One of Tasmania’s brightest rising stars Christopher Coleman this week hit up the Spiegeltent with the world premier of his debut album Christopher Coleman Collective. The Ten Days on the Island gig marked the album’s international launch and Chris shares his thoughts on the release
After scoring first place in the performance category of the 2013 Telstra Road to Discovery award for his hits Go Home and Little Trumpets, Chris is back on the scene louder than ever. Joined by his best mates and band members Michael Panton, Liam O’Leary, Sam Stansall, and his brother Jonathon, Chris will sang to us the intimate tracks off his new album – ensuring “Tassie hears it first.”
“I like to let the music tell those stories. I’m far better at communicating through lyrics than public speaking. I think you just need to listen to it.”
The album, which was 25 months in the making, also gave the chance for others to sing through their own experiences as Chris worked closely with the Choir of High Hopes on ‘Go Home’ – the first single and first track on the album. The choir unites those challenged with by poverty, disability, homelessness, and other disadvantages and encourages hope and friendship through song. After seeing the group perform at the Huonville Town Hall, Chris was inspired to include them in his recording and film clip.
“It was just a beautiful and uplifting performance that moved me enough to be really inspired to want to do things. I would recommend it for any human to go and watch a show like that. It was individuals telling their stories as well as songs written as a group, just about getting up and getting on with it all.”
“It was inspiring to keep living as much as to create anything around it. It was a great collaboration to make.”
Chris is no stranger to life’s challenges, and has had it tough himself as a sufferer of bipolar disorder. Braving his condition, Chris has turned his emotions into tools of musical expression which can be heard in the “real mix of highs and lows” in his new release.
“The album was a very arduous project. Not out of being a perfectionist about it, more just falling in and out of love with the idea of doing a full length album and believing in it and not believing in it. I guess anyone has the doubts about the worth of doing anything.”
Despite his challenges, and despite being the recipient of a national award which will send him to Nashville, and despite having toured around the world (all under the age of 25), Chris is satisfied that this album is the best thing he’s ever done.
“I think my biggest achievement is finishing this album. The Telstra program was certainly the biggest amount of exposure I’ve received for anything I’ve ever done, but in terms of personal satisfaction or being proud about it, the album’s first.”
This article featured in Warp Magazine, March 2014