With his rising stardom through Turtle Underground, an obvious choice for this week’s Campus Celeb is none other than Colin Flanders, otherwise known by his stage name, Blunder. I volunteered to interview Colin this week because we go way back (all the way to elementary school!) as we both hail from the small town of Schuylerville, New York.
Colin began writing lyrics in his 11th grade pre-calculus class with his best friend, Sebastian Hennessy. Together they formed the group Pawn Shop (Colin being Pawn and Sebastian being Shop). While Colin may have gotten a 70 in pre-calc, it was through the creation of Pawn Shop that he found his true calling. The group began recording in the basement of their friend, Zach Miller, with only a USB microphone they got at Best Buy for around $50. Together, Pawn Shop recorded 10 songs before Colin “Justin Timberlaked,” and decided to go out on his own, claiming that he was, “a lot more into the music” than Sebastian was. After the breakup of Pawn Shop, Colin needed a new stage name and finally arrived at Blunder. When asked how he came about this name, Colin explained that “growing up I used to play baseball. With my last name being Flanders, my teammates would call me Flunders and then when I would make a mistake they called me Blunder. I chose Blunder as my name to keep me humble and to stick to my roots.”
As a rap artist, Colin has many musical influences. While he said there are too many to name, some of his biggest influences include Kendrick Almar, Big L, Nas, J. Cole, Chuuwee, J. Dilla, and Eminem (whose album, The Marshall Mathers LP, was the first CD Colin owned). When I asked him what inspires him to write, Colin told me that it “can be anything from walking down the street to sitting in Alliot to sitting in class, even looking at a tissue box. It’s what I love about music and writing, inspiration can come from anywhere.” When I asked him how he wants to inspire others with his music, Colin said “I put my real thoughts and feelings into my music so I want people to get a sense of who I really am. Music is pretty much all I got.”
At Saint Mike’s Colin is a journalism major. Although journalism will not guarantee him a career, studying a writing-intensive field helps Colin in writing his own music. However, music is created by more than just lyrics; an actual beat has to go behind it. Colin gets his music from multiple sources, some are famous beats, some come from producers that no one has heard of, and some are from his friend Zach Miller, whose producing name is Paradox. When asked about future plans, Colin handles the question with ease. Besides keeping up with schoolwork, Colin plans to keep making music. In the near future, Colin is releasing an EP with all original beats by Paradox, which he will be selling it around campus for $5. He’s also contacted a few people about getting shows in New Hampshire, Saratoga Springs, NY, and Burlington. As for long-term goals, Colin’s dream is to get noticed by a big record label and sign a deal with them. If a music career doesn’t pan out his backup plan is to become a foreign correspondent.
Saint Mike’s has helped to launch Colin’s (or should I say Blunder’s) music career. Although Colin started recording at age 16, it wasn’t until last year at Turtle Underground that he finally got to perform live. His first gig at Turtle Underground was with The Big Dirty (another campus group that had most of its members graduate last year).“The whole college atmosphere has helped spread my music to peers and everyone here is really supportive of the music,” Colin says.
The last question I had for Colin was, so far, what has been your favorite song that you’ve done? He answered “Stay True. It’s a song about my mom and my dad and my very different relationships with each of them. Plus, the beat Paradox made is awesome.” As the questions die down and the interview comes to a close, we start talking about old friends and how we’ve been. I ask him if there is anyone he would like to give a shout-out to. He says just to put down AC, K.O. and the Harkinator. Just before I close my notebook he quickly adds, “And you of course.” So I will rightfully take my shout out because, after all, I did give him his first interview.