Four siblings have come together to combine their creative talents, along with others, at Green Shoe Studio in East Peoria. The business has been in operation for about one year.
Four siblings have come together to combine their creative talents, along with others, at Green Shoe Studio in East Peoria. The business has been in operation for about one year. Jacob Colgan, 29, is the producer. His siblings Aileeah Colgan, Britt Colgan and Jon Colgan also work at the studio, as well as his sister-in-law Oceanna Colgan, and Elizabeth Powell, John Powell, Irene Martin and Liam Mathis. Growing up, the Colgan siblings were nurtured in a creative environment. Jacob said he was influenced by his mother, who was a gospel singer in the '70s. At the age of 7, Jacob wrote his first song. His father, who was a preacher, encouraged his son by giving him his first guitar. “He gave me his guitar and said, 'This will keep you out of trouble.' He showed me the first four chords he knew and I took it from there,” Jacob said. “I still have that guitar, a 1973 Yamaha.” “A lot of people saw the passion I had and I was pretty successful with writing songs for bands,” he said. “Bands said since we're using some of your songs, why don't you just record us?” One of his earliest recordings was his own band in 2002 or 2003. “We literally could not afford to be in a studio. I went out and bought a computer and got some song courses and studied for like six months about how to do audio engineering,” Jacob said. Today, Jacob said he still writes songs for bands from gospel to country to rock to rap. “I want a Grammy,” he said. Jacob said the thing that sets Green Shoe Studio apart from others is his crew. Each member has a specific talent. “My brother's my right-hand man and so is my sister Aileeah,” he said. Aileeah co-writes with Jacob. His sister Britt is the production designer, who does a lot of writing at the business. She also does her own short film projects with friends. Britt said she participated in a film festival in Jacksonville, Fla., and plans to sign up for film festivals in Chicago and Des Moines. She will be looking for actors for her films. “Filming and costume design are my two passions,” she said, adding that Woody Allen is her inspiration for film. “As a child I would always do my own little documentaries, and I would force my family and friends to be in it,” she added. Eventually, Britt said she wants to write and direct her own films. “You know you've' got one shot. Our parents always told us follow what it is that you want to do,” she said. “Since my family's been so huge into music with me and showing up to every single show, it just seemed key they would work with us,” Jacob said. The crew won an award for a video they made in a contest sponsored by Modern Salon magazine. The prize was a trip to New York. “That was just awesome,” Jacob said of the trip they took this spring. However, it wasn't the first time Jacob had been out of state. Jacob has worked in Nashville, New York, Atlanta and overseas. He formerly lived in Florida and Georgia. He moved back to central Illinois about five years ago to be close to his family. Jacob and his entire crew, with the exception of one, live in Washington. After working at Caterpillar for a while, Jacob made the decision to go full-time with his business. “It was one of those things where both were suffering,” he said. The name Green Shoe came from Jacob's band. “I used to wear green shoes all the time, not because I liked green shoes, but because that's all I had. People, when I was out and about, would say, 'You're that green shoe dude.' My brother said, 'You should just call your studio that.'” In addition to Green Shoe Studio and Green Shoe Magazine, they have a record label, Green Shoe Records, that they have a few artists signed to. If a band is signed on the Green Shoe label, it doesn't cost them anything up front to record their CD, which normally costs $3,000-$5,000. Green Shoe then gets a percentage of the CD sales. Even though they sign and record bands, Jacob said they do many other things and their intention is not to compete with other area recording studios. “We do different things. We do audio books for audible.com. ... and we do video commercials. We do corporate presentation stuff. I record a lot of bands,” he said. Even though he works about 60 hours a week with his two other full-time partners, he said he feels fortunate. “It's one of them things, you know they say work hard, play harder. I feel like were fortunate, especially my team in that our work and play are both the same thing.” For more information, call 966-2087 or visit the website at greenshoestudio.com or on Facebook.