Colin Magalong: The Dancing King

This 23 year-old has blown me away with his artistry and blended sounds. Releasing two singles so far this year has put him on the map as someone to watch very closely… Latest single, “Melo” is a retro/funk/pop jam that sickens you with the dance bug (which is exactly Colin’s goal)

Did growing up in San Francisco inspire you?

“San Francisco was very rich in culture and diversity but I actually grew up 15 minutes south of it in kind of a bubble city. So it was a mixed experience with music. My music career there was very small, I tried to do the YouTube thing for a little bit and did covers and that was really fun, but ultimately I took all the videos down. I went to college to really hone my craft in silence in a lot of ways. I kind of just dropped off the face of the Earth, especially the internet and social media. I just wanted to take it seriously.

My parents were making me go to college, so music college was my next best bet. I’m so glad that I did and got the opportunity, because college is where I met some of my closest friends who are now running the label that I’m signed to. We’re all still very young, still learning, and growing together, and there’s been some growing pains without a doubt. But, I’m working with people that I really do love and that’s priceless.”

Who are some of your musical influences?

“In college: Alt-J, Cherub. It feels like all my peers were really into EDM or rap. Disco seemed to be like a really great middle ground where it’s still melodic and people still wanted to dance. It wasn’t such a vein genre, which I really enjoyed and I’m trying to continue to make people dance. That seems to be the best shows I’ve ever been to. That’s the dream show for me, where people are there for the music and their friends and their time, it’s not about how pretty I am, or how pretty I’m not whatever it might be.”

What can we expect this year from you?

“I moved to LA two years ago and have been writing constantly. I’ve been doing so much growing and just as a writer, not even as an artist. The songs that are on this EP have actually been in my dropbox for the last year and a half. It’s such a relief to get them finally out. ‘Bodies’ will be my next single and then you guys will get the rest of the EP and my second EP is already done. I’m really trying to get the music into the right hands and hopefully people enjoy it as much as I do.”

Tell me more about “Melo”? Any significance behind the spelling?

“It was the laziest way to write it which went hand in hand with the song; taking the easy route. Some of my friends thought it had to do with Carmelo Anthony (it doesn’t). It’s the easiest way to spell it. ‘Melo’ is about spending your night the easiest way so that’s how that came about.”

Any significant themes on the upcoming EP?

“There’s a lot of nostalgia for me. The whole EP was really the christening of my young adult life. I feel like a lot of the experiences come from me as a young man in LA trying to find out where I fit in this big city. A lot of them are just my first impressions of LA nightlife and romanticizing things that probably did not mean anything. Everything from growing pains to just being enamored by a look or the smallest things. I could take one little thing and turn it into a huge deal. Musically a lot of nostalgia. I feel like I’ve wanted to touch on a lot of the music I grew up with. My parents were big Motown and funk fans, so I wanted to bridge those two worlds. So, LA and my first couple years here really helped kind of guide these themes that I think people will appreciate.”

On living and working in LA:

“That’s what makes LA special for me, is just the talent. I tell everybody that half of my Uber drivers here are more talented than I am. Writing is really where people from all walks of life kinda get to meet on that same level. I’ve written with people from 60-17 years old – it’s a real great equalizer.

For the longest time my studio was in my apartment. It was a really scrappy bedroom setup that I think any teenager with a laptop could set up. When I’m not in my apartment, I’ll be at other people’s apartments. That’s just how I’ve been working and I know that’s how most people in LA work. Not everybody has the luxury of working at some great studios, but I think that goes to show that it’s really just all about the ideas and the people there. Technology has made it an even playing ground. People would be surprised to find out how many hit records were made in living rooms or bedrooms – it’s pretty remarkable.

I am so incredibly grateful and humbled by the people I’ve had the chance to work with. I think that you are who you hang out with and I’m just so humbled… I really am. In whatever way I can kinda put some of the spotlight on the people who help made this record a reality, I’d love to do that.”

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