Connor Snow grew up in Maui, but moved to LA to follow his musical calling. He’s arrived with “Going Down,” a song that mines days with simple storylines for their sweetness. If sung with a twang you could imagine this as a pop-country song. But instead it's like cream cheese on your everything bagel. Snow learned how to play the ukulele by watching videos of legend Jake Shimabukuro, before graduating to the guitar and piano.
Now he’s producing music that could find a home on the radio while you eat Applebee’s or shop with your girlfriend at Forever 21. Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if it showed up while I was waiting for my burger at Shake Shack. There’s no M. Night Shyamalan twist, and you probably never wanted it. The words tell the story you hope is around the corner. And there’s just a tad of harmony exactly where you’d suspect. It make me think of cute couple taking selfies on Hermosa Beach — she in a simple floral print dress, he in Hollister jeans and a branded T-shirt. This is music you let distract yourself from your high school math homework. You won’t be surprised to learn Snow is influenced by Usher, Neyo, Bruno Mars and Justin Timberlake. If pop is your thing then you will consider this a great foray into that universe.
Listen to "Going Down" here, and learn more about Connor in our interview below!
When did you know you wanted to pursue music seriously?
I guess had my first inkling at the end of high school. I was gigging quite a bit around Maui at restaurants, hotels, local events, anywhere that would give me a shot. I remember thinking “Man, how awesome would it be to have this be my job”. But I was still set on the idea that school was what I was supposed to be doing. So then a few frustrating years went by, during which I became so stressed out and depressed about my own apathy towards the path that school seemed to be taking me down. I realized that the only thing I consistently loved doing was making music in my dorm room at the end of every day. I distinctly remember watching the video of Jim Carrey giving that commencement speech at Maharishi University in which he said “You can always fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.” That concept resonated SO clearly with me, it was like he’d given life to the exact feeling I was wrestling with inside. Within the year, I left college and moved to California.
How do you come up with relevant themes for your songs?
Obviously, events in my life or emotions that I’m feeling personally are often a starting point. But honestly, I’ve found that some of my best writing comes from talking to other people and writing about what they’re going through (with their permission, of course). I’ve always found it to be so fulfilling to give voice to what someone else is thinking or experiencing, to find words that perfectly encapsulates their experience. It makes me feel like I’m using music to do good instead of just using it for success, because I know that music has the power to heal and provide closure or validation to someone who’s going through some rough shit.
Is there a difference between the musical worlds of Hawaii and Los Angeles?
Sure! I’d say that because music itself is intrinsically tied to culture in Hawaii, it feels more wholesome, more like a tradition that carries weight. In LA, the attitude is decidedly more polished and business-like because it’s such an industry.
Seems like the music you play is quite a crowded field. What will you do to stand out?
Truthfully, I don’t worry about standing out anymore. I’ve learned that trying to stand out is an easy way to either be manipulated or simply become something you never wanted to be in the first place. I think when you just focus on being genuine, when you allow your art (and by extension your character) to speak for itself, you find your little patch of sunlight. So my goal as an artist is to just be authentic, to treat people with respect and love as often as I can and to speak my truth as best as I can. At the end of the day, it comes down to the music.
Imagine a crazy plot twist to your career trajectory that none of your peers would expect. What happens?
Hmmm plot twist...I discover a previously dormant but enduring love for opera, move to Italy, and after a lengthy and arduous apprenticeship become a world famous tenor
What's next for you through 2019?
Shows, shows and more shows! This year I just want to get out and play everywhere I can. I’ve also started working on some new music that I’m really excited about, so I’m preparing to release some of that while we’re out on the grind. I think It’s going to be a really fun year!
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