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Musician to Know: Graham Colton

Splashlife Staff | September 30, 2011

Oklahoma City native Graham Colton started out writing songs in his room and uploading them to Napster. After gaining tremendous popularity online, and the support of Adam Duritz of the Counting Crows (who was given Colton's demo CD), the singer-songwriter toured with many big name musicians, including John Mayer, Dave Matthews, Maroon 5, and of course, the Counting Crows. After spending so much time on the road, however, he opted to return to his indie roots where he knew he could write, record an album and promote himself online in his own time. For him, the decision to go indie was a “no-brainer.” As if a huge fan base wasn’t validation enough, Oprah chose one of his songs to be part of one of her television specials. His heartfelt lyrics often share tales of love and loss, the inspiration for which comes from various sources, he says. “'Love Comes Back Around,' which is my current favorite on the new album, was written for a friend who lost her brother,” reveals Colton. “I wrote the song for the family and didn’t expect anyone else to hear it.”

How does your hometown of Oklahoma City shape your music?
"I think Oklahoma City always inspires me because of the people. My songs are always based on my close relationships."

In your opinion, what are the three greatest albums of all time?
"Revolver by the Beatles; Damn the Torpedoes by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers; and Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys."


What's the coolest thing about the music industry right now?
"The opportunity we have to reach so many people with the click of a button."

What advice would you give to someone trying to break into the music business?
"Release everything you can online. Don't be so careful with stuff. Just get it out there."

What are your three proudest moments as a musician?
"Playing The Late Show with David Letterman, having my songs help people and causes, and each night meeting new fans who like my music."