SB singer Conner Cherland to release ‘This is How I’ll Love You’
Conner Cherland’s entrance to the local music scene began humbly.
Like so many young artists, Mr. Cherland had a full-time job by day while pursuing his passion at night.
A UCSB graduate, Mr. Cherland worked at a tech company in Goleta after finishing his degree.
But his true passion was music.
“I would work 9 to 5, go home and change, and then I would switch over to whatever bar or winery I was playing at,” Mr. Cherland told the News-Press.
After years of hustling to balance a full-time job and music gigs, Mr. Cherland decided to quit his day job in 2016 and pursue his music career full time. Since then, he has written hundreds of songs, culminating in four album releases and a fifth album scheduled to debut in June.
Listeners can get their first taste of the album, “Love Songs by Conner Cherland,” this Friday with the release of the song “This is How I’ll Love You.” The single is coming out a couple days before Valentine’s Day.
The acoustic ballad gives a raw look into Mr. Cherland’s journey of becoming a loving partner for his wife of four years, Layne, by learning to provide for her needs.
“This is the first real song I wrote about my actual relationship with my wife,” Mr. Cherland said. “Everything before that was conjecture about what love would be like … This was my first feet-on-the-ground song.”
This album taps into unchartered waters for Mr. Cherland, who refrained from writing about love in the release of his first four albums.
With this album, the singer wanted to present songs about a more “practical and nuanced” everyday kind of love, feeling that too many love songs today present unrealistic romantic ideals.
“I’m not a big fan of songs that are like ‘I’ll catch a grenade for you’ … There’s just a lack of practicality to so many love songs, and this (album) has a lot of practical feeling to it,” Mr. Cherland said.
The creative process of songwriting looks different for each artist.
For Mr. Cherland, the best approach was taking a quantitative approach to songwriting, where he would challenge himself to write 40 songs in six months.
Drawing inspiration for this technique from Grammy-winning artist Ed Sheeran, who writes about 40 songs for each album he produces, Mr. Cherland completed this challenge for his first album, “Wanting Man,” in 2016.
Since then, he has used this technique to produce a number of other albums, saying that out of each batch of 40 songs, there are usually six or seven songs he is proud to put on the album.
“If you ask a songwriter what it takes to write good songs, they’ll tell you it takes a lot of bad songs,” Mr. Cherland said.
Since his start in the music industry, Mr. Cherland has relied on local gigs at restaurants and bars to fuel his career. But as the pandemic shut down gatherings, he was forced to find creative ways to engage his audience.
During the course of the pandemic, he took to Instagram (@connercherland) to promote free, social distanced concerts held at his followers’ homes and in the mountains. (The singer’s next mountain concert is scheduled for Feb. 20.)
Since the summer, the singer has held free concerts on a regular basis for residents in the Santa Barbara area.
People can send messages directly to Mr. Cherland on Instagram and book him for a free at-home concert.
The singer brings all of his own equipment and creates a makeshift stage, allowing enough space for neighbors to spread out their chairs and enjoy the show.
“It’s meaningful for me because I love performing, and it’s meaningful for others because they love seeing their neighbors.”