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Interview: Caan

It’s safe to say the past year has been something of a rollercoaster for Caan. Previously a member of the synthpop trio Ou Est Le Swimming Pool, he has been working non-stop in preparation for the launch of his solo career. We talk about his current influences, the transition to working as a solo artist,  and his future plans to “be huge”.

PlanetNotion: What influenced the transition from Ou Est Le Swimming Pool to you as a solo artist?

Caan: Determination to continue what we left behind, a lot of really wonderful fans who we became quite close to, and an innate passion for music. I’ve got so much more to give.

PN: You have quite a different sound now; do you still draw on the same musical influences as you did back then?

Caan: In part, but this is a new project and this time it’s all mine. A lot of very different music gets played in my house. As disparate as Thievery Corporation Quicksilver Messenger Service and MF DOOM. I was brought up listening to everything. It’s music. Call it what you want to call it. My music is less defined, in the studio we just go with the flow. We make whatever we want to make, and it’s a wonderfully energising approach. If there was a running theme from the Ou Est album to this I think it would be making what are sometimes dark, truly meaningful lyrics palatable through Poppy, structured tracks.

PN: Now Hear This My Friends has some really heartfelt lyrics.  What inspired them?

Caan: Music is something positive. I’m not here to talk about the same things as everyone else, and I think people are ready for that. I’m not a puppet on a Major Label, my lyrics are poetry. Also, I want to be more than everything in the top 20. It’s too easy to write shit like they do. I dig a little deeper but musically it’s still nice.

PN: Do you prefer to write about more contemporary/social issues instead of the more generic songs about love etc.?

Caan: A bit of both. I’m not talking about a love of money and cars, it’s concious. I’m not a freedom fighter I’m just saying what’s real!

PN: I read that both your grandfather’s were involved in music; would you say they were the first people to spark your interest in music? If not, who did?

Caan: My mum. I was conceived at Glastonbury, so I blame Mum and Dad on acid in a dance tent. Also my brothers – they brought me up on pirate radio and Jungle.

PN: Do you have any plans for an album, or does it depend on how well this single is received?

Caan: The first album is nearly complete. I’ve got 2 more albums half done. Regardless of how well the single does, I’m here forever.

PN: What can we expect from upcoming singles?

Caan: Some serious shit for the masses. Second single will be a lot darker, more garage-esque. It’s a big tune. I had a huge XFM exclusive of the track last week and they love it. I’ve been invited back for a full album playback! The third single ‘Every Little Thing’ is an emotional number, it’s already touched a lot of people. I’ve had big artists offer to buy the song from me. Of course I’d never sell it, but it’s comforting. I guess I must be on the right track.

PN: It was mentioned that you spent the past six months ‘holed up’ writing new material. Is this how your writing process usually works?

Caan: Not really. It was an emotional time of my life and I had to project it somehow. So I spent 6 months in the studio writing music. Since coming out of hibernation I’ve travelled a lot. I’ve really loved Berlin and how it’s so full of Art.

PN: What kind of things do you enjoy doing outside of music?

Caan: Music is work, though never a chore. Outside of it I like to socialise. I know everyone in Camden. We hang out at The Goose a lot with Tribes, or up in Tufnell with Man Like Me. Both those bands are very influential to me – playing some of the best music around right now.

PN: What do you hope to achieve by this time next year?

Caan: I’m gonna be huge! We’ll have the second album done and we’ll be flying high.

CAAN ‘Now Hear This My Friends’ from CAAN on Vimeo.

For more information, check out his Facebook, MySpace and Vimeo.

-Charlie Clarkson

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