Rock artist Corrington Wheeler released his new album ‘Seeking Light; earlier this year and is already prepared to create new and different projects. We had the chance to chat to Corrington Wheeler about his different music, as well as the struggles he has faced during his music career.
Hello! So, could you introduce yourself to the readers?
I’m an American singer/songwriter from Lewis County, Missouri and I specialize in both Rock and R&B. After serving in the United States Air Force for six years as a Meteorologist, I decided to pursue music full-time. I write with Esoteric, Masonic, and Philosophical influences in my recent works.
You’ve recently released your album ‘Seeking Light’, can you tell us a little bit about the writing process of the album?
I typically contract an engineer to create an instrumental. He’ll send me the finished concept and also a version with suggested vocal melodies, in the form of piano roll. I’ll record a few times to find vocal melodies and harmonies that I like. At that point, I’ll write an entire page or story and then pull small sections from the document and plug it into the song. After I finish recording vocals, I’ll send all the files to the audio engineer for mixing, mastering, vocal pitching, and editing. He sends me the final product, then I send him a ton of money and my first newborn.
You have a lot of collaborations on this album with people such as Garret Rapp from The Color Morale. What was it like getting to work with so many different people?
It was a truly unique experience and I certainly learned a lot. Many of the bands are signed with labels, so I’m very fortunate to have had such an amazing opportunity. Each musician writes completely differently, so it was certainly interested having to write songs with so many different people, not to mention time consuming, but I feel that it was worth it.
Your track, ‘Skorkas Witchery’, features both Japanese vocalist Maico and Japanese lyrics. What was the inspiration behind using these Japanese themes?
When I wrote the three songs off the Traveling East EP, I was actually in Japan at the time. I ended up living in Okinawa for three years and loving every second of it. Having very few English speaking friends, I had to learn Japanese very quickly if I wanted to perform even the most basic tasks such as laundry, tv and air conditioner remotes, pay bills, grocery shopping, and more. I drew a lot of my inspiration from a band called One Ok Rock, which is where I modeled my initial marketing strategies and branding concepts from.
Do you have a specific message you would like to get out through your music?
Each song from the Seeking Light album is a lesson that I learned while traveling abroad. You can see the progression and morphing of my morality and comprehension. If you wish to read more and check it out, I’ll be publishing a supplement to the album called “Seeking Light Collective” which explains the philosophy and story behind each song. My personal belief is that you shouldn’t conform to the masses based on the surrounding culture without a foundation or base on actual knowledge, don’t just take someone’s word. Don’t just believe in something because everyone else does, don’t live a certain way because you’re told how to live and die, break the cycle and analyze your Sociological Structural Functionalism.
Being honest, have you ever come across any struggles in your music career?
Other than the entire thing? I’m going to truth bomb you. I can’t think of a point that hasn’t been a struggle, if I’m being honest. There’s nothing about the entertainment industry that’s easy, due to the complete over saturation. It’s very competitive and cut-throat as well. Anyone can be a musician and release professionally, but many don’t want to make it a career, which means most of us who put it all out there on the line get lost in the crowd. I’m up to $40,000 invested out’ve pocket into my project, which is why I laugh if I hear someone wants to start a band, unless they have great jobs. My music career is more of an obsession or addiction than anything. To me, it’s success or death.
When I get off work, I go home and go online to expand my social networks, try to get interviews, or draft up new marketing ideas. I don’t really go out or hang out with anyone unless someone close flies into town to visit, I don’t even go out to drink anymore. I’ve quit dating and abandoned a social life so I can focus on music with no distractions, as intense as it sounds I think it’s needed for the grind.
Several times now, I’ve spent over $500 on blank cds, burn and autograph each one, then hand them out for free at shows and festivals for hours under the hot Texas sun. I even have fan contests and mail out free merchandise, which cost me almost $300 to send out posters a few months ago. We’ve played 23 shows in less than a year with mostly national headliners and at fundraisers, even had music videos featured on over 177 global television networks.
My point is that even with all this, I still have promoters and venues turning me down or telling me I have to pay to play, I have venues in some cities like Dallas that won’t even respond back. Online merchandise sales are like pulling teeth, because people love to support with a Facebook thumbs up but they can’t spare the cash they’d spend at a fast food restaurant. That all boils down to marketing, but then you run into the need for more money eventually, after you’ve taken advantage of all the free advertising that you can. Most nationally performing bands can spend over $30,000 a year on their operation easy, so I’m ballin’ on a budget in comparison. People don’t realize that if you want to support a musician, you got to go buy their swag or jams directly from their website.
What has been one of the best experiences you have had through music?
When I played my first show in the United States with Alien Ant Farm, hands down. I partied like a rockstar before going on stage, then we killed it. I remember looking out into the crowd and seeing people singing along with me, which was a true moment of accomplishment for me. People took time out’ve their day to learn something I had created by myself at home on a completely different continent. It blew my mind.
What is up next for you?
I’m preparing to release two new music videos and also a new pop-punk single later this fall. Next year, there’s plans currently being developed to release R&B music under a separate artist name of “Corrington”. Stay tuned, donate to the Patreon, and come volunteer with us in our local community!