Craig Connelly hasn’t been around for long, but has been releasing some of the best dance music there is. A few years ago we sat down and learned more about him, his goals and what he hoped to accomplish. An artist album was something he was working on, and when it was released, I reached out for another interview. The album is incredible, features some up and coming talent, and I can’t stop listening to it. Excited to learn more about One Second Closer, Craig’s debut artist album. Happy to have Craig back.
I can’t stop listening to One Second Closer. Tell me more about your debut artist album and some of the hit singles off the release.
I figured that I could make club music while standing on my head but rarely do I have a chance to express myself in this way. Therefore, the main focus was to write trance records in a way a singer could write a real song with real meaning to it. I aimed to make this record as melodic as possible, giving as much emotion and feeling as I could. The arrangements are designed in the best way to emphasize the meaning of the song rather than the generic dance music formula. Overall, it’s a story telling record.
“We Are” features Emma Connelly. How do you decide who to work with and what was it like working with Emma?
“We Are” was actually written by myself and Renny Carroll (“Elevate”) and Emma ended up singing the final vocal. I always felt the track needed a female vocal instead of a male vocal and we tried Emma and it just worked. This is the first track we’ve ever completed together and it’s nice to have her on the album.
You have a pretty impressive tour planned this spring. From the UK to India and beyond, are you excited to hit the road in support of this new album?
I am very excited. I’ve always wanted a large body of work to play in a live set rather than just playing other people’s tracks. I think the album needs to be celebrated and I can’t wait to do so!
Tell me more about the photography you used on One Step Closer.
We shot the whole album photography at a reservoir in Manchester near my girlfriend’s place, which is just a stunning environment. I had various city style ideas for the photography but quickly realized the album is very organic and natural sounding so the lake provided a very fitting picture for the story of the music.
You were live with Armin van Buuren for #ASOT802. Tell me more about that, and what that was like. He is a legend!
It was awesome. I basically wanted to send in some tracks to showcase on the show and the guys invited me in for a guest mix instead, so I couldn’t have asked for anything more really. The studio is an incredible place to be, great atmosphere.
Tell me more about Higher Forces Radio.
It will be the place for the label debuts and also a place where people can experience what I play in nightclubs. We aim to have some guests doing mixes too and also live broadcast specials.
What’s next for Craig Connelly?
Promote the record all year, play some more “live” style album shows with guest vocalists and start writing album 2 whilst developing my label.
I interviewed you 4 years ago… A lot has changed since then. But I asked you this question then, and I will ask you again today. What’s next for Craig Connelly?
You’ve asked me that twice… 🙂
I guess the last 4 years hasn’t been the easiest. Since my dad died I spent the back end of 2014 in a near depression-like state, started to pull my shit together in the summer of 2015, left my job at Garuda in 2016 and then set these wheels in motion. So yes that sums up what has been a bit of a rollercoaster for me personally and career-wise since 2014. At one point I was ready to write this this whole thing off, I had no tracks, the music I was making was terrible due to the stress I was feeling, I felt lost and scared but then I decided to stick at it and push it to the point where I know for sure whether full time music/DJing was going to work out for me. I had to sort my personal life out in order to make good music again, this period of non/poor activity did negatively effect my career quite a bit, but now I feel like I’m back. Once my head was in a better place and I decided to get my own label going then I also decided (with influence from my partner) to write the album and open the label up with an album.
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