Q&A with ColinResponse: "In the Process of Creating the Songs, I Wasn’t Revisiting These Emotions, I Was Still Living Them"
Pop-soul artist ColinResponse is getting ready to release his self-titled EP on October 27th. The collection of songs serves as a representation of ColinResponse's life up until this point, filled to the brim with everything he has learned and felt over the years and making for a very personal release. With a sound reminiscent of Bruno Mars and André 3000, he presents a full, dance-worthy groove backed by his five-piece band, which includes bass, guitar, drums, keyboards, trumpet, and saxophone.
We recently talked with ColinResponse about his upcoming release, the inspiration behind his music and plans for the rest of the year. Read more below!
Interview by Shannon Shumaker
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself for any readers who might not be familiar?
ColinResponse, that’s who I am. I’m a Pop/Soul artist man, I’m from Toronto Ontario. I grew up in Brampton, a suburb of Toronto. I love music, music is my life. I love empowering people, and that’s what I do with my music, I bring people together. I’m that guy. Some people say I’m a “glass half-full” type of person. But to be honest, I’m really the type of person who stays stoked on the fact that I have a glass at all. [laughs] –Reality is some people don’t even have a glass to fill. I’m of optimistic nature, and you know, all my best friends are of that nature too.
What first inspired you to get involved in music? Do you feel those inspirations have changed or shifted over the years?
I mean, like everything’s evolving, but what first inspired me to get into music, is probably my mom technically? I don’t know, I’ve always loved music. I used to play a lot of video games as a kid, and to be honest, that’s where some of my favourite composers and most significant inspiration stems from but everyone’s always evolving. I always wanted to make music, I wanted to share music, and that really has never changed, that has always really remained the same.
I feel like my tenacious nature continues to intensify as I spend more time doing this. I realize as things evolve there becomes more and more for me to fight for. Before I was just like “I want to make music and I want to share with people” and now I’m approaching Spiderman territory [laughs]. You know, “with great power comes great responsibility. I feel like on my journey I’ve realized that not only am I’m given more resources to empower people, but I’m also given a responsibility.
What do you hope to bring to your local music scene?
I hope for nothing. My mantra is “hope for nothing, expect everything.” Let me first clarify that when I say “expect everything” I don’t mean that you should feel entitled to what ever it is you want – because you're not. What I’m saying is I never hope for anything because it doesn’t actually require you to do anything. It’s so easy just sit around hoping, waiting for things to happen to you. To genuinely expect something however, is different, it requires you to take actions that are necessary to actually give you a justifiable reason to expect something. You can’t legitimately expect something without a having a reason to. Hope does not require reason.
What I expect to bring to the music scene is just my individuality – I’m bringing myself to it. Really take it or leave it. I genuinely believe is there’s gonna be people who absolutely love my music, and I also genuinely believe there’s gonna be people who absolutely hate it, and I’m happy with that. Because you can’t please everyone, you just have to do what you do the absolute best you can do it and put your focus there. If there’s somebody who actually hates my music, that puts me in a really good place, because for all the reasons they hate it so pationately, will be all the same reasons somebody else loves the shit out of it. Think of Kanye, some people love him, and some people fuckin’ hate him, right? Same thing with Taylor Swift. In my opinion that’s great. The real problem is if you’re anywhere in-between. Then there is nothing to even talk about. So, I just want to bring, what it is, I’m not trying to you know, bring things back or yadda yadda yadda. I just know I love to play music, I love to make music, I love to share music, and that’s what I’m bringing. I’m bringing myself.
You’re getting ready to release your new EP in October. Did you have any major goals in mind when working on these songs?
My major goal is to make great sounding songs musically, and to represent myself honestly. And I genuinely believe that’s what I did – thanks to the help of all the people that were involved, and you know. I spent majority of my adult life, working on this, paving the way for this. I want it to tell a story, and I want it to connect with people. I want people to think, I want people to laugh, I want people to dance, and I want people to enjoy it.
You’ve mentioned that these songs are a reflection of your life up until this point. What was it like to revisit some of these emotions and memories while working on the EP?
Honestly, I really didn’t revisit things, or these emotions for the most part. They have existed, and these emotions remained until the songs were finished – until they [laughs] to quote ‘Freeza’, “took their final form”.
The feeling that I’m actually excited about now is to release these things. I don’t even mean from a commercial standpoint–I mean from an artistic standpoint. Any artist knows that, all these emotions and all these things we experience internally remain in the self and they’re only released once they are fully expressed through our own artistry. In the process of creating the songs, I wasn’t revisiting these emotions, I was still living them.
How do you feel you’ve grown as an artist with the writing and recording of these songs?
How do I feel I’ve grown as an artist through the process of writing and recording of these songs? Immensely. from both a musical standpoint and a creative standpoint. To put things in perspective, “Let Go”, the last song on the album, is the first song I ever wrote in my life. I was 16 years old when I wrote that song and of course it changed and evolved since but my point is I wasn’t ever the type to just be writing new song after new song... but I was always writing music and working on music, listening to music and playing music and refining my own music until I felt it was representative of me as an artist. Now my next album isn’t not going to take even close to the amount of time that this took but, this allowed me to grow as an artist immensely.
When I was in school, and I had written a lot of these songs, I couldn’t understand, how could you have a good song, go in the studio, perform it well, and then when you come out and listen to it, it sounds like shit. [laughs] And then I eventually I realized that they’re two different worlds, live performance and recording. And you know, you always hear sharing their disappointment with some artists where they go to a concert, and its amazing, and then they buy the album and it just doesn’t live up to the performance, or more often you hear that somebody loves an artist, loves their song or their album, then they go to see them live, and they’re just so disappointed because it just doesn’t do justice to that song they love so much. But it was during school where I finally understood that there was a separation between the two. I’ve been performing my entire life, So I’ve spent my time in this recording process learning how to represent my artistry as a performer, through a recorded medium. So, its been a hell of an experience to say the least. My producer ‘SONNER’ showed me a lot of things, and I learned a ton through my own production process as well. We both said to each other, we learned a lot from each other seeing our process of doing things working together on this. There are things that are on this album that were recorded 5 years ago literally. So I mean, that’s a good sign, perhaps that means that some aspects are timeless…
When can fans expect to hear some new music from the EP?
September 15th. That’s when we’re releasing the first single “#YouAlreadyKnow”. Get ready man, because there’s gonna be some songs you can bump to, there’s gonna be some songs you can think to. September 15th man, we gon’ be rollin’ stuff out, “#YouAlreadyKnow”.
With your EP dropping in October, do you have any other big plans for the rest of the year?
I mean, other than my birthday that’s also in October [laughs]. Yeah I do. Come November, we’re going on a national tour, so that’s got me mad excited. I am stoked cause that’s what I love to do man, I made these songs so that I can perform them, so that’s what we gon’ do.
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Honestly, thank you for taking the time to listen to me. I want to let all the people who are interested in my music know that we have a Fan-List where I give away free concert tickets, and prizes to my fans. We also let you know when I’m playing in your area or releasing new music and videos before it’s released to the public. So if you want to know what’s good, follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/ColinResponseTO/