London’s Caan Capan made his name as a member of Ou Est Le Swimming Pool. But after his band-mate Charles Haddon tragically took his own life in 2010, Caan took a break from music. Now he’s back with new music, so we chatted to him about grief, expression and new tunes…
Tell us about the song ‘High Tides’ and what it means to you…
High Tides is about the overindulgence in euphoric experience and the enlightenment/escapism I felt in those moments.
It was co-written and co-produced with Mkulu. How did that collaboration come about and what did he bring to the tracks?
I was introduced to Mkulu a few years ago through my manager and we’ve been making music together ever since. He’s a producer with an incredibly vast musical pallet. He paints you a picture through his production and for me he’s just got that special ear that is able to draw out all the creative emotions inside of you before any lyrics or melodies have been laid. We wrote High Tides after a discussion we had about what direction my life was going in.
You tragically lost your friend and Ou Est le Swimming Pool bandmate Charles Haddon to suicide in 2010. Tell us about your memories of Charles and your time in that band together…
Charlie was the life and soul of every gathering, had a heart full of unconditional love for everyone and an incredible sense of humour. He was an exceptionally talented musician and a great friend. I was blessed to share so many beautiful and exciting moments in Ou Est together and those memories will stay with me for the rest of my life.
How did that experience impact your life and your approach to making music?
Losing my friend to suicide was an extremely difficult thing to digest. I had to take some time to grieve and come to terms with the situation. I have learned to live more in the moment and appreciate self-care and life a lot more. It’s given my creative process a mature outlook that has allowed me to write from a very personal and honest place.
Losing my friend to suicide was an extremely difficult thing to digest. I had to take some time to grieve and come to terms with the situation.
Do you think there is enough support out there for artists?
Mental health still holds a lot of stigma in today’s society, especially for men. It’s still the elephant in the room that people are either afraid or ashamed to talk about. The music industry can be a very rewarding and enjoyable place to work, but it can also be very lonely and dark at times. I think we are slowly starting to talk more about our mental health and charities like CALM are helping tackle these issues head on. A lot more needs to be done to help and understand mental health issues and it needs to be taken just as seriously as our physical health.
You’ve said that music is there to help pour over emotions and find answers. How does the writing process allow you to process what’s going on in your life?
For me writing is my way of purging my emotions. It’s my own form of psychoanalysis. I’m not afraid to write my feelings into songs but I’m sometimes afraid to talk about them. Experience from the past and thoughts of the future play out in my mind and it’s these thoughts that help me write. I try not to take myself too seriously, we need to smile and laugh at life, but for me writing and music needs to pull you in every direction and take you on an emotional journey.
What’s next for Caan?
I’ve been working on a lot of music for the past two years and it’s finally ready to be heard. I’m releasing another single this year called ‘Ghost In My Head’. I’m dropping two more in 2019 and then my first solo project.
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