Behind the Music: Ford Corl

Ford Corl holds a microphone and plays a small keyboard while laying in a crosswalk.

Ford Corl is a musician from Reno, NV. I can’t say it any better than he did, in his “about” on his website: “Ford was stopped by Skip Bits, his future 4th grade teacher: ‘Hey, Corl! I’ll bet you 15 cakes you can’t write and record 10 albums and then throw a bowling ball in the dolphin tank at Sea World! Ford dropped his bag of hats and immediately got to work learning what music was, so he could one day record an album. Ford is a grown child now and he is still in pursuit of that goal.” We interviewed Ford Corl about his music and how he stays true to his dreams!

Ava: What drives you to make music?

Ford: It’s really an uncontrollable urge to be creative. I’d be just as happy drawing a picture, making a short film or writing a story. Music is such a great way to transform the random emotions that are darting around in my head, into something visceral and beautiful. It’s like therapy for me.

A: How did you get into music? Where do you see yourself going?

F: I was fortunate that my mom was a teacher at a fine arts middle school, so that allowed me to attend. At around 10 years old I was taking theater classes, art classes and learning to read music. Next thing you know, I’m playing recitals.

To be perfectly honest, I just enjoy creating music. In my mind I’m a “success” if I get to write songs for as long as I live. Is it better when many people like and consume your art? Yes and no. It’s a joy to make others happy with your creations, but at the same time I must first experience the joy in making the music.

A: What is your biggest inspiration? Are there any musicians you want to share?

F: I’m a huge fan of bands that were daring enough to break the molds expected of them. The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Devo and Radiohead, to name a few. For some strange reason, historical context seems to matter to me. I really enjoy that these bands were not only subversive, but they made their music exactly the way the wanted to and said “Like it or not, here is what we made!” That type of genuine art has always been very inspirational.

“It’s a joy to make others happy with your creations, but at the same time I must first experience the joy in making the music.”

A: What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned as an artist?

F: The biggest lesson I learned was to not make music for other people. You must make it to serve your own creative inspirations first. Learning this has really given me the feeling like “I can do anything. I can go in any direction. Who is going to stop me?”

A: What’s an accomplishment you’ve made in your music practice that are you’re proud of?

F: I think I’m most proud of my most recent album “The Dumb Album”. Yes I know that is a strange name for an album, but it’s very special to me. It’s also the first time I’ve ever had other musicians play on the record. I feel it’s a good mashup of everything I’ve made since 2005, with enough room for something new. It was a grind while making the record, but that just made it that much more satisfying when it was completed.

A: How do you see the internet and technology impacting your experience as a musician? What was the last piece of technology or product that changed your practice?

F: Definitely DAWs making their way to home desktops was a huge step in consumer music production. Having the ability to write, record and master in my home has made all of this possible. I most likely wouldn’t even be a songwriter if this technology didn’t exist.

A: I have heard that you made a big transition from a solo artist to someone who works with other musicians. Can you tell me about that journey, where you are now, and what you’ve gained and learned from collaboration?

F: I’ve been a bedroom recording artist since 2005. This is mostly because I never was really confident in what I was making and I was pretty bad at collaborating. The biggest accomplishment for me was finally putting together a live band and having it be a more collaborative process. All the band members take the parts I wrote and make them their own and as a result the music has taken on a new life. It’s also really really fun to play live.

You can find Ford on





and on his website.

Listen to his new album here!

By Ava Z

Ava is a UX Designer and writer for Tonic Audio.