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Illustration by Valery Perez // Images obtained from @itsconnornelson

Enter the world of midnight pop with Connor Nelson

By Roog Kubur, May 26 2022

Imagine sitting at home at night. The sky is clear, but your mind isn’t. It’s racing with thoughts and worries about the future, the person that ghosted you after four days and what the next steps should be. If you’ve found yourself in this situation before, consider adding Connor Nelson to the soundtrack of this scene. He’s a 21-year-old Vancouver-based musician who creates the music that embodies these feelings of longing, confusion and nostalgia — a genre he coined as “midnight pop.” 

“I make all my music at night, so it sounds best played at night,” Nelson said about the genre. He states that his music exists in the world of night, capturing the emotions that feel amplified during this time. It’s a mix of dreamy synths and the overwhelming feeling of yearning, creating the perfect sound for those pensive late nights. 

The song that best fits the genre in his opinion is his newest, “Black.” Alluding to a phone screen while waiting for a text that isn’t going to come, this track is an expression of frustration for something painfully relatable. He sings “Is it really that hard to text me back?” over a rhythmic beat with a gentle percussion and comforting melody. Nelson calls this song an authentic expression of his artistry with straightforward lyrics to capture the complex feeling. 

“I just went in and made a song, not something that I planned to release,” he said about the process of creating the song. 

“I’m very inspired by words,” he said about creating lyrics. Nelson cites that the lyrics for the chorus of “Black” came first to him, and the song was created around them. It’s a self-produced track that was mixed and mastered by Juno-nominated Nathan Chiu. This collaboration came about last October during a writing session, and the two agreed to work together to bring “Black” to life. 

Despite the song’s subject matter, Nelson thinks of the song as a funny caricature of himself. 

“The impression I want to give is not to take yourself too seriously,” he said about what he wants listeners to take away from the song. “‘Black’ is a funny song, so don’t be too serious,” he added. 

His next release will follow in the footsteps of “Black” — a sad song dedicated to self reflection and expressing frustrations. Coming out in the summer, it will be something to keep an eye out for. 

As an artist, Nelson cites Taylor Swift and Isaac Dunbar as his inspirations. He describes his creative process as coming from multiple sources, using the perspective of book and movie characters to create authentic music that touches the heart.

Nelson is an artist who makes music for people who need to be understood in their feelings. His lyrics are painfully relatable and his production creates another layer of emotional depth that can’t be found anywhere else. He doesn’t care about the spectacle of emotions, insteading opting to make something that is ideal for just feeling your emotions. 

According to Nelson, everyone with clear skin streams his music. I recommend rushing to Spotify, Apple Music and any other streaming platform for a low-cost way to get some clear skin and feel whatever you need to feel. 

Roog’s recommendation: “Energy” for something less sad and “Black” for when you’re in your feels. 

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