Featured Artist: Collin Selman

 

To be completely honest, I am a little biased when it comes to Collin Selman.

Why? Because he is my youngest brother. I have seen him grown and mature over the 19 years I have been grateful to know him. He has so much talent that I have been able to witness evolve through so many ups and downs in life.

His debut single $ELLophane is streaming on Spotify. Make sure to check it out and read our conversation below.

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KWL:
Alright, so first of all, you are from Waco, right?

Collin:
I am from Waco, yes.

KWL:
Awesome. You've been here most of your life?

Collin:
Yes, my entire life pretty much. I mean I was born in Wichita Falls – I think.

KWL:
You sure about that?

Collin:
I'm half sure.

KWL:
You're half sure that you're from Wichita Falls? I personally am pretty sure you have spent most of your life here in Waco, because disclaimer, you are my brother.

Collin:
I am!

KWL:
So, tell us – What got you into music?


Collin:
I've been singing my whole life. I mean, I started getting into singing in fourth grade when I was cast as Santa Claus in the school’s Christmas program.

KWL:
I do remember that, dad was very proud of that performance.

Collin:
A big part of my life for a very long time was the Waco Children's Theater, which is also fantastic organization.

Collin and our dad, Dave, after his performance in “Grease” with the Waco Children’s Theater.

Collin and our dad, Dave, after his performance in “Grease” with the Waco Children’s Theater.

Collin:
Totally! Then from there I kind of got a high from just singing. I sang in all the school talent shows and plays.

When I was younger, I wanted to be a trauma surgeon. I wanted to go to college and the whole nine yards. However, I got into the wreck and that changed things.

KWL:
Do you want to tell us about the wreck?

Collin:
Sure -- I was 14 and it was the first day of summer.

The night before I had just learned that I made the Midway All-Star team for Little League baseball. My friend Jackson had spent the night with me and we went to the shop with dad. We were riding around on our Polaris, which is an ATV. We were riding around and dad specifically said "don't go out on the road.”

We were riding around the factory for a while and then we got bored as 14 year old teenagers do. So, we went out to the road to see how fast it would go. And with the off-road tires and the asphalt, well –They don't go well together.

Jackson was videoing while I was driving. I looked at the camera and I gave a thumbs up. Music was blaring in the background. The scene was like the pinnacle of teenage fun. As I looked at the camera, I veered to the right and I didn't have my driver’s license, so I didn’t really know how to handle it, lost control, and the entire thing flipped over. 
I was pinned under the Polaris for probably an hour in the ditch and just was stuck on my leg. They had to fly a helicopter out, paramedics, firefighters, whole everything was there.

Out of everyone, the paramedics, fire fighters – The only one that could figure out what to do to get the Polaris off me was our dad. He got the forklift from the shop and he ended up having to get one of the forks under the brush guard of the Polaris, and then they were able to scoot me out.

 

That wreck pretty much changed the entire course of my life.

12 surgeries later, long story short, that is when I picked up the guitar. I just freaking started playing.

KWL:
What a story. I remember it being a really long road, but you got so much out of it in the long run.

 

Collin:
I was actually visiting you in New York, we were standing on your rooftop in Brooklyn and I decided that music was the life path I saw for myself. This wasn’t long after the accident.

I'd gone to a few music camps in Dallas at this place called Septien Entertainment Group, which is a fantastic music school. While I was at this music camp, I had impressed some of the people there and they asked me to be a part of their program called “The Master’s Program.”

The real issue was that it required me to go back and forth from Waco to Dallas three to four times a week. I was really involved with school you know, Pre-AP classes, all that stuff. So, I couldn't really balance Septien and full time school. So I dropped out of public school, started online classes, and doing music full time.

KWL:
How was your experience with Septien?

Collin:
It was incredible. I mean, so much of what I'm doing now is solely because of them. I wouldn't have known about so much of the behind the scenes work, the people you need to know, and how to make it all happen for yourself without them.

They talk about branding, marketing, and a lot of the legal stuff that's required. They teach you the ins and outs of the music business. A lot of the stuff they teach you would have no idea how to even Google it.

KWL:
It's like you went to school for music.

Collin:
Absolutely.

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KWL:
Storytime!  Let's talk about one of my personal favorite stories of us together: The legendary story of how we got 15 year old Collin into a 21+ Lower East Side karaoke bar at like midnight.

Collin:
I just remember us showing up there and our friend Austin was like, "Oh, I know the bouncer." And it ended up not being the bouncer he thought it was. We almost gave up going in. Instead of giving up, our dad walks up to the bouncer and was like, “Look, I have 13 people here who want to rent out a private karaoke room and spend money here. One of them is under age. Are you gonna let us in?" They went inside and were talking about it and after a few minutes they came back outside and were like, "Yeah".

KWL:
The whole night was a Collin Selman showcase.

Collin:
I don't even remember what I sang. I just remember that night. I remember I sang and it felt good.

KWL:
There was some Garth Brooks involved.

Collin:
One of my distinct memories from that night is 25 year old Patrick not having chest hair and me, being 15, having chest hair.

KWL:
Patrick Freeman who's also from Waco.

Collin:
Yes. Patrick Freeman who is also from Waco doesn't have chest hair.

KWL:
All right. So, let's fast forward. You've built up your musical acumen. And now we are in 2019. What are you working on?

Cover for Collin Selman’s single “$ELLophane”

Cover for Collin Selman’s single “$ELLophane”

Collin:
$ellophane is the debut single off my debut album. That album is hopefully coming out later this year.

I've been working on this album for almost three years. I have been writing and producing it with one of my best friends, Jonathon Camacho. The experience has been incredible.  Finally, a couple months ago we wrapped up in the studio and mixed the first singles. Now, it's just been getting the video ready.

KWL:
Tell us about $ELLophane.

Collin:
Oh Man.

KWL:
That's a deep dive.

Collin:
That's a deep dive, yeah. $ELLophane.

So, we'll start with the title because the title is a bit confusing and that goes into the meaning of the song, I suppose. I'm going to be the ambiguous artist and leave most of the interpretation to the listener.  However, I will say that a theme throughout all of my music is duality. $ELLophane, the title itself is a double entendre in that cellophane is a see through plastic material, but we changed the “Cell” to “Sell” and added the money sign. A reoccurring theme in my music is consumerism and selling yourself. A lover for hire, if you will.

I wrote that song in Flagstaff, Arizona on a cross country road trip of a lifetime with my best friends. I actually have the audio from when I started writing that song. I don't know what I'm going to do with it, but it's so nostalgic.

KWL:
It's important.

Do you think it's safe to say we can stop categorizing you as a singer-songwriter?

Collin:
I think it’s safe to say we can stop categorizing music in general.

Music has a lack of category now because it's such a melting pot. I mean I'm still a singer-songwriter. It still starts there, but it definitely doesn't end there. I mean the music industry is consistently evolving, but it's evolved more than ever.

If you look at music history, there was like a 50 year golden age when people bought records still and when people went to live shows. Now within literally the past five years with streaming becoming god, I like to say all musicians are on a level playing field. 

It really is not so much about being good but also about being authentic. 

I'm not gonna listen to off-brand Mac Demarco when I can just listen to Mac Demarco. So, you better be your own Mac Demarco. Find your own authentic sound regardless of what that looks like.

Collin Selman’s debut single $ELLophane is streaming on Spotify now.


You can follow him on Instagram Here.

 
Katherine Selman