{Behind The Music} Collin Clowes on Young

{Behind The Music} Collin Clowes on Young

collin-clowes music quote avaliveradio

“I look at the music business as being very bitter sweet. I’m only 19 years old so I don’t know much about it yet but I feel like they base too much attention on competition. Why should people compete against each other, music is suppose to bring people together in my opinion.”  – @Crclowes

Live Interview August 20 @1:20 pm est: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/avaliveradio/2015/08/20/episode-250-ava-live-radio-behind-the-music-with-jacqueline-jax

Jacqueline Jax logo photoGETTING TO KNOW COLLIN CLOWES
by Jacqueline Jax host of A.V.A Live Radio

I started in music around the age of 10…
From then on I just began teaching myself day by day but I didn’t really enjoy learning other artists’ music, so I just began creating my own sound. I was always writing poetry as a kid and I just turned that into lyrics. It took a lot of time and sacrifices to find my sound but now I feel like I have a solid grasp on it. I recorded by myself in my room all the time and I even put out a little demo of my music back in 2012 known as “Waiting On The World”. I was proud of it but I didn’t know what I was doing when mixing and mastering but I still did enjoy the songs. After releasing singles for a while I got sick of recording by myself so I turned to a local studio known as Smoothie Studios, ran by Bryce Smith. We did some live off the floor recordings along with full band versions of songs such as “cold” and “run” just to show the potential of these songs. Ever since putting the album out nothing but positive aspects have been coming my way, such as the honor of being on your radio station.


is an extremely special song to me. We actually recorded this song live off the floor; in my opinion, it was the best way to record it because it gives more of that pure/real feeling to it. We added some cello and Piano lines but I think the guitar and words speak for themselves. A couple years back when in the mist of graduating for high school, I found myself loosing a lot of blood from internal bleeding. Doctors don’t know how it happened or why but it was very traumatic for me. Some tests revealed that my liver is completely damaged and my spleen is enlarged for a reason unknown. I spent quite sometime in the hospital doing very unpleasant tests and basically living with very unpleasant doctors and patients. I was 17 at the time stuck on the top floor of a hospital in the middle of Toronto seeing very horrible things. I remember sitting in the hospital and writing down the line, “If I leave here way too young, we’ll sing all the songs that need to be sung” but I did not touch it after writing it. Doctors got me stable so I was able to go home. The hospital kind of woke me up to be a better person but it also negatively effected me on so many levels. I met a girl at a video store one day and there was just something about her that I felt very connected to. We talked once in a while and that turned into us seeing each other I guess you can call it. This was the first time I ever felt like I had a true friend who knew a majority of the things about me that no one knows, first time I felt like someone was truly in love with me. With time though people tend to runaway from me and in the end I just found that she never really wanted anything to do with me, which is a feeling hard to put into words. So out came “Young” and I’m absolutely in love with this song. I love to play it live and people relate to it in so many different ways. It sometimes is a hard one to sing when the chorus comes around because this song brings me back to a time where things were a little different. (Purchase songs/album online from: https://collinclowes.bandcamp.com/album/this-is-where-i-leave-2 )


I’m actually thinking of putting out an EP…
with a handful of new songs. I’m always writing so I have a lot to choose from and that sometimes is one of the hardest parts for me. One song is done and it’s called “Stand” which I know people are going to love! The album “This Is Where I Leave” is a great album to just get to know what I write about and to get an idea of my sound. I released in May 22nd of 2015 with half of my proceeds going towards Camp Quality. This is an organization that gives the chance for kids who have had or has cancer to attend camp with fun activities with kids they can all relate to. I chose to run sort of a campaign to raise more money for them throughout the summer. I have been collecting money from album sales still and busking actually turns out amazing each time I do it. Right now I’m at $420.65 that I can donate to the camp. I wish to accomplish at least $500 to donate to them by the end the summer. I use social media outlets to advertise my music along with other chances I get while busking around the city.


I actually live in Gorham, Ontario…
it’s a very small township that is about 20 minutes away from Thunder Bay, Ont. You can find every genre in Thunder Bay, which I love and there are a lot of opportunities for live gigs at bars and coffee shops just like any other town. I enjoy sitting on my tailgate at parks around the city such as Hill Crest with the perfect view of The Sleeping Giant and just jam out some of my music. After a while a little group of people will start listening, people in their cars listen and I find a lot joy in that. I have had people tell me I made their day simply by hearing my songs. I’ve made many fans, connections and money by playing at parks like that.


I look at the music business as…
being very bitter sweet. I’m only 19 years old so I don’t know much about it yet but I feel like they base too much attention on competition. Why should people compete against each other, music is suppose to bring people together in my opinion. I just go out and try my very best each time I play, I don’t tend to focus on if I’m going to sound better than the guy before or after me, that’s a waste of time thinking about that. I think more musicians should be working together. By supporting each-others music they both can benefit but most musicians I find just aren’t even willing to support anything other than their own music and movements, but who knows it could just be me. I have learned to be very self-efficient so overcoming hurdles and pitfalls have become a daily routine for me. I just look at them as challenges, something thrown at you in order to yourself to see if this is what you truly want.


I like social media…
and find it very important, I’m just not too into technology. I would love to be able to just pay someone to update all my sites for me, only if I had the money but I don’t mind doing it myself most of the time. With social media I find quite a bit of challenges but I tend to overcome them with a positive outlook on the situation and learning from it. Things tend to work out in the end.

collin-clowes indie artist


I love releasing an album vs singles…
I love the whole process of an album. It’s a challenge and it takes hard work with a mix of patience. Recording is a pain to me but I love that hard work because it’s another challenge so releasing anything is always fun for me. I’d say I really like releasing singles because they are easier to promote, as you don’t have to drop a ton of money on an album and then drop a ton of money into advertising. I think advertising/marketing has a huge roll on the music and the more you can spend to promote it the better I believe.


I believe the more support and marketing..
an artist has behind him or her, the better the results will be, depending on what the artist wants or expects. My theory is the more you can promote either through supportive friends or paying for advertisement the better your reach will be. I plan on putting a little bit of money into my music and a little bit more money into promotion. I do have supportive people but that support begins to wear thin once you look deeply inside of it, life becomes busy and people don’t really have time to support as much. My music is also very real and pure, which tends to push people away because most are afraid of what’s real, in my opinion.


I want 5 minutes alone with…
There are endless musicians/writers that I would love to spend 5 minutes alone with but I’d say the one I want right now in this moment of time would be my Grandfather. He passed away when I was really young so I didn’t get to know him too well but I do remember getting this feeling when I saw him play this old Gibson. At that moment I just knew that I wanted to give that feeling to people as well. Its like I could understand what he was feeling or what he had to say just by listening to the guitar. I just wish I could have 5 mins of his time to know what he thinks of my music and talk about where it could lead, I think talking about music to him is a huge goal of mine but that’s a goal that I don’t think I can reach.


I believe there is way too much emphasis on being current and trendy…
I’ll consider myself very lucky to go far as Passenger or Damien Rice but the sad truth is that people are so in tuned to music that has a beat and/or a hook repeated over and over again. I try to put a hint of pop into my songs to get them more known out there since I don’t do covers and this catches people as a way of drawing them in. These songs do still have deep meaning and a story but the meaning behind them is blurry to the audience, which I do enjoy but I know there will be some who will not be into that. I find folk and singer/songwriters are getting more known but its sad that the really bad songs that only consist on a catchy beat and a repeated hook with no valuable meaning what so ever are getting more recognition than a singer/songwriters music. I think one person in a room writing an amazing song by himself with an instrument should have more acknowledgments vs. a group of people getting paid by a big label to write a song that attacks the audience on a psychological level almost to the point of brainwashing them and then getting some fool to sing it.


Music Videos…
I have created many videos in different forms but I have always been a fan of having lyric videos with interesting background footage. I have gone out quite a bit to do photography and I sometimes find cool things to shoot for a lyric video background. In my videos there is a mix between my footage and stock footage from the internet. The program I use to make the video is After Effects, the new version is working better so it’s easier to do them but in the past it was hard to get a hold of because of the computers we were running them on at the College.


I challenge myself by…
playing through all of my songs every day. Every song has a new challenge whether it is in the guitar, vocals or structure of the song. I have been singing every day for the past 6 years and I’ve noticed huge improvement.


The aspect I’m most afraid of is…
not being completely happy with my own music and having it not bring me somewhere I need to be. I have literally turned music into my life and I want my music to hit people in the exact way it has hit me in the past.


My personal definition of success is…
having people believe in what you have lived for your whole life. It makes me extremely happy when someone tells me how they feel about my songs, even if it was a negative aspect at least it’d be the truth. Doing my best will take me to where I belong and need to be I believe. That’s when I can call my music successful.


I’m pretty proud of being able to…
donate some money towards Camp Quality from busking and album sales. My brother had cancer when he was extremely young and I joined him while going to these camps every summer. I had some of the best times of my life there, it’s nice to give something back to them.


My overall goal in life is..
to just be happy, it doesn’t really matter what I’m doing but all my life the music is the only thing that has made me the happiest. I want to live comfortably with being well known for my music. Being famous and everything would be great but I try not expecting too much out of things. It would be a lie to say that I wasn’t going for it though.


One way I challenge myself is..
to force myself to try new things with my voice that will in the end result in my voice hitting different ranges more comfortably. Another way I challenge myself is to just start playing in a random place full of people, this helps me get over my social anxiety which plays a roll on my performance sometimes. And the last way I challenge myself is by always having lyrics flow through my mind and writing most of them down. I have stacks upon stacks of books filled with lyrics from the past years now.
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Purchase songs/album online from: https://collinclowes.bandcamp.com/album/this-is-where-i-leave-2

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