Get to know... Connor Roff

Credit: Gurbir Grewal

With his time split equally between London and Vancouver and a career in music and yoga, singer-songwriter Connor Roff's authentic approach to life is flawlessly translated through his songwriting.

Creating a tender, intimate blend of folk and singer-songwriter soundscapes; Roff's soothing and distinct approach finds him exploring heartwarming and vulnerable subjects surrounding the LGBT+ community and self realisation in the most beautiful of ways.

Following the release of his new single 'Soldier', his most intimate to date – we got to know Connor, the things his songwriting has taught him about himself and his plans for the future.

Hey! For those who are unfamiliar with your music, tell us a bit about yourself and what led you to pursue a career in music?

Hi, my name is Connor and I'm a singer songwriter based between Vancouver, Canada and London, England. I've split my life equally between both places at this point and both feel like home. I identify as a gay cis man, I'm passionate about LGBT+ rights, mental health and yoga. I spend half my time pursuing music and the other half on my yoga career teaching out of studios right now based in Vancouver. Music came to me at a young age, first classical piano, then self taught with guitar, then as I got older, small gigs in local Vancouver bars and venues. I spent 5 years singing in London as part of an alternative choir called London Contemporary Voices and learnt so much there. It's been a journey and continues to grow and develop. You spend your time split between the UK and Canada, would you say that being back and forth between the two has had any impact on the music you create? I would say most definitely. I love the nature and west coast vibe here in Vancouver, it's had a huge impact on how I relate to my environment and surroundings. I'm very privileged to have experienced both mountains and ocean so close to one another and I think this gets reflected in my songwriting, especially lately, with a lot of natural imagery such as water and sunlight. The urban hustle and bustle of London has also aligned with my own motivation and dedication to my craft. It taught me how to go after what you truly desire and stick with it.

Your new single ‘Soldier’ is a very honest and intimate track - tell us a bit about the inspiration behind it? Yes, the track is probably my most honest and vulnerable one to date - it fell out of me quite naturally one late winter afternoon while I was staying in an extended family members pub in Wentnor, Shropshire. I was in the midst of processing more of my sexuality, how I identify and if I was authentically expressing that as well as I could. Sometimes, it's easy to get caught up in what I would call "gay culture" and how one fits within that mold. I've never felt like I fit any mold and it's beautiful to see more and more of that reflected in queerness. People seem to be feeling less and less of a need to identify so strongly with one stereotype and instead simply come back to their true nature and be their honest selves. Is there anything you’ve learned about yourself through your songwriting? I think I'm constantly learning more about myself through songwriting. It's never ending and a form of therapy. If you were able to work with any filmmaker or director for your dream ‘Soldier’ music video, who would you choose? There's a Canadian music video director called Miles Jay whose work I appreciate. One of his more notable videos was River by Leon Bridges - beautifully shot and stylistically put together. Who are some of your favourite upcoming artists from both the UK and Canada? In the UK I'd say a lot of my music friends such as: Freya Lily, Becky CJ, Faultress, Anil Sebastian, Pela, Archie, and so many more. From Canada, more of my friends haha: Laura Reznek, Luca Fogale, Alexandria Maillot and Neighbourhood Libraries. What would you say is the ‘bucket list’ goal for you as an artist? Any particular live shows or collaborations you’d like to work on? Man oh man. There's so many different things. I'd love to collaborate with London Contemporary Voices (LCV) choir again, but for a future show as a feature artist and make it a comeback show in London. I dream of playing a headline show here in Vancouver at the Commodore and doing a European tour sometime next year Covid dependent of course. And what’s the plan for the remainder of 2021? Anything exciting in the works?

I've got a few more songs in the mix coming out that I'm VERY excited about. I've been collaborating across seas with my UK producer James Turner and we've been working hard together over the past year and a half on a collection of songs. We also produced that stripped back cover version of "Lover, You Should've Come Over" originally by Jeff Buckley. Keep an eye and ear out ;)