Gregory Douglass: Controlling His Own 'Lucid' Dreams | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio
Filed Under:

Gregory Douglass: Controlling His Own 'Lucid' Dreams

As 2011 winds down, Morning Edition is looking at music we missed over the past 12 months. Gregory Douglass is a pianist and guitarist from a small town in Vermont who blends electronic pop with folk and rock. At 31, he has already recorded eight albums, most of them released on a label he founded.

Douglass creates the sort of textured sound that you'd think comes from a big-budget studio, but he's on his own. His fans pre-order his albums before they're recorded, which helps pay his production costs. His latest is titled Lucid.

"Lucid is a dream-themed concept album, and it's ... it really is this constant evaluation of dreams versus reality," Douglass tells NPR's Linda Wertheimer. "And sometimes the lines are really blurred, so I wanted to kind of set a lot of that to music."

As Douglass says, he was fascinated by the idea of dreams that he himself could control — and, as an independent artist, he knows that being in control has its ups and downs. He can retain autonomy over his own sound, but at the cost of potential major exposure. That struggle can be heard in his lyrics.

"I think every independent artist is deep down still dreaming of what it is to be a rock star, but I'm constantly trying to figure out how to measure my own success," Douglass says.

At one time, Douglass was trying to figure out his image. He's been openly gay to friends and family for years, but says he wasn't sure if he should promote himself as a gay musician.

"I was sitting down, having a coffee date with one of Burlington, Vermont's premier drag queens, Yolanda, and she said to me, 'You know, I don't think you should come out as a gay artist quite yet. You're one of the few artists that I feel has a lot of mainstream potential,' " Douglass says. "And I thought that that was interesting: You know, I figured if a drag queen is telling me this, I probably ought to take it seriously."

But he eventually did come out to his fans, and he says that's part of the reason he has been careful about letting anyone but himself define who he is as an artist.

"That translates back to sexual identity, but it also rings true with being an artist," Douglass says. "And the trade-off is really that I don't necessarily have that great of exposure, yet. But I have my artistic integrity."

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Jon Stewart's Replacement Is Unlikely Choice For 'The Daily Show'

"The Daily Show" replaces departing host Jon Stewart with South African comedian Trevor Noah. He is a relatively unknown comedian and an unlikely choice for the program.
NPR

Our Food-Safety System Is A Patchwork With Big Holes, Critics Say

More than a dozen federal agencies play a part in keeping food from making Americans sick. Critics say the system has gaps, and we'd all be safer if federal food safety efforts were under one roof.
WAMU 88.5

Maryland Lawmaker Criticizes Baker's Proposal To Raise Taxes For Schools In Prince George's County

Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker wants a roughly 15 percent hike for next year, but a fellow Democrat in Prince George's County is trying to stop him.
NPR

Bringing Internet To The Far Corners Of The Earth

About 5 billion people are mostly or entirely disconnected from the Internet. So to capitalize on this opportunity, Google and Facebook have begun high-profile campaigns to connect the unconnected.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.