When Beethoven started going deaf, he used vibrations to continue composing. Dance music producer Connor Bvrns, diagnosed with Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD), has also used his condition to make music. Connor pays close attention to his environment, particularly through the nuances of sound, to the point he’s able to distinguish between certain frequencies others can’t identify.
Added to this, Connor is able to see and hear colors – a gift called synesthesia – and this factor helps him differentiate pitches and sounds even further.
His family owned a concert venue in Park City, Utah, and it was there he observed and became inspired by the energy and environment of EDM shows – particularly Skrillex and the effect he has on the audience. From here, Connor sought to create his own original, highly emotional works.
Connor’s vision has since resulted in a collaboration with Swedish producer BONN, who previously worked with Avicii, Martin Garrix, Axwell, and Ingrosso. After Connor was signed to Astralwerks, their single “Anthem” dropped in early 2020. The summer before, he toured North America with producer Jauz.
Last month, Connor dropped his latest single “Innocence,” reminiscent of the folk-meets-dance sound of Avicii’s debut album. As his career picks up speed, we had a chance to speak with Connor about “Innocence.”
Your sound has some clear EDM influences, but based on your recent single, “Innocence,” there’s also a folk element. How would you describe your sound?
I’m inspired by all different genres. I like to tap into a variety of different vocal features. that way I can explore various textures throughout what people consider “my sound.”
Your bio says that you studied Skrillex’s music early on. What about his music caught your attention?
He always combines the best elements of various genres in his productions, which inspired me to tap into my own exploration of production.
You also have Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) and synesthesia. How do these conditions affect the way you create music and write songs?
I just hear frequency differently. It allows me to shape the sonics of my records in a different way. that would also be something that I contribute to my sound I guess.
What is typically your approach for creating new music?
There’s never a go-to inspiration button. creativity comes to me at the most awkward times and that’s still something I try to hone in every day. a new idea could start off with anything.
You collaborated with BONN earlier this year on “Anthem.” How did this collaboration come about?
He and I met in Stockholm and just vibed. I really f**k with his style and his way of writing and we connected on a creative level. I always love working with him
Who else would you like to collaborate with?
That’s tough because there are so many people I could think of. I think really anyone who has the same gear that I have. It’s important for me to really connect with people I’m working with.
How would you say your sound has evolved from “Anthem” to “Innocence”?
By spending more time in the studio I grew in confidence with varying my sound, stepping outside of the previous “Anthem” sound.
In 2018, you toured with JAUZ. What was your experience like?
It was great to get some idea of what touring is like with the boys. I learned a ton and got better at performing live.
Where do you prefer to perform – in a festival or club setting?
If the energy is right, anywhere. That’s truly the only thing I care about.