Self. It’s a prefix that usually sends musicians to the bottom of the pile. Try telling Lee Coulter that. Self-produced, self-released, self-managed he became an exception to the rule this year when his DIY debut album saw three singles reach rotation on Sirius XM’s The Coffee House (who also named him the Discovery of 2011) and major San Diego AAA station, KPRI FM.
In Australia, Coulter started out producing and writing for other artists out of his bedroom, but after he moved from the beaches of Queensland to the coast of California, he tried getting in front of the mic himself and was hooked.
His audiences liked it too and they soon had him playing at top San Diego venues. After releasing his first album, he headed out on the road, touring the US for the next 9 months, playing for audiences from Hawaii to New York City. His song, “Booty Voodoo” became a hit on the Internet after being called “The Song of the Summer” by C.C. Chapman, host of the number 1 podcast on iTunes, Accident Hash. The tour inspired him to make his base in San Diego and build on his momentum. Unfortunately, things don’t always go according to plan and Coulter took a hit with the rest of the economy when live music became a luxury to most.
Ironically, in February 2011, at the same time finances forced him, his wife and their toddler son out of their Encinitas apartment, Coulter’s socio-political single, “I Would Love”, went national on Sirius XM’s popular songwriter channel, The Coffee House. It was soon joined by “Photograph”, another track from the debut and they both remain on the airwaves today. And then, when KPRI called to tell him they’d added “Booty Voodoo” into rotation as well, he knew he had no choice but to head back into the studio and get back to work.
Coulter began writing music when he was a teen helping his unemployed single mother raise his younger sisters. For him, it was a mechanism to help lift spirits, a vehicle to be used in the pursuit of happiness – an idea still obvious and necessary in his music today.
After a whirlwind of writing and recording while couch surfing and gigging along the West Coast, “Mr Positivity” is more introspective and raw than his last album, but Coulter hopes that his fans will appreciate the emotional vulnerability mixed with his trademark optimism. After all, Hope is his middle name. No really, it is.