Andrew Canlon Shares Live Performances + Exclusive Interview
Words: Mike Mode
June 13, 2024

Today, we have the pleasure of catching up with the talented Andrew Canlon, a fresh addition to the Electronic Music scene whose background in Classical Music continues to guide his unique and distinct approach towards his craft. With a long-standing passion for music, Andrew’s journey began at an early age, having grown up surrounded by the diverse musical culture of New York, revelling in the wide range of educational opportunities offered to him. As he sets about making a name for himself within Electronic Music, Andrew puts forward a distinctly original signature style, bringing in storytelling elements to both his productions and live performances.

In this interview, Andrew shares insights into his approach towards live performance, revealing his process for crafting his sets and how his live performance style sets him apart from others on the Electronic Music scene. So, let’s dive into the world of Andrew Canlon and discover the passion and creativity that continues to drive his career.

Hey Andrew Canlon, how are you doing?

I’m doing well, thank you.

Can you tell us about your approach towards live performance?

Sure! My approach is to maintain as many performative elements as I can. I’m not a huge fan of automation. I didn’t become a musician to automate a performance. I care about the audience, and I will always perform for them, whether I’m using a hybrid setup or DJing. I think taking the easy route can be counterproductive, so I try to keep pushing myself because we’re living in a world that has made it increasingly easy to look cool when doing the bare minimum and that feels dishonest to me.

How would you say your background in Classical Music has impacted the way you perform?

When you’re raised in an academic setting, you always feel pressure. That pressure comes from within because it was burned into you from an early age. I will always be my harshest critic. My education in music began as early as 5 years old. Back then, it wasn’t about technology. It was about what you could do through sheer hard work and repetition. That foundation still serves me well when I perform because I have such a high standard. Even if what I’m doing is “good”, it’s likely not good enough for me. I want to be even better. I think that translates when I’m on stage.

What would you say sets your performance style apart from others on the scene?

If we’re talking purely about the Electronic Music landscape, I think there are a lot of things that I do that separate me from many of the artists who are out there today. The biggest thing is that I sing my own songs and I place a huge emphasis on songwriting. I’ve been told that I’m basically an electronic Phil Collins. I fucking love that. I think the cross-section of EDM, pop, ballads and timeless songwriting is the place to be right now. Lucky for me, that’s where I live.

As you’ve grown and developed as a Producer, what about your approach towards live performance has changed?

I’ve learned to relax. I don’t have to be a busybody on stage. I have nothing to prove. I am purely focused on putting on a great show.

What do you enjoy most about live performance?

I enjoy every single thing about it. It’s what I love to do. I’ve been performing my whole life, so I think it’s just familiar to me. I actually get really anxious and depressed when I’m not performing. It’s been the one thing in my life that I’ve looked forward to and aspired to the most.

How would you describe your performance style to someone who has yet to experience one of your sets?

I would describe my performance style as immersive. I’m trying to tell stories through music. I want to take the audience on a journey, and I want to help them achieve a level of escapism and weightlessness that only music can offer. There are narrative threads as well as musical themes that I’ve constructed in such a way that the audience can let go, breathe and just enjoy themselves. Music is meant to be enjoyed and I lean into that wholeheartedly.

How do you prepare for your sets in terms of selecting the tracks you wish to perform?

That’s a great question. I kind of view a set list like a huge wave that you want to surf. There should be an immediate feeling that this is something that you want to get on board with. It should accelerate, crest, crash and inevitably slow down. I place tracks in an order that I feel reflects that concept. I try to get off to a fast start and keep the momentum going before changing the pace, slowing it down and ending with songs that are more poignant or memorable.

Does this change at all once you are able to read the crowd?

No. I think you’re doing yourself a disservice if you overanalyze the crowd. If you don’t think you’re hooking them, you just have to power through it and believe that you’re going to get their attention at some point. If you don’t, you don’t. Not every crowd is going to love you. You have to shake it off and keep moving.   

Do you have a dream venue that you wish to perform at in the future?

Brooklyn Mirage seems to have become the electronic Mecca of New York City. I’ve had amazing moments there as a fan and I can absolutely see myself on that stage one day. It’s a religious experience.

How do you prepare for a live performance? Do you have any pre-show rituals?

The only ritual you need is practice. I run my set til I’m blue in the face. I don’t want any surprises.

What direction do you see your live performance approach taking next?

I see myself becoming more comfortable and confident to experiment and trust my instincts. I want more high-flying synth solos, more vocal gymnastics and even more fun and experimental FXs that keep me and the audience on their toes.

As we wrap up our interview with Andrew Canlon, we thank him for his time and appreciate him sharing thoughtful insights into his creative process and technical approach towards live performing. From his formative years surrounded by the NYC music scene to his current status as an emerging DJ and Producer, Andrew’s journey has continuously reflected dedication and passion, an attitude he maintains today as he continues to pave his way within Electronic Music.

Be sure to follow Andrew Canlon across social media to remain up-to-date on his upcoming releases, live shows, and projects, as he is no doubt poised to keep carving a captivating journey.

Andrew Canlon Online

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