Connor Zwetsch Talks EP, Career, and Chocolate

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Rising indie folk star Connor Zwetsch gave Stage Right Secrets the chance to speak with her about her debut EP, “What Comes After,” released August 21 through Noble Steed Music.


How old were you when you started playing music? What made you get into music?
I was fifteen when I was gifted my first guitar for Christmas (Thank you, Mom!). However, growing up I had a lot of really close friends who played, so I’d get lessons from them before I ever even owned my first instrument. It was my high school boyfriend who really inspired me to want to write songs though. Every day after we’d go sit by the Hillsborough River and he’d play for me. Now we’re both twenty-two and aspiring musicians, it’s pretty incredible.


Who where your biggest musical influences when you were starting out? Who are they now?
My musical influences are all over the place, and they always have been that way. I listen to everything and draw influence from everything that feels real and authentic regardless of genre. I’ve always loved Alanis Morissette’s “Jagged Little Pill” and “I’m Wide Awake it’s Morning” by Bright Eyes. Once upon a time, “The Eminem Show” was my favorite album (seriously). I love 90s pop/rock anthems along with mellow acoustic singer/songwriters. I think that my music finds a happy place right in between those two.


What/Who inspired you to write “What Comes After”?
My life in general inspired the album. All of the songs were written after a really interesting breakup, “Candy Bars” being the only exception. I just wanted to record “Candy Bars” because I was excited about what it could be, regardless of if the content wasn’t particularly cohesive with the rest of the album. But “What Comes After” was born from a really awesome time in my life when I was learning to find happiness within myself.


How was the recording process?
I recorded the album at Bear Creek Studio with Ryan Hadlock, and it was my first serious recording experience. I learned so much, and I think that’s what matters most. The process was much more rushed than I would have hoped for. We recorded five songs in six days. I wouldn’t change a thing though, except maybe having a little bit longer to give the songs more character. Overall, it’s a week I won’t ever forget and I’m so grateful Ryan took the time to produce my first project.


What message do you want your fans to get out of the record?
Optimism and authenticity. Even in those moments when it seems life can’t get any worse, you can always make it a postitive experience.


Why do you play music?
I just love it. Everything about it. Writing, singing, performing. I love it. I think that’s the only reason I need.


What comes next for you as an artist?
I’m really looking forward to recording my first full-length album in 2016 and getting on the road a bit. I’m excited to start playing live outside of the Sunshine State.


What are your goals?
My goals are to continue making music for as long as I live and hopefully gaining more listeners along the way.


What challenges have you faced along the way?
I think the only thing that ever really challenges me is myself. Overthinking and worrying a lot about the future. Other than that, I’m just along for the ride.


Who is Michelle to you?
Ask Gotye.


What is your favorite candy bar?
The brand is Chocolove. I love the dark chocolate with coffee beans in it or the almond and sea salt dark chocolate bar. Basically, anything dark chocolate.


This interview was edited for clarity.