Colonel Red discusses "Red Light", Ink Rebellion and more...
Catch A Groove -The feedback for "Believe In Me" has been enormous! Are you pleased with the response so far?
Colonel Red - Yes the feedback for 'Believe In Me' has been nothing short of overwhelming. Big thanks to A&R Kingpin Paul Martin for presenting this song to Gilles Peterson, on his credible recommendation, which has helped the start of the 'REDLIGHT' campaign enormously. It's a special song for me, so the response has confirmed my thoughts & feelings entirely;}
Catch A Groove - This is your first independent project. Is this something you've been planning for awhile. What prompted this move?
Colonel Red - I didn't plan this to be an independent project in any conscious way. Still, looking back over the past few years I think it's fair to say all my experiences with regard to developing & releasing music have in some way contributed to this decision. All my performances on this album, & from this point forward, emanate from my being a recording/performing artist who produces his very own unique style of music & song.
Catch A Groove - Were you disappointed on how your previous record "Keep Walking" did? Did that prompt this move to Ink Rebellion?
Colonel Red - In terms of creative deliverance,.. the 'Keep Walkin' album has done exactly what it was supposed to do & continues to do ,which is to 'ground break' so no, I am not disappointed with what this album did & is still doing,..the Keep Walkin album is innovative, unique, soulful & poetic.
In terms of reach & sales,..I consider the Keep Walkin album to be like the invisible hand. Meaning, it's an album that will always be played everywhere, its reach is still yet to be determined, which will consequently determine its sales.
Catch A Groove - I have to ask you about the collaboration with Ursula Rucker on "Keep Walkin". How did that come about?
Colonel Red - I had the pleasure of performing with Ursula live on stage at the Numoon festival in Holland a few years ago, we connected immediately & stayed friends ever since, so later when the idea of a collaboration came about it was a natural next step in our new found relationship.
Catch A Groove - She is often associated with Spoken Word, there are recordings by you where your lyrics have a spoken word feel to it like "The Anomaly". Is this a conscious move on your part?
Colonel Red - Yes Ursula is an incredible & inspiring poet. Poetry has always been in my step. As a songwriter I have always written songs with a kind of sublime poetry styling, still, it is my love for positive rap that really inspires me to write my style of poetry! I have a song called 'My Spoetry' which touches on this subject,..check it out ;}
Catch A Groove - Tell me about more about the alliance with you and Ink Rebellion?
Colonel Red - Ink Rebellion came about after encountering one too many record companies with limited vision! So myself , together with my assistant Clio S Anderaz , & a host of very talented & committed professionals in our network, came to the conclusion that if we are to continue releasing music that we love & believe in,, then we should release this music ourselves & on our very own label. Now we not only write,perform,produce & master our own music, we also market,promote & release our own music too, using all our own resources & support systems from like minded others. It is an incredible learning curve with exciting & fulfilling results.
My one & only concern when I started working with the label was that it might take me away from my creative process ? Instead, my creative process has been enhanced & my vision broadened since working with the Ink Rebellion label.Ink Rebellion is based upon a combination of experience & a desire to bring a positive musical message to people. What could be more inspiring than to be a part of a label that circumvents the type of obstacles we face in this creative industry, instead of being held back & invariably let down by them.
Catch A Groove - I have all four of your albums, do you have a favourite?
Colonel Red - Yes that's easy the 'REDLIGHT' album.
Catch A Groove - I first heard about you from your first record "Blue Eye Blak". What have you done prior to that record? Was that your first record?
Colonel Red - Prior to the 'Blue Eye Blak' album, back in the early nineties, my 1st ever signing was with Atlantic records. I was signed by record company giant Sylvia Rhone , as the lead singer for 'Pride n Politix'. We were a jazz soul outfit, based out of London's Maida Vale.Upon releasing our debut album 'Changes', we went on to tour the U.S.A. This would be the last time I performed under my real name Nicolas S Romillie. This was an amazing 1st time experience in the music industry. Our opening performance was in New York with Lenny White as musical coordinator & Luther Vandross's live band was our live band. 'Jerry Hey & the Seawind Orchestra' 'Alex Acuna' & the 'James Cleevland Gospel Choir' all came to feature on the 'Changes' album. During my time in the U.S.A I went onto work along side artists Amp Fiddler, Ten City, Roger Troutman, Keith Sweat, Gerald Levert & many more incredible artists before returning back to the UK & creating the moniker known to many as CoLoNeLReD.
As CoLoNeLReD I started putting out house & 2step Garage tracks with the B15 Project who at that time were enjoying top 10 success in the UK with 'Girls like this'! I later wrote a song with Mercury records entitled 'Long Time Dead' written for the film soundtrack 'Long Time Dead' in 2001. In 2001 I also featured heavily on the Beatless album with Alex Attias & Paul Martin, which also featured MDCL & Vanessa Freeman. I then went on to feature heavily on Alex Attias's Mustang album receiving worldwide acclaim & huge support from Gilles P. In the years coming up to the Blue Eye Blak release in 2005, I collaborated on an array of different projects with the likes of Domu/IG Culture/Daz I Kue/ Disapora/Bugz In The Attic, & tracks with various Dutch, Italian, & Japanese producers,…far too many to count now, but yes I did turn it out. Still being a singer & songwriter is more than just an expression to me, it's my passion, addiction,..or even my affliction lol.
Catch A Groove - Not only do you deliver some wicked bass friendly tracks, you manage to drop a soaring ballad here and there. Does this record feature one?
Colonel Red - Thank you,.. YeS Indeed ;} there's a song on this album called 'Change' this is quite a powerful ballad, I couldn't resist ;}
Catch A Groove - Are you going to tour to support the record?
Colonel Red - Yes, as we speak I am in the Tribal Rhymes Suite developing the 'live' aspect of the REDLIGHT show,..getting set for my trip to Indonesia & the UK in April, dates for future shows TBC,..
Catch A Groove - I certainly look forward to hearing you play out. Much success moving forward. I believe this will be a huge year for you.
Colonel Red - Thanks, great talking with you.
"Believe In Me" is available now on Ink Rebellion records.