Capturing Colton

6.22.2009

By Noah Michelson

Do you get recognized a lot? Does your career history come up when guys are hitting on you?
Sure. Living in Chelsea, I'm in the fishbowl. Sometimes it's cool and sometimes it's irritating. The other day these three guys who were visiting from France came up to me and wanted me to know that I have a lot of fans out there and they love what I'm doing. That kind of stuff is really cool -- I'm reaching people in such a broad manner. And then you have people who just don't have any filter. It's definitely a residual of the whole porn experience. In certain environments where people might be in a little bit of an altered state and there might more sexual energy -- in the clubs and what have you -- there's a familiarity they have with you without really knowing you and so I think sometimes they feel entitled to violate your personal space. Sometimes you just have to remove yourself from the situation and that's OK. It's part of the job. As an artist that's what you want: you want people to be aware of you and be conscious of what you're doing so they'll go out and buy your stuff.

The track listing for your new album, Under the Covers is really unusual. Often these kinds of records are filled with standards but you've chosen to remake current songs by artists like Robyn and Alicia Keys. How did you pick the songs?
It was a combination of myself and my manager Bill Coleman. Bill has been in the business for some 18-odd years. He's the guy that discovered and managed Dee-lite and Cazwell and he's got this really hot roster of artists. He also represents some of the hottest remixers and producers in the business and he's also a DJ. So, honestly, a lot of the song suggestions came from Bill. 'Losing My Religion' I wanted to do because Quentin Harris and I had done my last album -- he actually did a track on this one -- and he actually had a great remix track of that song and I thought, I'd love to do that. He didn't do the track but he inspired me and this was before I'd thought about doing a covers album. I've always dug 'Show Me Love' (Robin S.) and I thought Babyface would be great and 'By My Side' (Sade) is such a fucking amazing song and Craig C. did an incredible job on the track. But some of the other songs like 'Ashes to Ashes' (Faith No More) and 'You Gonna Want Me' (Tiga) -- those are all Bill. He was like, 'Do this. Do this. Follow me.' Everything he threw at me, whether I was familiar with it or not, it spoke to me. And then I went into the studio without any premeditation -- I didn't think about how I was going to arrange the vocals or the harmonies. I just let it happen organically. And every song I did enabled me to do something a little different that perhaps people haven't heard from me before -- maybe didn't even expect from me.

Have any of the artists that you've covered heard their track?
Alicia Keys saw my YouTube video of 'No One' and she totally dug it and she totally got it. It's really funny -- some people see that video and they don't get the little 'wink wink' joke. We did a kind of an homage to the whole Larry Craig thing. I was in the bathroom stall singing through a glory hole. I was singing it a capella so that people could hear that I have a voice but I think a lot of people, because of my porn experience, were like, 'It's just another one of his porn videos. He should stick to sucking cock!' Well, I never stopped! [Laughs] And I don't plan on stopping.

You shouldn't. You can do both.
Sometimes I even hum while I'm sucking.

Colton Ford performs at the OUTmusic Presents Stonewall ' The 40th Anniversary Commemorative Concert and Benefit June 27 at the NOKIA Theater in Times Square. For more info, click here.

Ford's new album, Under The Covers, is out on August 4. Check out his MySpace page for more details.

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