Colton Ford’s new album, Permission, covers a wide spectrum of narratives, from lustful encounters to falling in love, love lost, and dealing with infidelity. The compilation of contemporary R&B and Pop songs also carries messages on aging and coming out of the closet. “The album’s title track, Permission, is about being who we are born to be and living authentic lives that do not require anyone’s permission but our own,” Ford explains. Some of the stories - like “Won’t Look Back,” a song about a difficult relationship Ford experienced years ago - come directly from Ford’s own diary. Others are simply observational. Then there are sexy little romps like “Handle It,” the album’s first single release, songs that are fun, provocative and romantic.
“‘Handle It’ is the kind of ooey gooey R&B song that I love,” Ford gushes. Producer Spin Sista created the track, hook and first verse. Ford wrote the second verse and bridge, then organized the song and arranged all of his vocals. From there, Spin Sista recreated a whole new track and added additional background vocals.
The song’s playfulness is echoed in its video. Filmed at The Barracks and Snap Studios in Palm Springs, the “Handle It” video features the artist with his real-life porn star friends Drew Sebastian, Mack Austin, and Macho Dog. The men take on the roles of go-go boys at a gay underground nightclub who can’t keep their hands out of each other’s jocks. “There was intense chemistry between the four of us, and you see it, especially in the explicit version of the video,” Ford laughs.
Ford contends that the highly sexualized scenes in the video affirm the trend of cross-generational sexuality. Two of the men, including Ford, are 60, one man is in his forties and the other is in his thirties. “I think it’s wonderful that men in different stages of their lives are finding common ground on the dancefloor and in bedrooms,” Colton Ford says. “Giving ourselves permission to explore ourselves and our lives, including the wonderful experiences we share with others as we move through it, is liberating!
No Time to Waste
PHOTO BY HERBERT POUCHES
Permission begins with “Don’t Stop,” a song about a hot and cold, push-then-pull relationship where one person refuses to commit wholeheartedly to their lover. The second song, “No Time To Waste,” is about being in a same-sex relationship with someone who is struggling to come out. “You (Don’t Wanna Wait)” reflects on someone who is eager to take things to the next level and “You Told Me So” is about aging and no longer having the stamina to party all night long. “Handle It” is about sex and hooking up and “Triflin’” is a call-out to dirty players who cheat.
That Don’t Make It Right
PHOTO BY JOE OPPEDISANO
The seventh track on the album, “That Don’t Make It Right,” also ruminates on infidelity, while “Won’t Look Back” compels listeners to walk away from dysfunctional relationships. It leads to the title track and then “In The Morning,” and “Amazing,” two love songs, and the final track, “Destiny”, about pursuing life’s dreams and not giving up until you achieve them.
It is a credo that Colton Ford lives every day. He’s been making music for four decades. In the 90’s, he was signed to Grammy-nominated producer/songwriter Denise Rich's production company, MIDE Productions, and had two deals with Virgin, the first of which had him paired up with the Godfather of House Music, Frankie Knuckles.
PHOTO BY KEVIN HOOVER
He’s released five full-length albums since: Tug of War, Under the Covers, The Way I Am, Glenn Soukesian, and his new release, Permission. He has also released two EP’s, Next Chapter and Unity, and numerous Billboard charting singles, including “The Way You Love Me,” “That’s Me,” “Losing My Religion,” “Let Me Live Again,” and “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” with dance diva Pepper Mashay.
His collaborators include Frankie Knuckles, Chris Willis (David Guetta), Nervo (Kelly Rowlands, Kesha, Britney Spears), Wawa (Kylie Minogue), Redtop (Beyoncé, Taio Cruz), Larry Peace (Prince) and Erik Griggs (Jordan Sparks, Chris Brown) as well as his current creative partners, Spin Sista and The Real RJS.
In addition to his own numerous Top 10 music videos,Colton Ford was featured in Cyndi Lauper’s video for her hit single, “Into The Nightlife,” and he performed on the Lauper-helmed 2008 True Colors Tour. He was also a featured singer on Chris Reece and Mischa Daniels’ 2010 albums on Armada Music (The Divine Circle and Where You Wanna Go), writing the toplines for “Tonight” and “The Story.” Colton was also named in AfterElton.com’s Top 50 Gay Male Musicians.
On the big and small screens, Colton Ford was the subject of the acclaimed 2003 documentary, Naked Fame, and has had cameos in the films Another Gay Sequel by Todd Stephens and John Schlesinger’s The Next Best Thing starring Madonna and Rupert Everett. He co-starred for three seasons playing Sheriff Trout on Here! TV’s The Lair, and was a featured panelist on the channel’s resident chat fest, Threesome.
PHOTO BY KEVIN HOOVER
On stage, Ford made his off-Broadway debut in 2012’s Little House on the Ferry, and in 2018, he co-starred in Studio C’s Production of Howard David Rivers’ critically acclaimed play, And All The Dead, Lie Down, in Hollywood, California.
In 2019, Colton Ford launched Woop Woop Productions with Spin Sista and The Real RJS.