NAME: Renee Cologne
LOCATION: Pleasantville, NJ
ORIGIN: Cary, North Carolina
ART: Music – songwriter, producer, singer
MAIN GENRE: electronic, orchestral, pop
TRAINING: Berklee College of Music, Bachelors of Music for Recording & Engineering; University of NC at Greenville, classical harmony and theory concentration
ARTS AFFILIATIONS: ASCAP
LATEST WORKS: “Rock & Roll Housewife.” Previous record “The Opposite Of.”
Please describe your artistic themes
The plight of humanity – the enormity, depth, sadness, joy of life but also the humor in all things.
Please describe your creative process
Create space to create – meaning, I have to have a clear mind and a clean work space (I’m a Capricorn), and time before me to work. Then, I try to be the pointer of the “Ouija” board and stay out of the way of inspiration. I try to create what I call “soundscapes” when I produce music – aural rooms that you can walk into, that, when listened to with headphones, literally envelop the listener in a stereo field. I usually write lyrics first, as poetry, concepts or loose ideas. Then, musically sometimes, I start with guitar, other times keyboards or piano – many times it’s a sound or beat that I will start to tweak and then hear something that takes me in a certain direction and I’m off and running. It’s what I call “the way in” to the heart of what a song, arrangement or production should be. I tend to try to work on each section of a song until it’s finished – then personally, my biggest challenge is how much to take away before there is only the essential elements of a piece left. Only when taking away or adding one more thing feels incorrect, is a song done.
What are your artistic goals?
To live a creative life; and be heard by people who will connect, be inspired or moved by what I do.
What are your views on the industry?
Ah, a loaded question, and one, not surprisingly, that I have a few views on: The record industry, as it used to operate, is dead. Music changes hands via a digital format today; sometimes yes, still in the form of a CD, but hardly ever as a cassette, LP or remember 8-track tapes? So, the medium changes. The problem is that, the record companies did not embrace digital technology at it’s advent years ago and so now are faced with an expensive dinosaur of a business model, that does not work in today’s environment. The beautiful part of music moving throughout the world digitally, is that people can find artists and connect on a global level, that previously, from an artists’ point of view, was not available without either a hell of a lot of legwork or a major distribution deal. But, the problem that we are all finding, is this: how can and should an artist be compensated for what they do, while still allowing music to spread as it will? THAT, my dear, I have no answer for, but spend more time than I should pondering.
What advice could you give to emerging artists?
The artists’ path is one that is as delicate as a flower and yet as fierce as a warriors’. Be true to your creative voice, be inspired, not only concerned with being inspirING, and mostly be aware of paths that may not fit the mold of how you see your life evolving, and be willing to explore them. And lastly, for God’s sake, don’t take yourself too seriously! By all means, DO what you do with care and seriousness. But, have a sense of humor – you’ll need it!