OSU football: Kolby Harvell-Peel shows creative side through music, with fifth album released on Thursday
STILLWATER — Sometimes, the family just wished Kolby Harvell-Peel would be quiet.
When he was young, Kolby was naturally drawn to music, constantly singing and dancing in the house, the car or wherever the family happened to be.
“My brother and sister always gave me a hard time, talkin’ about, ‘You can’t sing. Shut all that up,’” Kolby said.
His mother, Katie Harvell, who performed on professional dance teams when she was young, didn’t mind so much, but she could see why Kolby’s siblings were bothered.
“Kolby doesn’t do anything soft or quiet,” Katie said. “If Kolby was here, music was playing and he couldn’t just have it going through his earbuds. It was blasting throughout the house.”
A 6-foot, 210-pound safety and one of the defensive leaders at Oklahoma State, Kolby doesn’t do anything softly on the football field, either, as will be evident when the No. 15 Cowboys take on West Virginia at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Boone Pickens Stadium.
Since he got to OSU in the fall of 2018, Kolby turned his annoying musical habit into a productive hobby.
“Camp Free,” Kolby’s fifth rap album, was released on Thursday on digital music platforms via Harvell-Peel Records — which consists of a computer, some basic equipment and a closet in Kolby’s apartment.
- Related to this story
- Article: Steve Zabel prospered as a two-way Sooner star half a century ago. Here's why two-way college football stars are 'more possible' in 2020.
- Article: Carlson: Longing for a taste of normalcy? Sure, college football is back, but how about a Fletcher's corny dog?
- Article: Missouri State at OU football: Broadcast info, betting lines, matchup breakdown
- Article: OU football: Isaiah Thomas', LaRon Stokes' roles could grow with Jalen Redmond's opt-out
- Article: Tramel: Big 12 coaches more important than ever during the pandemic
- Article: 'Just one of one': Why OU transfer receiver Obi Obialo is one of college football's most unique players
- Article: Riley: 'No change' in status for suspended players
- Article: Riley: Sooners to stop releasing virus data for competitive reasons
- Article: OU football: Spencer Rattler says 'pressure is a privilege' following Jalen Hurts, Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield as Sooners' QB
- Article: OU football: Depth chart released, questions and answers
- Article: OU football: Brendan Radley-Hiles learns from Peach Bowl ejection
- Article: OU football: Alex Grinch wants players to create own energy with less fans in stadium
- Article: Missouri State quarterback Jaden Johnson finally lands with Bobby Petrino
- Article: OU's Sooner Schooner will run on field as football gameday traditions remain in new ways: 'We feel like we can safely do that'
- Article: 'A pretty good compromise': OU football fan honors late father with cardboard cutout instead of spreading ashes at Sooners' stadium
- Article: Bears haven't made I-AA playoffs since 1990
- Article: Carlson: Why 5,000 OU football season-ticket holders didn't get seats — and why it's a total bummer
- Article: OU football: Merv Johnson announces retirement from Sooners' radio booth
- Article: OU football: Missouri State president says game 'was in serious jeopardy' until Friday's test results
- Article: 3-2-1 Kickoff: Counting down to OU football vs. Missouri State
- Article: No. 5 OU vs. Missouri State football: Kickoff time, betting odds, matchup breakdown
- Article: Tramel: The Spencer Rattler era for OU football arrives on Owen Field with plenty of hype
- Article: Recap: OU vs Missouri State
- Article: OU football: 'Sooners For Humanity' initiative announced
- Article: For OU football fans, the new-look gameday means a new approach: 'The memories are more important'
- Article: OU football: Five takeaways from Sooners' 48-0 win over Missouri State
- Article: Carlson: OU football report card all As after season-opening shutout of Missouri State
- Article: OU football: Sooners' season-opening win vs. Missouri State by the numbers
- Article: Carlson: Why OU quarterback Spencer Rattler went into airplane mode and helped the Sooners take flight
- Article: OU football: Absences don't keep Sooners from dominating Missouri State
- Article: Winners and losers from college football Week 2: Sun Belt on rise, Big 12 takes hit
- Article: OU football: Running game needs work, Lincoln Riley says
- Article: OU football: The return of the Schooner and pay-per-view problems among bests and worsts
- Article: College football: Sooners up to No. 3, Cowboys rise to No. 11 in AP poll
- Article: Tramel: Big 12 football power rankings after a miserable Saturday
- Article: Sooner running game was lacking vs. Missouri State
- Article: OU football: Marvin Mims, Seth McGowan emerge as potential stars in Sooners' opener
- Article: Tramel: College football rankings should have Louisiana-Lafayette No. 1
- Article: OU football: Lincoln Riley says contact tracing holds 'excruciating' for Sooners
- Article: OSU football: Back injury led Calvin Bundage on a long journey back to football
- Article: OU football: Jeremiah Hall says Sooners used to 'higher standard' so COVID-19 protocols are easy to follow
- Article: OU football: Tre Norwood happy to be back healthy again for Sooners
- Article: OU football: 'Race to 26' turnovers remain a focus after solid first showing by Sooners' defense
- Article: OU football: Sooners changing student section guidelines after 'disappointing' behavior in opener
- Article: OU football: Marvin Mims' high school coach says Sooners freshman receiver 'just has another gear'
- Article: Kansas State at OU football: Broadcast info, betting lines, matchup breakdown
- Article: OU football: Sooners can't afford another slip-up against Kansas State
- Article: OSU football: Thurman Thomas hopes Ring of Honor induction bridges gap with Mike Gundy, alumni
- Article: OSU football unveils 1987 throwback uniforms for West Virginia game
- Article: OSU football: Cowboy offensive line must stop the music before West Virginia arrives
- Article: OSU football: Chuba Hubbard named to Allstate AFCA Good Works Team
- Article: OSU football: West Virginia preparing for Spencer Sanders to play, watching high school tape on Shane Illingworth
- Article: OSU football: Shane Illingworth wouldn’t have been available had Tulsa game not be delayed
- Article: Start of SEC kickoff brings boost to college football season
- Article: OU football: Spencer Rattler's arm is off the charts, but his running ability might be needed soon also
- Article: Carlson: Why OSU quarterback Shane Illingworth's family didn't expect him to suit up vs. Tulsa, let alone save the day
- Article: Big 12 leaves some wiggle room in its schedule for makeup games
- Article: Tramel: Cut Mike Gundy some slack for Oklahoma State quarterback decision
- Article: OU football: After 'better than expected' opener, student section biggest change for Sooners' second home game
- Article: OSU football: The Six Shooter pregame thoughts on the Cowboys vs. West Virginia
- Article: Carlson: Why Thurman Thomas deserves the first spot in OSU football's Ring of Honor
- Article: OSU football: 3-2-1 kickoff for No. 15 Cowboys vs. West Virginia
- Video: OSU football: Thurman Thomas hopes Ring of Honor induction bridges gap with Mike Gundy, alumni
- Video: OU Football: Highlights from football practice
- Video: OU football: Sooners demonstrate against racial injustice
- Video: Mike Gundy Media Availability: September 7
- Video: OU Football: Spencer Rattler
- Video: OU Football: Preparing for Missouri State
- Video: OSU football: Chuba Hubbard always thinking of the 'greater good'
- Video: OU Football: Alex Grinch
- Video: OU Football: Rattler and Defense Shine in OU's win over Missouri State
- Video: OU Football: Spencer Rattler recounts season-opening win
- Video: OU football: Sooner Defense Shutout Missouri State
- Video: OU Football: Creed Humphrey
- Video: OSU Football: How Tanner McCalister provided possibly the biggest play of win over Tulsa
- Video: OU Football: A different approach to Kansas State
- Video: OU Football: Davis ready for Kansas State
Going by the rap name Kelso — a nod to a family surname his mother considered giving him at birth — his album includes six songs with a mix of hip-hop and rap, smooth rhythms and harder beats.
“We don’t have much free time up here,” said Kolby, who is from College Station, Texas. “So when you do, you want to have fun. I picked up making music and haven’t looked back since.
“It doesn’t take me too long to make ‘em. Each tape took no more than a couple weeks. I’ll go through these little gaps where I’m not making no music, then I’ll crank it out for a week or two and put something out after that.”
Kolby has paired up with teammates, like Rodarius Williams, Kanion Williams and former Cowboy Kevin Henry, for songs in the past and on the latest album.
“We got a lot of talented guys, a lot of dudes that are more than just football players,” Kolby said. “I talk about that a lot on my Twitter that we’re more than athletes. That’s just another example. We got some talented guys as far as making music goes.”
Kolby gave himself the title of the team’s best freestyle rapper, too, but that remains disputed.
“He does alright,” said defensive lineman Cameron Murray, who compared Kolby’s style to that of multi-platinum performer Drake. “He hadn’t went against me yet, but Kolby’s a very good artist.”
It all traces back to those noisy days at home with the family.
“He’s always loved music, from the time he was very little,” Katie said. “He’s always had an ear for it. It’s always been in him, I think, and it’s nice to see that it’s coming out now.”
Katie fostered some of Kolby’s musical passion because of her dance background. She always had music playing when he was young.
The lyrical side of Kolby’s music had been building internally for years as well.
“I have found tons of notebooks from the time he was young of stuff that he jotted down,” Katie said. “It’s fun to be able to see him do something with it.”
Katie admits she has to turn off her “mom ears” to listen to it, which allows her to fully appreciate Kolby’s gift, explicit lyrics and all.
“I’ve told his grandma and a couple of my aunts that maybe they shouldn’t listen,” Katie said with a laugh. “But I love that he’s able to be creative and let that creative side come out.”