The name Colton Ford can be synonymous with many different things. People who know him or know of him can say he is a handsome and stunning man who took the gay porn world by storm in the early 2000’s. Others who are more in the know like myself can say that he has done a phenomenal job at transitioning from that arena to a full fledged recording artist who has released several great original and cover records not only in the past couple of years but has been since the 90’s.
Colton has done some fantastic musical work recently, from his 2007 effort “Tug Of War” to one of his best covers ever, R.E.M.’s Grammy-Winning “Losing My Religion”. Now he is set to release a brand new album on June 18th called “The Way I Am” which features some of his best music to date. I sat down with the dashing and charismatic fellow last week to talk about his music and other things, such as why people can still view him from his past in the adult industry to out of left field answers on why one of his personal influences Brandy doesn’t get the respect she deserves today. Take a look.
What made you want to get your start in music?
I have always been creating music ever since I was a kid. When I left high school, I got cast in a dinner theater-restaurant review with six singers – 3 guys and 3 girls. We did showtunes and solos, where I took advantage of my r&b roots and brought my blue-eyed soul to the show. From there I was in a jazz quartet for five years and then got my first record deal. In the 90’s, I was signed to acclaimed songwriter, Denise Rich, was paired up with the Godfather of House Music, Frankie Knuckles, and had two deals with Virgin Records. Music has always been my passion.
Who would you say are some of your musical influences?
I love Luther Vandross, Chaka Khan, Fleetwood Mac and Sarah Vaughn to name a few. I grew up in the 60′s and 70′s, and love all of those great singer-songwriters and bands from that time. Some of my new stuff is an homage to that era and vibe. Going a little more current I love Toni Braxton and Tamar Braxton, and Brandy. I think Brandy is highly underrated as an artist. Think she’s had a hard time growing out of “Moesha” and into the mature woman and talent that she is today. When she started her talent was great. It’s grown since then and I think some of her audience has had a hard time growing with her;
What would you say is the best song you have put out yet?
See, I hate that question. There is something special to me with every song, so to qualify one song over another is almost impossible. I would rather look back at my history in music and say that I am really proud of everything I’ve done. Whether they’re songs that I wrote, or songs written by others, I have felt each and every one of them and have been able to convey the emotions behind those feelings when performing them.
Do you find when a male artist in the music industry comes out that it is harder for them to sustain a career?
Well homosexuality is still an issue in our world, unfortunately. I think it affects everybody’s career in its own unique way. Neil Patrick Harris has had a great career playing mostly straight characters, and that’s unusual. Zachary Quinto as well. It’s great. I think in general, though, it’s hard for out male actors to be considered for straight roles. A straight actor can play a gay man, a straight woman can play a gay woman, but a gay actor playing a straight character seems to be difficult to see and accept. I think we as a community struggle in general with supporting our out artists, especially out musical artists. I’ve had a lot of people within our community that have supported me in all that I’ve put out there, but there is a contingency of the population that don’t want to see past my porn experience and lash out, and can be vicious about it. I don’t want to talk about all the things that I think drives the haters. I’m very “Four Agreements” about it. They’re saying more about themselves then the people their trashing!
Do you find it frustrating when you get booked to do performances at gay venues that many guys there still see you in the porn light and not the music light that you are striving to be currently?
Well, I try to accommodate the venue. I’m not going to go into the Black Party Expo, for example, and be conservative and reserved in my performance. I am going to be a bit more provocative. When I go to an environment like that, I am cool with pushing it a bit more because I feel that’s the spirit of the event and what the audience expects. And I’m okay with that. Then again, I can go perform at a pride event in a suit and tie, and there will be someone there who will say, “You know, if you want to distance yourself from the whole porn thing you shouldn’t show print in your pants.” I mean I can’t remove my penis, nor do I want to! LOL. It comes with the package (pun intended)!! There are always going to be people that will trash talk and that’s OK. It balances out all the love and positive energy I receive from people.
Dead or alive- one person you would want to do a duet with who would it be?
Oh my god, one person? That’s a hard one. I got up and sang with Chaka Khan and that was AHHHHmazing. I love Toni Braxton. I want to get in a bathtub and roll around in her voice. Brandy’s vocal ability is brilliant. It never gets boring. As I stated before, she is really underrated.
Do you have a favorite song of all time?
You know what, here is the thing. With the amount of good music that is out there to say that one stands alone- there is no way! Fleetwood Mac’s album “Rumors” is incredible, but to put that let’s say over a Rufus & Chaka Khan album, it’s impossible! They are all one in the same to me.
What do you have going on for the rest of 2013?
My new album, “The Way I Am,” is dropping June 18th, and is available right now for pre-order on iTunes. I have amazing collaborators on this record, really phenomenal people. I am working on a new show for HERE-TV. I got cast in a TV series called “Center City” about a year and a half ago that has been in development and is finally coming to fruition. It’s about an Italian family in Philly. The matriarch is a divorcee with two grown children and owns a family Italian Restaurant. One of her sons is a priest who is having a secret affair with their family priest, played by me. The other son is in a relationship with a black-Italian girl, who has her family dynamic that comes into play. There are a lot of sub-stories going on in this show. We will be shooting the pilot in the next month or two. There is interest in the HBO and Showtime world, but there is also interest in the web-driven series community as well, which is really where TV is heading.
If there is one thing you want your audience to know about you, what is it?
That I love who I am unconditionally, mistakes and all. I love being in the work of my life and learning and growing with each step, and I plan on continuing the work until I transition from this life into whatever is next.