Artist Interview: 1-on-1 with Coles Whalen

I am sitting here today with a true sense of the word talent.  With a voice that will knock your socks off and the musical talent that will make you sway right there in your chair, she understands what it takes to make it.  Having an image that matches her sound to a T she truly is the whole package.  And if nothing else, she is a super nice individual.  There is truly no going wrong with this woman.  Sit with me today as I introduce to you Coles Whalen.

Is Coles Whalen your real name?

Nicole Miller Whalen is my full name. Coles was my grandpa’s name and it’s been a nickname for a long time.

What is your first memory of playing the guitar?

I actually started playing guitar pretty late in life, around age 18. I practiced 6 hours a day for about a year!

When did you realize that you wanted to make a run at this thing called music?

Very early on, I’d say around age 14 when I started playing jazz in Denver.

Do you have any other jobs or is music it?

Music is it so far!

Where do you get inspiration to write a new song?

Inspiration comes from life, it can come from anywhere really. Friends, family, other art or my own personal experiences.

Who designed your MySpace? I love it.

I have a great web design team! They do all my records and my MySpace and website. You can view their work here.

Where can I get a coy of Nothing is too Much?

You can get a copy here.  We are releasing a new CD on August 7th! The Whistle Stop Road Record.

Your image matches your sound perfectly. What came first? The image or the music?

I guess they developed simultaneously, it’s just me!

PC or Mac?


Let’s say you are offered a record contract but it was someone else’s lyrics and it was a rap album. Do you do it?

Nope. That already happened actually in 2000. A producer wanted to make me into the next Alicia Keyes using all of his own material. I politely declined.

What is the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you on stage?

During an outdoor concert once the wind blew my hair over my face at exactly the same moment as I was drawing a breath. I inhaled a large strand of hair and as you can imagine the noise that I made into the microphone was not very flattering.

Who are some of your biggest influences?

Eva Cassidy, Sheryl Crow, and Carol King.

What is your favorite venue to play?

Red Rocks in Colorado!

What is the largest crowd you have ever played for?

When I was 12 the Pope visited Colorado. I got to be on stage with a children’s choir singing. It was amazing. I couldn’t see the end of the crowd.

The smallest?

The bartender.

Any thoughts on a tour this year to support that new album of yours?

We are touring like crazy and have big plans for 2010 as well! Check the MySpace for dates!

So Indiana misses you. Any plans to make it back any time soon?

We miss you too. Another Indiana date is in the works!

If you could tour with anyone on the market right now who would it be?

It would be the Zack Brown Band. They are great guys and awesome players.

If you could meet anyone alive or dead who would it be?

Right now Michael Jackson.

Let’s say you are about to headline at Madison Square Garden. Who is your opener?

Brandi Carlisle. She is one hell of a singer! And I appreciate her kindness to fans and friends.

You literally began your career selling CD’s in the back of a truck. You still drive that truck?

No I have upgraded to a fuel efficient vehicle, a Honda Fit.

What is your favorite song to play?

At the moment a new one called “Cannonball”.

Where do you see yourself in five years?


Is MySpace good or bad for musicians?

It’s been great for me!

What do you want to be remembered for when this is all over?

It’s never going to be over.

I always let the artist get the last word. Go.

If it weren’t for people like yourself we could never do what we do! Thanks for the write up, for coming to the shows, for helping us spread the word and for supporting live indie music! You’re great Ricky!