See Your Shadow Songwriting is a musical creation entity currently based out of Phoenix, Arizona. Michael Coleman, aka The Metropolitan Cowboy, runs this unique venture. He is the artistic director of See Your Shadow Songwriting. He writes and produces all the songs created and released by See Your Shadow Songwriting. See Your Shadow was launched in Columbus, Ohio, and takes its name from Michael Coleman’s birthday being Groundhog Day. The lyrical writing style packs such a punch, that Michael has earned the distinction of being the only professional songwriter ever nominated for the office of Poet Laureate for the State of Ohio.
After primarily being known for its dance club music, and its work in film and television, See Your Shadow Songwriting rebranded itself. They decided to switch their focus and sound to their first love, Country and Western. With a new stable of vocalists and musicians, See Your Shadow Songwriting, has crafted and developed its new sound harkening back to the vivid storytelling and emotion of old school Country.
1 In Music meet with Michael Coleman to learn more about See Your Shadow Songwriting and experience.
1 In Music: What is unique about See Your Shadow?
Michael Coleman [MC]: We are a collaborative network of talented vocalists and musicians who make the songs that we create, the stars. We focus on topics often not covered in music and we truly write about what I call the human experience. While our chief focus now is contemporary Country and Western, the catalog of songs we have created span all genres. All the songs we create are written by myself either solo or in collaboration with one of our artists from the See Your Shadow Network of Stars. Our lyrical content has been singled out for its vivid imagery, so much so that I have been nominated twice to be the poet laureate for the State of Ohio where See Your Shadow was originated.
1 In Music: What or who shaped your music and who supports you?
MC: All the songs stem from my mind. I write material either based on my own personal experiences or my observations of the people and situations around me. See Your Shadow has an international fan base. We are extremely fortunate that our music has been embraced all over the world through the help of our radio partners who spin our records and support independent music. We have great fans in Europe, South America and we have had four iTunes number 1s in South Africa.
1 In Music: When did you realise you were going to make music professionally?
MC: Well I started writing seriously after I had a milestone birthday and decided that the arts was something that I wanted to pursue. It was a difficult decision because you ask yourself all the time: do you really have what it takes, you know, is the talent there. I was lucky enough to get the talent validated early on after See Your Shadow was launched when we beat out hundreds of well-known independent acts to be included on a compilation album to benefit victims of domestic violence. I turned a poem I wrote called “Four Letter Words” into an inspirational piece and we got on the album. That was a big deal, and then a few months after that I was in Nashville producing the project that got me into the Country Music Association and it was those early wins that set the tone and the path.
1 In Music: What type of music do you listen to?
MC: I love all types of music so this is a really hard question because I listen to so many different types depending on my mood. But I always find myself listening to what we call Old Skool and that is the old Rhythm and Blues and Soul and I love to 80s glam Rock and Nu Wave. If I am hanging out at a bar, I usually fill the jukebox with those three genres.
1 In Music: Who, to you, is the most undervalued music artist?
MC: Oh my goodness, there are so many. Who I don’t think gets enough credit are the session musicians that play on a lot of records. Nashville session musicians are so talented and yet nobody knows who they are. It was the same way with the Funk Brothers from the Motown days, so talented and played on so many records, but nobody can name any of them. If I had to pick someone people may know, I would say it would be probably Joan Armatrading. I could listen to her Classics record all day long. And also, why in the world is Three Dog Night not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?! I think they are undervalued as well.
1 In Music: How do you prepare for your performances?
MC: For anything we do, live performance or studio I, as the Artistic Director of See Your Shadow, am responsible for every detail. To prepare, I plan every thing out step by step and labor for hours to make sure every possible detail is attended to. I make sure that I have a Plan A, Plan B, Plan C for every possibility and anything that could go wrong.
1 In Music: What do you do when you don’t do music (creative or otherwise) and that you are passionate about?
MC: In addition to music, I am a professional photographer and filmmaker, life coach and a few other things, run a foundation. There is something else, I always seem to forget, but I always seem to be able to marry my two biggest passions which are show business and people. I love to write as well and one of the things we have coming down the turnpike is the screenplay based on our Christmas song, “Christmas on Cellblock 9“. Plus I love to travel and meet and encounter people from all over the world.
Life is meant to be lived and if I try to pack as much living into as I can.
1 In Music: Success to you is…?
MC: For me success is two fold, one creating the best art I can possibly create and having my art spark something in those that listen to it. For example, our breakout hit, “I Will Tell Jesus You Said Hello”, touched so many people and knowing that our fans and listeners found healing in that piece, that is true success. Art is meant to have an impact.
1 In Music: What do you wish you were told when you started out and that you think would help anyone who starts out?
MC: Never apologize for the art you create.
Always believe in your work even if nobody else does.
Also, your work will be heard by those who are meant to hear it. Your job is to create the work and let the chips fall where they may.
1 In Music: Any upcoming projects?
MC: Yes, our latest single, “Showdown” will be hitting all of the platforms. It will be out officially on September 24th, though it is already being played on our radio partners. The music video is out with over 100,000 views. Moving into the Holiday season, you can look for us be really pushing “Christmas on Cellblock 9” in anticipation of the writing of the screenplay.
1 In Music: Thank you for talking to us. Where do we find all See Your Shadow’s music projects?
MC: You can always find us on all of the streaming platforms, Spotify, iTunes, Amazon and I would encourage folks to subscribe to The Metropolitan Cowboy YouTube Channel. You can look for See Your Shadow on Facebook as well, and of course our flagship website…