At a time when downloads and streaming are the essence of modern-day music distribution, Thunder Bay’s Coleman Hell is fully aware of the potential of one well-placed single.
Since moving to Toronto with fellow artists; Shan Vincent De Paul, Michah and La+ch to establish a musical collective called Sideways in 2012, Hell (yes that is his real handle!) and his group have worked together recording a series of singles and one Ep, the 2014 `Vena’. Yet Hell would experience social media’s full potential, when a track he released earlier this year titled “2 Heads” suddenly went viral attracting over 13 million global streams.
“From the initial feedback I was receiving, I felt “2 Heads” had the potential to do well but I never imagined it would do as well as it had,” enthused Hell over the phone prior to heading out on a brief Canadian tour before heading down the States in support of Richard DeLong.
An infectious dance track with a banjo sampling reflective of Alison Krauss on steroids, “2 Heads” is one of those addictive songs that just screams `hit record’ and follows a distinctive path of Hell just releasing singles for downloading purposes. “Yes I have enough material for a full record and I did have an album ready to go when Sony Music signed me earlier this year,” Hell explained. “But I took my band into the words and we have recorded another complete record which should be ready to go in the first quarter of 2016. But right now, we want to work “2 Heads” to its fullest potential.”
Growing up in Thunder Bay, Hell developed an affinity for creating electronic music on his computer. “I would download tracks, sample them, dissect them and discover the core of a song, what made them work or what didn’t, ”he noted. “When you’ve got a name like mine, you have to do something special, and growing up in a small town in Ontario, you didn’t have many creative options.”
Hell formed a home town hip hop due with Joey Burnz called Burnz N Hell but realizing his options in Thunder Bay were limited, Hell elected to re-establish a creative collective with friends Shan Vincent De Paul, Michah and La+ch in Toronto. “It’s a pretty informal collective, just a group of people working on each other’s projects and helping each other out.”
Hell’s first project was a dance single titled “Glow” with Micah in 2012. This was followed by a dance mix tape titled “Stark Ravings” in 2013 and his first Ep effort, a five-song release title `Vena the following year and a collaboration with Jayme on La+ch’s 2014 dance track; “You Are My Summer”.
“Being from a small town, my initial influences were folk and classic rock and as I started to get into electronic music I started to re-create modern versions of those sounds,” Hell explained. “The challenge these days is to write songs that will remain timeless. Current trends are in and out of style so fast. A few years ago it was all dub music but now that’s dead and the kids are into something else. I would at least like my current songs to be timeless enough to be still around when I put my first studio record out earlier next year.”
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