ARTIST NAME: Greg Coulson
SONG TITLE: You Haven’t Done Nothin’
RELEASE DATE: 04 August 2021
GENRE: Alternative, Pop
Recording Experience: Since the pandemic, I have produced all of my own music. Me and a close friend of mine who also happens to be an in-demand session drummer, Adam Gammage decided to build a recording studio in our Hometown, Northampton – UK just before we all went into lockdown. We spent ages recording, experimenting with new equipment, technology, and new material – this was the result!
Creating A Song: If I’m reimagining a song I tend to listen to the original recording a few times and go from there. When I write new material I draw from many areas. Lyrically, I tend to focus on current social and cultural trends. I try to be as ambiguous as possible so I don’t alienate my audience by being too specific. I’ll either sit down at the piano or guitar to find some harmonic and melodic ideas and incorporate some ideas for arrangements. I then hand over a rough sketch to the musicians who are on the session and we create the backing for the song.
Advice: Be persistent with your project. Don’t give up and have a clear idea of what it is you want to achieve. Visualize your goals.
Experience: I play for a couple of bands/artists that are signed by notable record and management labels (I won’t say who). There was a time where I dedicated a whole six months to one particular band and I had to fight for my money – it took forever for the management to pay out. I ended up phoning the head of the label to express my concerns and frustrations. That day, the money landed in my account – always chase what you are owed and know your worth… it’s important.
Instrumentation: I like playing with a good drummer and bass player – the rest is up to me. As long as there is a strong rhythm track to build upon I always feel confident in my ability to dress the backing track accordingly.
Feelings: It’s an emotional experience – I love it.
Goals: Finding a good harmonic, melodic, and lyrical structure is always important to me. I’m not one of those songwriters who can churn out song after song. I like to focus on an idea or figure and refine it until I’m happy.
Writing: I always like to keep an open mind. I sometimes find it difficult to finish a song. I have tons of ideas, but the major problem is finishing those ideas. I tend to lean towards the backing first, then develop melodic ideas and lyrics afterward. I find it useful to have a song title in mind when starting a new composition.
Music Style: Tricky question… I’m a multi-instrumentalist so that does have its advantages and limitations. Sometimes. I find myself in danger of adding too much to a song and losing the original intention. In terms of a unique style, that comes from within and it depends on who your influences are. I’d like to think I have an identifiable and unique sound, however, it’s easier said than done.
Recording: I tend to start with a backing track of vocal and piano/guitar, keeping it simple so the session musicians can add their flavor to the track.
Collaboration: I do collaborate with other songwriters when I can. Sometimes it’s difficult to align schedules, but most of the time the collars are done over What’s App voice messages – ideas, licks, riffs, lyrical concepts, etc…
Experience: My fan base is loyal and dedicated to the cause. They are lovely and really support me as an artist. We sell many of the albums at gigs and it’s always a pleasure to see them enjoying the music and singing along.
Song: I chose to record, You Haven’t Done Nothin’ due to its strong lyrical content relating to political Incidents involving US President Richard Nixon, who two weeks after the release of Fufillingness’ First Finale resigned over the Watergate scandal and left the White House in disgrace. Shortly after Nixon’s resignation, Wonder issued this statement: “Everybody promises you everything but in the end, nothing comes out of it. I don’t vote for anybody until after they have really done something that I know about. I want to see them do something first. The only trouble is that you always hear the president or people say that they are doing all they can. And they feed you with hopes for years and years. I’m sick and tired of listening to all their lies.” I believe that regardless of its original lyrical intention, we are still faced with the same disappointment and failures of governments and politicians around the world and is as relevant now as it was back then.