We first came across Edward Cantu with his song ‘Coalesce’, a glorious track that feels to us a bit like a laid back version of Jackson Browne’s ‘Late For The Sky’, and sonically, with touches of Bon Iver’s ‘Holocene’, and The War On Drugs’ ‘Knocked Down’. Looking deeper, Edward has a lot more music behind him, and an interesting backstory, so we asked him six (or more) quick questions.
You rather suddenly shifted your focus in your spare time to music. What brought about this change, and do you recommend it to anyone who feels dissatisfied with their life?
I think we are wired by mother nature to pursue things that, once achieved, prove to be less satisfying than we envisioned they would be. I have found that the exceptions to this are pursuits of beauty is some form or another; these tend to not disappoint.
What advice do you have for anyone caught in a similar dilemma?
I recommend that people find whatever it is that makes them feel closest to that which makes existence worthwhile, and, well, do more of that. ‘Feel’ is an important word here because I suspect that what we feel defines our lives much more than what we think. This advice is simple in concept, but we tend to be a very distracted species such that record-high skyscrapers can be built by ultimately unhappy, though highly intelligent people.
How would you describe your musical style?
Perhaps indie-folkish. I’m not really sure, and I’d love to actually hear other people’s thoughts on this. Definitely not boy-band or gangsta rap I assume. I tend to think of my style, going in anyway, as a cross between War on Drugs and Bon Iver, with some Pink Floyd sprinkled in. Perhaps it doesn’t actually sound like this, though.
Do you think you would do anything differently if you’d come to this decision earlier in life? What if anything, do you think you would have done differently?
I think I would have been too nervous about money had I tried earlier in life; it would have undermined the music itself. People who pursue art from the get-go are brave folks; I admire them. Also, there’s no doubt that my life experiences influence what sound resonates with me.
Music is perhaps philosophy in a pure and impressionistic form, untainted by the projections and limits of language and conceptualization. Perhaps it’s philosophy purely in the form of energy. I think if I made music when I was younger it would not reflect an appreciation of this. It therefore probably would not reflect my current appreciation of how less can be so much more; it would have been busier and more unnecessarily urgent in feel.
We first discovered you through your track, ‘Coalesce’; what’s the song about? What was the motivation behind it? If someone were to discover your music today (and they will) which track should they listen to first? Why?
Coalesce is about reaching for something greater and feeling as if you haven’t found it though it’s within grasp. I have felt the past few years that I need to be taken away, and in the process allow myself to be taken away; to let go. By what, and of what, I’m not sure. My song ‘High Definition’ is probably the best introduction to my music. There is something very distilled about it; like a concentrated sonic representation of me.
What question do you wish someone would ask you in an interview but nobody ever does?
Well, this is my first “interview,” so I haven’t had the chance to establish such a wish list.
You can listen to more of Edward Cantu’s music on his SoundCloud account.