Tell us about yourself.
My name is Conner Edmunds and I grew up in California moving to Boston for school and then Nashville for music.
Tell us about yourself as an artist.
I started releasing songs under “Callen” because my middle name is Allen. I like the ring of it and also didn’t want to think too hard about a band name.
Tell us about the genre of your music.
The genre of my music is best described as indie-pop because of its mixture of electronic and acoustic elements surrounding poppy vocal melodies.
Tell us about the story behind your song.
This song in particular was a fun co-write and collaboration with Evan Jenkins. It started out with a lyrical concept way out in the left field and very hip hop then turned into this ballad that’s not really saying “I love you,” but it’s saying “I’ve loved you for a while now and it took leaving to realize it.” When we were writing it I was picturing two kids growing up together as best friends in a “middle of nowhere esq town.” When they both move away; it takes missing each other for them to realize they should give love a try.
Tell us about the problems you are facing as a musician.
The problems I faced as a musician yesterday are a lot different from today; in fact, they are completely different and new every day. Every real successful musician these days is an entrepreneur; using creativity to take on new challenges of the music biz. An interesting problem I’m facing right now is on my first release – “Silver & Gold.” A lot of bloggers and curators got back to me with “too pop.” It’s an interesting problem to have and can be interpreted in so many different ways.
Tell us about the recording and production of the song.
“Silver & Gold” started out with a kind of melancholic piano progression that I had been singing “I’m ready to let go” over. I wasn’t really trying to write anything in particular. I was just trying to write about a moment of clarity I had recently come to in my life. In terms of recording and production, I developed this song by making loops and letting them develop over time. Once that was done I turned it into an arrangement and recording real instrumentation over it. I had a few friends come in and help me with instrumental ideas. I ended up chopping up their ideas to make new ones. It was fun to work without a deadline and have a community work on a project.
List the names of blogs, radio, or TV stations that have supported you so far.
So far this will be the first blog besides Eternity Network to support “Silver & Gold”! So thank you so much. There are some local stations out in Nashville I’ll be going on for “Silver & Gold” in the coming weeks so I am excited for that. Audiotoxblog also just shared Silver & Gold!
Tell us more about your music career, experience, and future goals.
My music career is still in its beginning phase, but I’ve learned a lot in the past few years and am still learning a ton every day just by working with other people and attacking the new challenges artists face. My goals as an artist are to tell a hectic story through video and music and eventually connect everything I release, all in the process of reinventing myself.
Brief us what inspires you to write, compose and sing.
On a regular, my motivation to create is more like a need. Creating music is a release that I would not be able to survive without, and I’m sure it’s the same way with a ton of other artists. What inspires lyrics for me most of the time are moments of clarity in looking back on life. (A-ha moments) When these happen I just become a lot more self-aware and it makes it really easy to write it out with taste.
Brief us the top-secret behind making a hit song.
I wish I knew the answer to what the secret is to “making a hit song,” but I am yet to write a hit. If I had to guess it’s a juicy sweet relatable spin on a cliché turned into a hook.
Tell us the piece of advice you will give to an upcoming artist.
My advice to any upcoming artist is to work hard on making your vision come to life, but don’t abandon your friends along the way. Music is not the only part of life that’s great. Invest in other people as much as you invest in yourself.
Discuss at length your music careers, albums, songs, tours, recognition, or awards you might have obtained.
My career in music includes a fair amount of DIY touring with “The American Indie,” whom I play drums for as a permanent member. We’ve been lucky enough to have one of our songs reposted by Alexrainbirdmusic and a couple of other bloggers that have given us a good start on generating a Spotify following. We are planning on releasing another EP in the near future with some bangers on it so that is exciting. As a drummer, I’ve played for various artists and cover bands, and everything has been a great learning experience. I also play drums currently for a group called “Fontaine.” We are planning a release fairly soon on some songs that have been in the works for a really long time so that is also exciting. Go over to Facebook and follow both of these bands!
Tell us how you write your lyrics, compose, sing and record in the studio.
I have a process as a producer now that changes fairly often, but stays within a certain template. There are a few constants in my flow. Most producers might be against this, but I am usually mixing a little bit and making post-production tweaks as I am creating things part by part. Mixing as I’m producing just helps me see and hear what I am really going for. At the end of the day, the whole process is done quicker! For the past few months, I always start songs by just playing on an upright piano. When I’m writing lyrics in that process I write whatever immediately comes to my mind down and put it on the scrappage (usually the left page) and then writing actual lyrics on the right page. I always write down where the song is coming from, and am very literal with it because that helps me write with clarity.
Name the artists you are willing to collaborate with.
There are numerous artists I’d like to collaborate with. Two artists I currently can’t stop listening to and would love to work within any capacity are “Great Good Fine Ok” and “Before You Exit.” If you haven’t heard of them then go check them out on Spotify, you won’t be disappointed! I also have been listening to a new artist named “Shallou” a lot lately. The productions coming from that artist are real smooth and actually make it really easy for me to focus on anything haha. So thank you Shallou!
State the links to your social networks and stores for the purchase of your songs.
Tell us about your happiest day and saddest day.
My saddest day is definitely when my tiny little scrumptious Boston Terrier bird-eating dog died. My happiest day would currently be settling into Nashville. It still feels surreal. I love that city so much.
Tell us about your song.
“Silver & Gold” is a song about anxiety & clarity.
Tell us how you manage other activities with your music career.
I and my friends all have a saying “my life is in shambles”.
Tell us, five artists, you can regard as legends.
Blackbear, Muse, Prince, Nirvana, The 1975.
Tell us your future plans pertaining to music.
My future plans pertaining to music include releasing a ton of it and making a ton of video! I plan on making collaborative releases more common among indie rock and indie pop. I’ve noticed those are just more popular with Hip-Hop; it’s subgenera and pop.
Tell us what you think about creativity and originality in music.
Originality is sweet when it sounds good. It’s pretty hard to come by anything purely original these days because there are so many genres saturating the music industry. I love an original sound design on commercial music. I think Zedd is one of my favorite producers in terms of sound design. His new song (a great collaboration) is a banger. All of that being said, I don’t think it’s so crucial. I think you can still make a great song with sounds that are current. I think it’s better to not tie yourself down to ideas like the importance of being “original” when creating a song. It kind of ruins the flow if you are stressing out about something like that. Originality comes on so many different levels and I don’t think you can force “tasteful” originality.
Tell us the major reason you are into music.
I am into music because of its ability when done right to completely change someone’s life.
Tell us your view on old school music and new school music in terms of preference.
I make it a goal for myself to discover at least 10 songs a day. Spotify makes that real easy. I’m usually listening to modern music and things that are coming out now, but I am obsessed with Ray Charles. That’s been a thing for a while.
Tell us your most memorable day as an artist.
My most memorable day as an artist would be sitting down and listening to “The American Indie’s” first EP on big speakers after it was completely done. It was one of those “a-ha” moments I was talking about earlier. I was able to hear continuity within those 5 songs. I feel like we were both stressing the idea of the whole EP having a character that ties all the songs together, and listening to all the songs so many times in the creative process made it really hard to make any subjective statements from a listening perspective. I think that continuity and character or as most people call it “having a sound” can’t be forced or honed, but it can be supported after discovery.
Tell us what you would do for the people if you found yourself in a position of power.
If I found myself in a position of power I’d reinvent Woodstock, but this is why I’m not into politics. Since having one million dollars would be considered a position of power, I’d take the first $500,000 and either start a foundation for music in third world countries or give it to a foundation that is already doing it like Playing for Change.