From singing alongside dance floor mavens like Peppar Mashay (Signed Sealed Delivered ) to his own singles such as Let Me Live Again and Just The Way I Am, Glenn Soukesian (formerly known as Colton Ford) knows how to get the boys to hit the dance floor. His music has been remixed by everyone from Tony Moran to Frankie Knuckles, and his upcoming music is sure to be the exact kind of music that we need for our summertime dance floors. I caught up with Soukesian to talk about his biggest dance floor moments, the artists he has collaborated with, and what we can expect next from this dance floor dynamo!
Michael Cook: Welcome back Glenn! You have been missed you on the music scene; were you taking a much needed break or just giving yourself and your musical creativity a reboot?
Glenn Soukesian: I really never take breaks, as I’m always creating in some way. I just haven’t been performing that much over the past several years and haven’t been as active on social media, which was intentional. It’s been more of a life reboot than a creative one. Over the past couple of years, I’ve released a full album and a couple of singles, so I’ve still been around.
MC: So you have returned with a name change; what made you step out on your own as Glenn? Were you looking to leave the persona and career as Colton Ford completely in the past?
GS: My real name has been out there for a while, so this isn’t coming completely out of left field. In fact my last full album was titled “Glenn Soukesian”. Colton Ford is a part of my past and story and always will be. It served its purpose and I had fun with it. At this stage of life though, I just like the idea of keeping it real and simple. It feels like a natural evolution.
MC: Your career as Colton Ford created some pretty amazing dance music; what are some of your best memories and most amazing experiences of that time?
GS: So many! Creating the music itself, collaborating with a variety of amazing producers and artists, including the Godfather of House Music, Frankie Knuckles. Shooting all my videos. Traveling all over the world connecting with people through music, and hearing how my music has affected them, helped them through difficult times, or inspired them. It’s amazing to be on stage and see people singing the words that you wrote back to you. It’s an honor. Being a part of the True Colors Tour with Cindi (who was a doll) and everyone was awesome, performing at the NYC Pride Pier Dance with my girl Ultra Nate, singing Tell Me Something Good with my girl Chaka Khan, etc. When you’ve been in it for as long as I have, you have a whole list of memories and amazing experiences. I could keep going…
MC: You’ve changed your name, but can we expect a new sound altogether perhaps?
GS: Not really a new sound, but doing my thing with a variety producers who have different musical tastes and perspectives, which is what I’ve always done and will continue to do. My roots are in R&B and Funk, so that spirit will definitely always be present.
MC: What artists are inspiring your musically now?
GS: I get inspired when I go back to the artists who originally inspired me. Stevie Wonder, Babyface, Chaka Khan, Sarah Vaughn, Howard Hewitt, Luther Vandross, Anita Baker, Earth Wind and Fire, and the BeeGees for God sake, just to name a few. I really dig She right now, and Childish Gambino is pretty fucking brilliant!
MC: Male dance music vocalists have consistently been challenging and many have not been able to maintain a career as you have; your talent is most likely a large part of that. What do you see as the biggest challenges to male vocalists in the industry today and how do you overcome them?
GS: I’m of course answering this specifically from the perspective of an openly gay artist that creates, among other things, dance music. Dance music tends to be all about the divas. It’s frustrating, especially when we know that dance music is really lifted and supported by the gay community, but I don’t think that the gay community has really figured out how to fully support itself and those working to punch through. We can be really hard on ourselves and each other.
MC: Can we expect to hear some more scorching dance floor remixes again with new music?
GS: Hey, I’m with Sobel Records/Sobel Promotions and part of the Sobel Network, so hello!! Like duh (laughs)!!
MC: What gives you pride as performer and as a person?
GS: It’s really about my self-work. It transcends into all aspects of my life, including my art. I am so proud of the work that I’ve done as an artist and a human being, work that I gratefully continue to do. I am committed to myself, an enthusiastic proponent of therapy, and have been the beneficiary of the insight and guidance I’ve received through working with my therapist for over the past twenty six years. It has made me who I am, and someone that I love and like! That’s important!
All art courtesy used with permission courtesy of Sobel Promotions