Interview with Singer Songwriter Colin McShane


As a publicist who has often worked with musicians, I have a soft spot for indie bands. Truly one of the toughest businesses to break into, indie musicians – especially rock bands – who’ve received even a glimmer of success deserve serious kudos.

One such musician contacted me recently, an indie New York City based singer/songwriter named Colin McShane, who told me he got some of his music placed in the popular soap TV series Guiding Light.

You may be thinking: he must be childhood BFFs with the show’s producer or something. Turns out that Colin landed the placement through good old-fashioned networking.

To find out Colin’s secrets to his success, read our interview:

Termeh Mazhari: Describe your music…

Colin McShane: My music is hard to define. Each and every song I write is a combination of what I feel in my soul and every album I have ever been inspired by; I’m talking Michael Jackson’s Thriller to Jay-Z’s The Blueprint 3. I guess the best description of my music would be the lyrical and musical portrayal of feelings which can be universally identified with.

Termeh Mazhari: How did you get your songs on Guiding Light?

Colin McShane: I worked at Sony Music Studios for a number of years. At the studio I met musical artists, producers, and engineers as well as television producers and personalities that used the facilities at the studio to edit their shows. Networking is the most important aspect of any industry; especially the Entertainment Industry. Each time I introduced myself to a professional in the industry, I would add them on my LinkedIn page knowing that connections are invaluable and they might help in some point in my career.

Soon after, I posted a question to all of my LinkedIn contacts asking if anyone could help me get my music featured in TV or Film. I received a number of responses to my question offering help. One of the respondents was working as a producer on Guiding Light and had just had a meeting with Executive Producer Ellen Wheeler about how she would like to bring undiscovered artists music into the new format of the show. My producer friend told me they were currently accepting submissions, and I sent in some of my tracks that I thought would be appropriate for the genre. A month or so later I got a phone call from Guiding Light saying they would like to license four of my songs for recurring themes for the next 14 months. Guiding Light licensed “It’s All For You,” “My Dear,” “Coke & Trees,” and “In The Mood” from my catalog. After a few months of featuring these songs on the show, “It’s All For You” became a top seller on iTunes.

This was the start of my licensing career. Right after Guiding Light played a song of mine for the first time, I was offered a licensing contract from MTV Networks securing my music for licensing across all the channels owned by MTVN (MTV, MTV2, VH1, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, etc.) My songs have since been featured on The Hills and iCarly.

Deciding to take this one step further I made another connection through LinkedIn who introduced me to Pat Weaver. Pat Weaver is the Director of Artist Development at Lakehouse Sound in California ( Pat was digging my tunes and wanted to help me take them a step further in licensing. She offered me a contract that allows her company to pitch my songs and my band Fountainhead’s songs ( for licensing to TV, Film, Video Games, and Commercials. I enjoy working with Pat and Erin at Lakehouse Sound and we have some good things coming up in 2009!

Termeh Mazhari: What are your favorite places to perform in New York?

Colin McShane: I love playing in NYC. There are a number of venues I especially like but there is none greater than Arlene’s Grocery. The sound at Arlene’s is the best by far.

Termeh Mazhari: What advice would you give for aspiring bands and musicians looking to make it in the industry today?

Colin McShane: My friend Fresh and I were recently talking about how important it is to make yourself available to your fans in the music industry climate of today. By making yourself available I mean having an active Twitter account, an active Facebook page, and a presence on YouTube, etc. This creates an area where your fans can connect with you on a personal level which is invaluable when it comes to acquiring and retaining fans.

Something else I firmly believe in is diversification. If you have talent you have to remember that your talent is multifaceted; instead of pigeonholing yourself you must explore how else you can use your talent. Step out of your safe zone… creatively challenge yourself. This will help not only with networking and obtaining new fans, but it will also help satisfy that insatiable hunger for creativity all musicians have.

Termeh Mazhari: So what’s next for you?

Colin McShane: I’m currently working on my new album, it’s a little more raw than the others have been so I am eager to release it.

I’m also working with Fresh who I mentioned earlier ( Fresh and I just finished a song called “I Do This” for his new album, I’m really excited about it.

Other than that I’m working with producers at MTVN on placements in some existing shows and others that are currently in development. And I’m working with Pat Weaver of Lakehouse Sound which helps me obtain licensing opportunities for my music.

Keep in touch with me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter!

Click here to go to Colin McShane’s iTunes page.

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This entry was posted on Friday, October 23rd, 2009 at 2:02 pm and is filed under Interview, Music. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

One Response to “Interview with Singer Songwriter Colin McShane”

Rohan June 27th, 2010 at 3:18 pm

I WANT TO HEAR SOME MORE MOTHERF-ING FOUNTAINHEAD!!!!! Colin, what’s up man? Keep up the good work. And shout out to my man Frank! Keep beating the hell outta them drums brother!!!!


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