We had the good fortune of connecting with Connor Hanlon and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Connor, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I make music because if I didn’t I think I would loose my f***** mind. I have had music floating around my head for as long as I can remember, when I was a child I wander aimlessly through the creek behind my parents house in Missouri, singing to myself. I know that there is something sublime in both my body and mind and it needs to be shared with the world.
I, like many musicians in Los Angeles, have a day job, as the cost of living in LA is atrocious. For several years of my mid 20s I essentially put music away. When I wasn’t performing because I wanted to make more money and climb up the coreprate ladder, I became depressed, anxious, and just plain off. It has taken me a few years to understand how to pursue music, how to make some money off of it, juggle the day job, afford the rent, and be happy. I am still a work in progress, but somehow I have found the strength/wisdom/courage to put on shows, record my own projects, run live sound for events, and to make it all work. I do not know where this is going, I may never be able to fully support myself with music, but I feel like at 29, the time is now, and I never felt in a better place with all of it.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I think what sets me apart from others is the breath of my music. I pull from classical choral music, folk, rock, techno, ambient genres, experimental, world music (especially Irish, Middle Eastern, and Indian music) and I some how have found a way to fuse them together. While I have a lot of influences, I am and forever shall be a squarely pop artist. I have created an intensive looping/live rig with synthesizers, drum machines, looping pedals, guitars, and a couple of other toys that all syncs together with the magic of MIDI, I have yet to find someone (outside of the Modular Synth world) who has a rig like myself. I made a decision a long time ago to not be tied to my computer, to use physical objects, to travel in both a digital and analogue medium (no shade to the Abelton users of the world lol).
My proudest accomplishment to date has been my quarterly “LA Highlights” music show case that brings together bands across genres under one roof. My main fear when starting this series was getting people in the door. I was terrified that I would book a venue, spend months practicing, marketing, organizing other artists, and that no one would come. I was amazed at the turn out for this show, I think the lesson for myself that if you build it they will come, but that you need to be consistent with your marketing and reaching out to your network.
I am also proud of my singles “California Slow” and “Stark’s Bar”, available on all streaming platforms. I produced, mixed, and put together all music on these tracks myself.
I want the world to know that I am just getting started and will only be releasing more and more music. I am excited for this winter, for shows and performances to slow down, so I can get back into the studio to create more music to share with the world. I have decided to take a step back from doing everything myself, and am beginning to work with a producer to help share the load of production and to take my music to the next level.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
OK so for Los Angeles I would say, in no particular order:
– Best view in the city: The roof of my 100 year old apartment building in Larchmont Village will drinking bourbon Whiskey…
– Best hidden artistic masterpiece: Grand rotunda of the DTLA library, make time to visit this
– Best Mexican food in the city: Go to Guelaguetza Restaurant, you have to get their Barria and their homemade Mole plus a delicious mezcal cocktail…
– Best Cocktail forward Bar: Blue Collar (I believe I still have a custom drink on their rolldex)
– Best underrated museum: The Getty Villa (they have 3,000 year old Assyrian stone carvings, the beards look like they were carved yesterday!)
– Best Museum in the City: The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, especially the Studio Ghibli exhibit (I am a tiny bit biased because I worked on this museum with my day job)
– Best Beer in the City: Angle City Brewing Company, my favorite place for gathering people
– Best Art Gallery: Pau Haus, which also has amazing program including weekly life figure drawing
– Best place to concert worthy silk shirts and other hipster accoutrements: Mel Rose Trading Post
– Best place to see local live music, especially rock: The Universal Bar and Grille
– Best rehearsal space in the city: Snaggletooth studios (I mean that name is gold!)
– Best Drag/Variety show: Gay DD at the Art Share LA
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
This ties into the earlier question, I feel like I now have the people in my life that have shown me how to make pursuing music music a reality. I want to shout out Sharon Groom (promoter for the Sunday Best Showcase and the Universal Bar and Grill Open Mic) who taught me how to produce and run shows, my producer Alexander James who has helped me to take my recorded work to the next level, and Bill Bufa who has taught me most of what I know as a live sound engineer.
Tamara Lee Carroll