COVER STORY: Colleen Green on Songwriting After Your Twenties

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COLLEEN GREEN
Transitioning to a Studio Environment & Addressing Creativity at the End of Your 20s

Following and listening to Colleen Green can often feel like an interpretive dance, a gateway for your conscience and imagination to undulate aimlessly; translate emotions, experiences and/or conditions into a more coherent understanding and expression, escape the inevitable hardships presented on a daily basis and establish newfound ways to feel stimulated and inspired. However, Green’s latest album, I Want to Grow Up, shifts in a way that still sweetly glazes over the aforementioned, but sets a more mature tone and assertion with higher-powered melodies while also maintaining her sharp wit and punk-pop roots. Green’s growth is exceptionally apparent here, but she sustains a commendable amount of humbleness and seeming stream-of-conscious rumination for her efforts.

“About five years ago, I was diagnosed with an incurable autoimmune disease, and it is still probably the most significant event that’s taken place in my life to date,” Green confesses. “I couldn’t work, was alone and didn’t have any friends around me, so I had a lot of time to think. I thought mostly about myself and my place in this wild universe, and the record is kind of the result of me just trying to make some sense of it all.”

Green’s discernment – despite being assumedly puzzling and entrenching – ultimately delivers a seamless compilation of genuine confessions and acknowledgements, proving that while she may be getting older, she’s only getting stronger. Recorded in about two weeks at Nashville’s Sputnik Sound Studios with a small assembly of collaborators, I Want To Grow Up embodies discovery and taking chances, and conclusively feeling confident about them.

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It’s also the first time Green has ventured into a professional studio to record her music. Previous releases were decidedly lo-fi in texture and authentically home-recorded. For the new LP, she enlisted the aid of fellow musicians Jake Orrall [JEFF The Brotherhood] and Casey Weissbuch [Diarrhea Planet] to form the in-studio band, and to collaborate on her first true studio project.

“The process of creating it was a slightly new one in that I was sharing ideas with other musicians and allowing myself to be receptive to their ideas, as well,” Green says. “I’ve had a guard up in the past, but I wanted to be more flexible this time because I knew that anything Jake or Casey would have to say would be worth considering.”

Green has previously emphasized her need and desire to be personal and honest, but admitted the difficulty in doing it easily. Even with her most exposed work out in the open, that dilemma still stands true.

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“In order to be honest, you just have to know that nothing is weird and nothing is normal, and it gets easier,” she states. “It is still very scary, but I have to just tell myself that those fears are unfounded and that I have to ‘just do it’ if I want to be fulfilled. I can only be me.”

And even with a readily apparent grasp on that, it’s even easier to fall into surrounding traps that can sneakily invade one’s personal space and put progression and growth on halt. Green, however, has become a sort of life coach for herself.

“It is always challenging to combat what I see as negative forces, such as jealousy and insecurity,” Green says. “I am definitely more rational than I used to be when I was younger, and I just have to remind myself that I’m good, I’m my own person, and I am doing interesting things with my life, and usually I feel better pretty quickly. It also really helps to have a friend.”

Green’s reassuring outlook and mentality deviates from her role as a musician, however; instead of feeling inclusive in the business with her well-received albums and raw talent, she feels almost blasé about where she stands in it.

“I don’t see any kind of purpose for myself in the music industry,” she confides. “I’m just a lady who writes songs sometimes.”

Similarly, Green’s concept of achievement mirrors the intention of breeding happiness before acclaimed fame.

“I don’t quite have a definition of success worked out in my mind,” she claims. “I just know that I want to be happy, and I’m not sure how I will achieve that, but I hope to stay positive and kind, and hopefully the universe will reciprocate.”

It’s a fair assessment that the universe will, indeed, as well as continue to embrace Green’s music while she continues to evolve and flourish. In the meantime, she has already learned a vital lesson in cultivating her mojo.

“Being a musician has helped in teaching me that you can’t please everyone, so there’s no point in getting discouraged when it doesn’t happen. All I can do is be me and try to make the most of my life. Be chill and bring your pillow.”

And follow her on Twitter @ColleenGreen420

photography by Colleen Green & Eric Penna

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