Within a few short years, he went from practicing guitar in a Kansas City suburb to staging an innovative D.I.Y. “dorm room tour” and recording his forthcoming 2018 debut alongside GRAMMY® Award-winning Nashville legend Matt Rollings [Lyle Lovett, Alison Krauss]. Considering Jens Lekman, Juergen Teller, and Anthony Bourdain of equal importance, he possesses a distinct and dynamic perspective rooted in extensive musical and pop culture reverence.
With a natural knack for harmony, impassioned sense of poetry, and fashion-forward aesthetic, the singer and songwriter expands pop’s potential for purpose.
“I try to make music that sticks with people and has a deeper meaning,” he says. “There’s no reason a hook-y song can’t also have that edge, eloquence, and tenacity. That’s my goal. I came from a suburb of Kansas City where everyone simply chose to go to college and pursue a nine-to-five career; I wanted to do the arts. So, I went after it as soon as I could.”
Always fascinated with music, Connor picked up drums at barely seven-years-old. He can vividly recall his first concert a year later, catching N*Sync on the iconic Pop Odyssey Tour. Between rigorous drum lessons, he spent hours listening to everything from blink-182 to Dispatch, developing a diverse palette. By the age of 13, he switched to guitar and found himself fronting numerous local acts. Following the release of his independent Postcard LP in 2015, he personally booked, launched, and headlined a different kind of college tour. Spanning 20 dates and 16 schools, he played everywhere from frat houses and university apartments to dorm rooms, organically building up a fan base in close quarters.
Following his move to Nashville, 2016 saw him enroll in Belmont University. Embedding himself within Music City, he caught the attention of Rollings who took Connor under his wing. The veteran producer pushed him to progress at a rapid pace and became something of “a hero and mentor.”
The first glimpse of their collaboration comes in the form of the 2018 single “Brooklyn.” Upheld by softly strummed guitar chords, wistful delivery, and lovelorn lyrics, Connor’s hypnotic voice slides into the spotlight as he carries the chant, “You’ll go back to Brooklyn and leave me here.” The music video directed by auteur, cinematographer, and producer Warren Elgort vividly breathes life into this narrative.
“My goal is to be compelling at first listen and capture audiences,” he leaves off. “It’s about offering an escape from reality. These are true stories of romance and struggles. There’s a lot of self-reflection. It’s my life.”
After a chance meeting with Josh Rouse, the two joined together in early 2019 to write and record a new collection of songs. Released just in time for autumn, “Mouth Words EP” formed in Nashville but grabbed several bites of inspiration from the big Apple. Produced by Josh Rouse, with overdubs by Daniel Tashian, the EP saw Connor fronting a raw trio of just a bass player (James “Hags” Haggerty) and drummer (Marc Pisapia) while taking his guitar work into his own hands. Sprinkled with delicate piano fills by Brad Jones, the effort further showcased Connor’s savy in producing long besotted musical works.