This week we are talking to singer – songwriter Colette O’Connor, who is also a strong supporter of women in music, a publisher of online magazine Women Singer Songwriter Magazine, host of television program “Colette’s Spotlight”, an organizer of various music events and, besides many more activities not mentioned here a mother of four children. Colette describes her music as “delightful blend of sunshine, kindness-philosophy, and New England strength”. We are lucky to have her joining us for World Wide Music Day in Dennis Port, Massachusetts (U.S.) this year. You can see her at Live From Center Stage or by tuning in online (you can find more details and the full program of WWMD events here).
How did you find your way to music?
Growing up on an organic farm, we had crops and animal chores that kept us very busy. The radio kept me company. Once the chores were done, the only way to avoid more was to get on a horse and ride! I took my dog and my guitar and learned to create music out in the quiet beauty of nature.
How did you become involved in social activism?
Being a human among humans, it’s impossible not to notice social imbalance. Music can create insight. Music can empower. Music does give voice to perspectives otherwise unheard. Music is my way of refocusing kindness.
What are the ways that a musician can make a difference today?
Art inspires art. A musician has the ability to create an environment, with lyrics/melody, that can take a person on their own emotional journey. New understandings can create connections between people. A musician can, with their art, raise funds and awareness for issues that can change outlooks and better situations.
What are the main challenges for a musician-social activist?
True artists create. It can be challenging to market, especially non-commercial based music grounded in honesty. Many musicians become overwhelmed, or even lost, in the commercial abundance that requires money to promote actively, and effectively, for a cause.
What motivates you to collaborate with Musicians without Borders?
The law of attraction, I believe, conspires to help like minded people to rise together. Discovering the active good Musicians without Borders accomplishes to uplift emotionally, to connect instruments that teach empowerment, all allows new voices to be raised against war, hate, and grief. Music heals by transforming the negative into a positive, empowering, force of hope.
If you wanted to inspire people through music, what song/composition would you play?
I love music and treat it as sacred. The only music I play streams from my own creative source, not because I think I say things better than those who created before me but rather because to add my perspective, in my own way, I believe, adds a unique perspective to the whole. No one song could ever speak to every need. Every sunset is a song. Every sunrise is different. Life. To feel your own song, within every song, is possible. I strive to find that honesty and craft something that adds to the music that countless others before me have offered their own gifts to. Music grows, as a whole, that way.
To learn more about Colette O’Connor and to listen to her music, visit https://coletteoconnor.net
To sign up for World Wide Music Day 2017, visit: mwb.to/wwmd