We had the good fortune of connecting with Wellington Bullings and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Wellington, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I live a creative life because it makes me happy. It brings me joy to create beauty in this chaotic world, and then live my life in it. I believe that creativity is vital to our mental and emotional health because it allows a space for expression. Without art and expression, we can’t fully explore ourselves or the world authentically.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My goal is to create music that has a positive impact on those who listen to it. I always hope that when I write a song, my listeners will feel instantly soothed. I’m very particular about the sound that I want and I only go for ideas that I like. There’s no point in trying to be a “people pleaser “when it comes to the creative process, so I go with what feels and sounds right to me. I think that what sets me a part in this industry, is the authenticity in my work and my background in Jazz. I’m predominately trained in Jazz, and I think for the most part I think like a jazz musician when it comes to my vocal stylizations and musical sensibilities. I think Jazz is one of the most honest art forms. There’s no “fluff” to Jazz ( when it’s done right). Of course it can be commercially accepted, but the improvisational aspect of it makes it so unabashedly honest and real. I aim to be that honest in my writing. When I’m writing a new song I don’t try to force a certain sound or vibe. I write from the heart and then I structure it from there. It’s important to be yourself.
I’m very excited about a new collection of songs that I will be releasing soon. One in particular is my new single titled “Flame” that will be released this Spring. The song is about celebrating the beauty, power, and resilience of black people. It has been a very difficult year for everyone (especially black people) and I long to put out an uplifting and positive message. Recently, I shot my first music video for the song and I can’t wait to share it!
I’ve worked very hard to get to where I am today. There have certainly been many bumps in the road. Some people say you have to “pay your dos” to get to where you want to be. All I know is that I certainly have…from playing gigs that don’t pay anything to working with people who try to take advantage of me, to endless rejection…you name it! However, the music is my saving grace. I’m happiest when I’m writing music, because I feel at peace with myself. One thing I’ve learned along the way is that you have to trust your vision, even when it feels uncomfortable. I’ve had to get out of my comfort zone to discover more about who I am as an artist… it can be scary….but it’s worth it.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
First day, I would take them to the Denver Central Market for brunch because they have everything, and their lattes are delicious! Next, I would take them to the Santa fe first Friday Art fest to check out all of the beautiful local art! In the evening we would have dinner at U.S Thai Cafe in Edgewater because it’s absolutely yummy and their “thai hot” is actually HOT (which is rare to find in Colorado believe it or not). After dinner we would get a few cocktails at Union Lodge No. 1, because it’s a cute classy bar where you can get anything from a classic old fashioned done right or something more adventurous. Next day we would go to the Denver Art Museum or Clifford Stills museum because you just can’t get enough art! For lunch we’ll walk to Parsley to have scrumptious sandwiches. Throughout the week we would visit Cheeseman park, Denver Botanic Gardens, and local live music at Dazzle Jazz Lounge. If there’s a great band playing I’d love to take them to Red Rocks, because that venue is so special. Listening to your favorite artist/band while surrounded by the most gorgeous rocks and mountains is a must!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are so many people who deserve a shoutout in my life but I’ll narrow it down to one for the time being. My first singing teacher Ayo Awosika gets the shoutout! She has been such a supportive teacher, friend, and mentor to me over the years. I started taking lessons from her when I was fifteen years old and we have been friends ever since. She accompanied me at my first singing audition, helped me write my first composition, and taught me how to sing my first jazz standards. Her level of musicianship and authenticity has always inspired me. Plus she is the kindest and funniest human being you’ll ever meet. She is now doing amazing things in LA and writes beautiful music. Please check her out. You won’t be disappointed!
Purple jumpsuit singing pic: Taken by Benjamin Buren Photos in the field & pink building: taken by Meg Macdonald