a review of the song here.)

Listen to Hurley Winkler’s conversation with Cortnie Frazier

Tell me about the formation of Coyboi. How did you and Ihlan meet, and when did you decide to start making music together?

Ihlan and I met when we were in elementary school, but we didn’t really get together until about five or so years ago, and we started doing duo gigs around town, just at restaurants and things. Eventually, we decided to write music together.

This song we’re talking about today, “Violets,” is such a beautiful love song. What was the inspiration behind it?

Musically, I talked to Ihlan about this. He’s really inspired by Chon and the their guitar sounds. But as far as the lyrics go, they were inspired, actually, by my partner, Carlos.

Anything in particular about Carlos you really wanted to capture in this song?

Well, I was big in love—and I still am—when I first met him, and I was just kind of capturing those feelings of when you first meet someone and how beautiful it feels.

Were there any artists in particular who influenced the song? You mentioned Chon already, but who were some others?

Chon is a pretty big influence for Ihlan for sure, as far as the guitar tones and the dual harmonized guitars that you’ll hear in a lot of our tracks. Young the Giant was another influence for “Violets” specifically. We’ve pulled influence from there, like the forms of their songs, the overall energy. We really resonate with that.

Tell me about the process of writing this song. Did you and Ihlan write it together, or did you write lyrics on your own and ask him to fill in the music later on?

For this particular song, he sent me the idea for the verse.

When you say that he sent you the idea for the verse, was that a voice memo with a guitar track on it? What did that look like?

Usually Ihlan will literally go into our recording system, which is called Logic, and he will record a part and send it to me that way. And I wrote a verse over it. And then from there the song actually really progressed in sequential order. We just wrote the song: verse, chorus, verse. It was a really cool process. 

Typically, I don’t really pull from too many influences for lyrics. I’m just kind of speaking about how I feel.

I especially love the bridge of this song. For you, what makes a great bridge?

I was talking with Ihlan about this the other day, and he said it’s something that shifts the emotion completely and makes you feel that much deeper into the song, which I totally agree with. I feel like if the bridge is taking you on a journey to, you know, a deeper feeling into the song. I feel like that’s really what brings it home.

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