Canadian producer Conor Patton, better known as Conro, was always destined to make a name for himself as a musician. Born into a musical family, Conro started playing violin at the tender age of seven, and later went on to play in the Saskatoon Youth Symphony orchestra for a total of three years. A burning desire to spread his talents soon took over, as he took up piano, guitar, and the drums, passions that continue to glow bright to this day. Between his musical ability and a knack for kicking out top-notch productions, bettered only by his solid drive and relentless determination to make music that matters, Conro’s potential is sky high. There’s clearly going to be plenty more of him in our lives in future, so keep your eyes and ears peeled for more from dance music’s next big thing, and check out his latest work “I Wanna Know”.
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Sean Ritchie: I know you’re from Kelowna, British Columbia and taking a look at the surrounding area there’s a lot of nature and it’s sett right on the river. Talk a bit about your hometown. What’s the surrounding area like in your eyes?
Conro: Oh hell yeah man, great question! I haven’t been asked that one. I wasn’t born in Kelowna. I was born in the prairies of Canada — Saskatchewan. I moved out here when I was 14 or so. It was such a wicked change of pace. It was a pretty slow-moving town for the size. It’s not huge, but man it’s in a [beautiful] valley. Climate-wise it’s pretty tame during the winters, hardly much snow, but we’re really close to a few ski hills just about an hour out of the way.
In the summertime we get super warm. I know we’re Celsius and you guys are Fahrenheit, but it’s like 30-to-40-degrees Celsius up here (86-to-104-degrees Fahrenheit) [then] — tons of tourists. I personally love camping. I’ve got a spot I go every year on my birthday. It’s just a little ways away, man. It’s epic. I’ve stayed at Mabel Lake and had a few little parties there, just bringing out the generator, we DJ and put on a [little] party. My brother was born the same exact day about three-years apart. So, we go camping lots, my brother has his hunting license and we spend a lot of time there, as much as we can, if I’m not too busy with music.
SR: Having just mentioned skiing and camping, are those the two major things for someone to do if they were in the region?
C: Yeah, well if you come here in the wintertime you can’t go skiing, obviously. But, in the summertime man, this town is a little boating community and the lake is massive. We get people all the way from California, Seattle, Alberta and [other] places across Canada, who come to use our lake and beaches. In the summertime it’s totally beach-and-resort-like living. In the wintertime definitely hit up the ski hills. Whistler isn’t really close by, I know that’s pretty popular, but it’s closer to Vancouver. Two ski hills here are Big White and Silver Star, and they are as dope as dope can get!
C: Nice man. When I was younger I took skiing quite a lot more seriously than now. I think I was more set on being a professional skier than I was being a professional musician. Then, I hurt my back in the park, and ever since then I’ve just suffered from stuff. This past month I really hurt my back playing soccer, so now the doctor said I can’t ski, and I’m super bummed.
SR: For sure man, you wake up with pains you never knew you had. Back to your music, what gave you your first initial start or interest in creating music?
C: When I was really young my mom forced me and my siblings to play an instrument. I was the violin, and my sister was the cello. I was home schooled for the start of my life, so I had lots of time for activities and sports, which was good. Still a bit of a nerd when it comes to some of my upbringing.
C: No, not a bad thing, but in other people’s eyes it’s still pretty nerdy. I was always playing music as a young kid, piano and guitar, but I didn’t think of it as a career until I really started getting heavy into folk and rock music. I bought some of my own recording stuff. I was really stoked on that. That slowly morphed [after hearing] guys like Skrillex and Zedd were popping up. They were making these dope, aggressive sounds. I was just like, “Ugh gosh, I’ve gotta do that!” So, I kind of set aside the rock thing and started pursuing this. It was a really fun avenue, because it was untouched music. Nobody’s really done this stuff. There were so many cool sounds and ideas to go with. So, I got hooked from there and I’ve been doing it since.
SR: Sweet, it’s cool how it evolved like that. I checked out your “I Wanna Know” track that you just released a couple months ago. That’s your latest release you have?
SR: Awesome, I really dig it. I’m a big music head, and I thought it was a really cool track.
C: Thanks man! Yeah, I did the vocals for it, then I did some guitar on it too.
SR: Wow, so you’re full, in-house show. You do all the sounds, recording and producing — everything?
C: Yeah, I did half the vocals at a friend’s studio, and then I recorded the final vocals at my studio at home. It was the first track I released with my own voice. Well, other than the folk stuff I was doing.
SR: Really cool. That puts in a nice contrast to the rest of your work. Now, tying your music into travel a bit, how do the two really intertwine with each other for you?
C: Yeah, it’s getting close to a million hits on Spotify now. I think it’s just cool. I’m proud. Well, you travel a lot for music. I mean I haven’t done as much as some guys like Hardwell and Skrillex, but I get to do a little bit. I actually traveled a bit when I was younger before I was traveling for music. I’ve got to backpack Thailand, well Southeast Asia — Vietnam and Malaysia. I’ve got to go to Europe before I was doing the music stuff, but it’s really cool revisiting those places for music. You get to see these familiar places, but it’s for different reasons. It’s pretty cool man. I love traveling, I caught the travel bug at an early age, so for me, to be able to travel around and do two things I love, traveling and music, it’s pretty awesome.
SR: That ties into my next question, one of our core objectives here is to bring people together while traveling to show people the world and get them associated with things they don’t particularly know. Our hope is to potentially minimize any cross-cultural divides. Talk about how traveling has broadened your perspective of the world.
C: Well for me, I’ve got to go to some cool places that normally I wouldn’t have chosen to go to. I went to India. It seemed different, crazy and eye opening. It [made] me realize, how I was brought up and in my life, there’s not much for me to complain about. Also, on the same spectrum and it’s just really awesome. I think one of the best ways to learn and appreciate life, is traveling. It’s such a privilege if you can set aside the money for travel. Everybody deserves the chance to travel somewhere foreign out of your region. Some of my best memories that I’ve had up to this point, not even the music traveling, was just tied into the backpacking. I’ve got crazy stories of me just wandering the streets at like 3 a.m., trying to find a hotel, because we got off the bus and had some random Thai guy driving me up and down these dark alleys thinking he was going to take my money! I have great memories of traveling, and I want to keep it up until I die.
SR: Bringing it back to your music, I know you mentioned before you’ve done kind of an impromptu set by Mabel Lake. Was that the most picturesque place you’ve played? If not, what is?
C: Actually, I haven’t played here yet, but one place I’m really hoping to play, maybe next year, it’s on the radar, is at the Gorge Amphitheater in Seattle. Dude! I went to Sasquatch a bunch of years. That’s the festival they host there. They’re more Indie bands, but in the evening they have electronic acts, and that’s the most picturesque place I’ve been involved with music at. I haven’t played there yet, but really would love to. It’s in this canyon and the amphitheater’s overlooking all this scenery. It’s way to picturesque! There’s a big river running down through the bottom. It’s just so cool. The sunsets are unreal!
SR: That’s so cool, and you get the natural acoustics of the venue.
SR: To wrap this up, I know you’re well traveled having been to India, Thailand and I actually saw you were in Amsterdam a while ago. But, what are three destinations you haven’t been to yet and want to hit?
C: I’d really like to go to Australia and maybe Mexico. I noticed on my Spotify a lot of my listeners are from Mexico City. I think the fans would be really fun to play for there — enthusiastic. Mexico is dope. Also, Australia, because Triple J, Flume and Tame Impala came from there — these really cool artists. I’d love to play Australia. Plus, there are a lot of Aussies who come and travel to this part of Canada. I think Australians actually own the ski hills that are close by us. Some of them are really good friends. They just coming here to work up at the ski hills and hang down here in the summer. They to go to Whistler and Big White. So, I’d really love to go to Australia and meet those guys again. I think it’ll be fun.