Coleman strives to put Toledo on musical mapWritten by Justin R. Kalmes | | firstname.lastname@example.org
She flirted with pop culture stardom more than four years ago, but Candice Coleman wants the world to know there’s more to her than an appearance on a hit reality television show.
“I still get a lot of people that say, ‘You’re that “American Idol” girl,’ which is kind of flattering, really,” said Coleman, a Toledo native who was one of the final 32 contestants on the show’s second season, which aired in early 2003. “There’s just a lot more depth to me than that ‘American Idol’ girl.”
For starters, Coleman, 27, has married and given birth to her second child, 4-month-old Cole. But she hasn’t given up on her dream of a career in the music industry, and recently rekindled her “Idol” flames by traveling to New York City for a taping of “American Idol Rewind,” a behind-the-scenes look at the parent show.
Though she hesitantly described her trip as “enjoyable,” Coleman said she participated in the recap show to thank producers for the opportunity to showcase her singing ability.
“I felt very blessed to have been able to make it as far as I did,” she said. “It gave me a sense of confidence I hadn’t had before that I still hold on to.”
Coleman shies from defining her musical career by the “Idol” appearance, but said, “It was a big step in the right direction.” She refrains from tying her name to the show, however, she said concert promoters tend to do the exact opposite.
“I’m actually a songwriter. That’s what I do,” Coleman said.
Marriage and having two children — Cole and 8-year-old Harrison — have slowed Coleman’s push toward a music career, she said, but they have also inspired her to work harder at reaching her goal.
“If nothing else, it’s made me more motivated to get out there,” said Coleman, who described her sound as being “anywhere from country to hard rock.” “That inspiration has been renewed since I’ve had [Cole].
“I’m going to attack this with more vigor than ever.”
Coleman recently completed a demo with hopes to produce a full-length record, and performs regularly at local venues. She said she enjoys performing, but is frustrated that Toledo doesn’t embrace original artists.
“For whatever reason, Toledoans don’t want to support original talent,” Coleman said. “I’ve even had to start playing cover songs for four hours because that’s what sells,” she said.
Coleman remains in Toledo not only because of family ties, but also because she believes in the talent of the area’s artistic community.
“Toledo has an immense amount of talent, and it’s in a relatively small area,” she said, noting she believes the city has the resources to become a music hotbed similar to Seattle or Nashville.
Too many talented musicians or artists, Coleman said, have had to leave for other areas because it’s tough to have a career in this field being based in Toledo.
“Everybody’s leaving here, and we can’t let that happen,” she said. “My number-one goal is to bring the spotlight on Toledo.”
Coleman’s top priority remains taking care of her young family, but she said she is more focused than ever on her songwriting. She said she has several projects lined up, but declined to elaborate on what those undertakings would entail. She said she would continue to pursue every avenue to someday make a living off her music.
“I’m going to keep knocking down doors until I get in,” Coleman said.