Colton Ford (née Glenn Soukesian) rebukes the political climate of the Trump-era with feel-good dance-pop on his new Unity EP and single, Stronger! “We’re in the 21st century and we’re still dealing with the right to be who we’re born to be, for God’s sake,” he says. The EP’s four songs, written by Ford and his musical partners Ron Schrader and Spin Sista, are a call for positivity, progress, and unity, and were written over the last two years, a time period where it’s seemed like we’ve woken up every day to bad news about bigotry running rampant.
“My spirit was leading me to that narrative without all this additional stuff that’s come into play this year, so it just so happens that these are very timely narratives. We do need to come together in order to move past this and to grow and get over the things that keep getting us stuck,” Ford says.
Released just before Joseph R. Biden Jr. was voted president-elect of the United States, the music’s meaning has shifted from pleading to triumphant. “It’s a celebration. It’s a proclamation. It’s a call-to-action. It’s all of those things, which I think is the power of the narrative and the way it’s coming across musically. It feels anthemic,” Ford says, and anthemic it is. The single version of Stronger, remixed by Spin Sista, is a classic gay anthem in the vein of Cher’s Song for the Lonely.
As for other influences, Ford says the single was born out of self-speak. “In this business, you’ve gotta keep telling yourself, ‘It’s your time. You’ve got this. Hang in there. Your work and your perseverance are going to be your emancipation and your liberation.’ Self-speak can make or break us. It can take us out of it’s negative,” Ford says.
Unity is the second release from Ford, Shrader, and Spin Sista’s label, Woop Woop Productions. “We’ve got 30 some odd songs in our catalog, we’re looking to develop material not just for me but also for other artists,” Ford says, adding that he hopes to be able to tour next year if the conditions around the COVID-19 pandemic improve.
“There’s something so satisfying about being able to take people out of whatever they’re dealing with and giving them a release that they enjoy and connect with,” Ford says. “It’s a drug. It’s a very healthy drug.”
Unity is available now on Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, Amazon Music, Tidal, and more.