Artist Development Mentor
Colleen currently lives in an apartment in The Fan district of Richmond, VA. She began studying music and taking guitar lessons at the age of 8 years old. She eventually joined various ensembles and choirs in middle school and high school, and became a huge vocal nerd. In 2013 she played “Maria” in her high school’s production of The Sound of Music. She has taken private voice lessons for over six years. Eventually, she picked up playing electric bass and played for a local Richmond band for a year.
She is currently studying voice at Virginia Commonwealth University and plans to graduate in Fall 2018 with a Bachelors of Arts in Voice. She performed in the VCU Opera production of Suor Angelica in Spring 2017. She is also currently training as a worship leader at the James River Campus of Bon Air Baptist Church. She gigs regularly in the Richmond area and is currently in the process of recording an EP with local studios.
When she is not doing something involving music or teaching, you can find her drinking coffee, thinking about how many animals she wants to own, getting excited for any holiday, or spending time with family and friends.
Tell us a little bit about your musical background; when you first started, the first experience that made you want to become a musician.
I was first exposed to music through my father, who is a guitarist. He would play and sing to me even before I was born. I remember begging him to teach me to play guitar all throughout my childhood until finally he gave me my first guitar when I was 8 years old. Ever since then it feels like I’ve had music ingrained in my soul. All I’ve wanted to do is to be able to share music with others, just like my father did for me.
Who are some of your favorite artists?
Fleet Foxes, Etta James, Corinne Bailey Rae, James Taylor, Esperanza Spalding, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Oh Wonder, Bon Iver, Ray LaMontagne, Norah Jones, Alabama Shakes, Fleetwood Mac, Ella Fitzgerald, The Beatles, Hiatus Kaiyote, Jimi Hendrix, John Mayer, Stevie Wonder, Amy Winehouse, Lewis Del Mar, Maggie Rogers, The Rolling Stones, Ingrid Michaelson and on and on! (Also, always looking for new music suggestions!)
Who are some of your biggest inspirations, musical, and non-musical?
Victor Wooten: Any creative type needs to read his book, The Music Lesson, absolutely incredible!
James Taylor: He is able to weave stories and music in a beautiful, timeless way.
Esperanza Spalding: This woman is a creative, music machine, an inspiration in so many ways to me (essence of girl power in her killer bass and vocal skills)
Corinne Bailey Rae: One of my all time favorites and biggest influence on my own music.
Rupi Kaur: her writing is powerful and simple all at once.
If you could follow in any musician’s footsteps, who would it be?
Etta James. She was an icon for soul, crossed multiple genres, won six Grammys and used her music to push through challenges throughout life.
If you had the ability to pick anybody to collaborate with musically, who would it be?
Esperanza Spalding. She is constantly improving herself and creating new, powerful ideas with her music, and as I mentioned before, a total girl boss.
What are your plans for the future of your music?
To continue to explore music and push myself creatively, to constantly grow, learn, and improve more with my instruments and songwriting, to record an album of my music, to be able to tour, to collaborate with others in the industry, and to develop skills as a vocal producer.
Connect with Colleen