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Athletic, Sensitive Singer Songwriter Dan Godlin Entertains at Marshall Stadium Saturday
Based in New York City, Godlin released a full-length album, Loving on Empty in 2012 and an EP, In Between this past April. He recently released a new single, "Summer Roads", which premiered on American Songwriter a couple weeks ago. His music has been featured on MTV and the E! Channel's "Keeping Up with the Kardashians".
His songs include "Loving on Empt,," "Did She Look" (speculating about whether an attractive woman on the street actually looked at him), "Dance Baby", "Lay Down" and "Unsure".
He just returned from Chicago where he opened for Tyler Hilton and Ryan Cabrera at the House of Blues. Last month, Dan opened for Howie Day in Boston.
His lyrical, emotionally intense style has evolved from a romantic side during high school to songs about undertaking a journey in life. HNN recently spoke with him via e-mail, asking about balancing his strengths in both football and music, about adjusting to celebrity status, about role models, and his connections to Marshall.
HNN: Congratulations on your success. Looking back at how the masculinity of football conflicts with the sensitivity of song writing and music, how do you explain development of traits that are often opposites?Thank you! It's hard to explain how I developed opposite traits, but I can say I've always been able to channel both sides of the coin pretty well. As a high school football captain, I was conscious not to let my sensitive side show too often because it's a tough sport and I felt that a football leader needs to exude more of that masculine energy, on and off the field. So, during that time, I kept music under the radar... but those who knew me well, knew that deep down I've always been the sensitive, "never-hurt-a-fly" kind of guy. I'm lucky I was able to tap into my aggressive side when I needed to.
HNN: Whether playing ball or in the spotlight, do you feel --- especially due to your 20 something age --- any pressure to be a role model? If so, how do you attempt to be one? If not, why do you feel it does not matter?
I wouldn't say there's "pressure" to be a role model, rather there's a responsibility that comes along with the territory. When you choose to put yourself in the spotlight, you are choosing to take on that role. It's become engrained in my everyday life, and not so much something I think about. I try to live my lifestyle in the way I feel most comfortable, but I'm also aware that my actions have consequences, so that awareness certainly keeps me in line. At the end of the day... I do what I do to connect with people, so there's always a sense of leadership and responsibility in that.
Did any of the athletic team members "bully" you or poke fun due to your artistic expressions?
Not for the artistic expression, but believe it or not, for my red hair! Some guys would joke around about me being a "ginger" or "carrot top", but it never got to me. Here's tip: A bully's main purpose is to get a reaction. Just don't give them one, and you win.
RECALLING THIS STATEMENT:
"a 23 year old dreamer who croons like Jason Mraz, hugs like a best friend and embodies a magnetic, good-guy charm reminiscent of a male version of Taylor Swift…"
What thrust you from the stream of romantic songs to a more life's journey flair? Have you gotten over the break up with the H.S. sweet heart, how did you get through it?
Songwriting changes as we change. I guess I grew older and came across some of life's more pressing questions as a young man entering the "real world". The romantic songs will always be there, but I felt I needed to focus on the whole "where do we go from here" question that lingers in the minds of the 20-somethings. Yes, I've definitely gotten over that love relationship. All I needed was time, and I certainly got it.
Many successful entertainers compliment those who mentored them and said never give up, what about for those not so fortunate...how would you encourage those that do not have a strong support group?
Believe in yourself. That is the #1 most important rule. If you don't believe in yourself, who will? Support will come when you take yourself very seriously and pursue what you love no matter the obstacles. It may sound cliche, but trust me it's true. Stay positive and stay motivated... and you will be successful.
How did you happen to get booked at MU? Are you familiar with the movie and plane crash?
One of my biggest fans works at Marshall and had me play there for "Week Of Welcome" last year. I'm very fortunate to be back! Yes, I'm definitely familiar with the movie, and it's actually a favorite of mine. Beyond the obvious tragedy that occurred there, "We Are Marshall" is a story of strength, resilience, love, and pride. One of the most inspiring stories I've ever heard.
Finally, you interact well with fans and media. However, as "stars" rise some become reclusive. Where is the balance between what you give up for FAME and what you retain for PRIVACY?
Of course I do! Without fans and media, I have no career... I'm all about interacting and keeping that line of communication wide open because that's just who I am. I'll let you know how the balance between FAME and PRIVACY works if I ever have that issue (laughs) I'm in a good place right now.
Similarly, do you have boundaries on writing about personal events...i.e. how would you "disguise" a real person in your song, or would you? (I'm thinking of the gal who writes a song about every guy she breaks up with?)
I make sure to keep boundaries where boundaries need to be kept. I would never disclose the name of someone I wrote about in an unsettling heartbreak song, because I feel that's a little disrespectful to the person. As a songwriter, I have the responsibility to make my art, but also to be respectful of the process and the other people who may have inspired that art. There's always a classy way.
For more information on Dan, please visit his website: http://dangodlin.com/.