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Here is an interview I did some years ago.
BTD Radio presents Douglas Coleman! Welcome to the studio!
Hello Douglas! I have been reading up on you and your musical journey. It’s very interesting. We have lots to talk about but before we do so, I will let you tell everyone where you are from?
Hello, I grew up in the Boston area before moving to NYC to pursue my musical dreams. More recently I set up a home base in Las Vegas.
Let’s give our listeners a little idea of what your music sounds like. Could you describe it to us in one hundred words of less?
My music probably sounds a bit like everything I listened to growing up. From The Beatles, Elton John, Billy Joel, all the 70s singer/songwriters like Harry Chapin, Jim Croce, Gerry Rafferty, Randy Newman, Steven Bishop. Pretty much all of those and so many others thrown into the blender. My music probably sounds old fashioned to some people as I don’t use many artificial sounds. All real instruments.
I was reading that you started working in the music biz in the 80’s but became frustrated and left the music scene. What was it that made you so frustrated? At what point was it that made you decide to leave?
I was in a band which was playing around small clubs in NYC. We started to gain a following and seemed to be making some progress. Like a lot of bands we had some personal conflicts, differences of opinion about where we should be going, working towards etc.. Also for me my father got sick and I had to return home, so we just sort of broke up at that point and I didn’t return to my music until 20 years later.
It sounds like you found a happy place for you and your music. What words of advice can you give to someone who is just starting out? Any advice for an artist feeling frustrated and wanting to throw the towel in?
In this business it is so easy to become confused and frustrated. It’s much different than working in corporate America or a “regular” job. The one reason why it’s so different is you never know if you’re doing the right thing or not. In a “regular” job, you basically show up, do what the boss tells you to do and collect a paycheck. With music you pour your heart and soul into your work only to have industry people tell you “it’s not quite what we’re looking for” My advice is to just keep at it, if it’s something you’re very passionate about, and do NOT go into this business because you think you’re going to make a lot of money. That is the worst reason to be a musician. If money is all you want, go work on Wall Street.
Let’s move into this interview and talk more about your song writing. Do you write your own music? How does this process start for you?
Yes I write all my own songs, both lyrics and music. The process is usually one of two ways. Sometimes a phrase will just pop into my head, usually while I’m driving and I’ll take that to the piano and build on that or, I come up with an idea, a concept of something I want to say and will write out some words to express this idea and then take those words to the piano and try and format them into a song, fooling around with some chord sequences.
I am loving your song, “Language Not Required.” How did that song come about? Tell us all about it.
Thank you. I’m glad you like it. This song was a concept I came up with when I was living in Thailand. There are a lot of people living there who are not originally from there “Ex-pats” as we’re called. I knew many people there who were from the USA, Europe or the UK and other parts of the world. All of them fell in love with something and/or someone there and remained there. As most of us didn’t speak the language when we arrived, we had to find another ways to communicate. The concept is that love is a more powerful form of communication than language.
Wow, I was reading your lyrics to; “Stalker” that song is powerful! Our world is becoming more virtual every day. More and more our information is put out there for the world to see. In this song you talk about Twitter and Facebook. I would like to hear from you how this song came to life. What inspired it?
Stalker was one of those “concept” songs for me. I had read some stories about how people could be or were being stalked via their social media pages and I just did a “what if” I was the stalker. A work of pure fiction btw, as I’m not stalking anyone at the moment, nor is anyone stalking me…. I don’t think…
What are your thoughts about the social media world and musicians?
Back in the “old days” the only way to get your music out for people to hear was either the radio or hit the road and play live. Now with the internet, anyone with a computer anywhere in the world can hear your songs. Social media is the best advertising tool for musicians since recorded music in my opinion.
We are going to ask you a few typical interview questions such as, who were your childhood influences and do you see a little bit of those influences in yourself while performing on stage?
The Beatles, Elton John and Billy Joel are probably the 3 I listened to most as a kid. On stage I don’t know. Maybe a little bit of Billy Joel and McCartney.
Which one of your songs is your most favorite and why?
Wow that’s a tough one. I have quite a few songs that I haven’t recorded yet that I really like. I’d have to say for this moment it’s my song called “Riding on my Sound” As much as I love up-tempo rock, I also have a soft spot for ballads and this one is one of my better ballads I think.
What are you looking to accomplish with your music in the next five years?
I would love to get one of my songs on to a movie soundtrack. Sync license deal would be a big accomplishment for me. Also to write music specifically for a movie would be something I’d love to be given the opportunity to do.