Sometimes you make plans. Other times, life takes you on a necessary detour. Such is the case of singer/songwriter Connor Duermit. The North Carolina native was studying undergraduate architecture at a top university and well on his way to becoming a successful builder/architect like his father. Deep down, however, Connor knew something wasn't right. "I was creating, but not in the way I wanted to create. Then I came to the realization that music was what gave me life."
Despite this realization, Connor was afraid to let his parents down; although he now admits those expectations were self-imposed. "My mom was a self-taught musician. She always said to me, 'You don't have to do anything in the traditional way or follow the path someone else has laid out for you. You can make music however you want.'" Connor continued to feel, though, that if he didn't become an architect and take over his father's business, he would be disappointing his family.
A live gig where his college band open for Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, combined with the strength Connor observed in a close friend who came out, inspired Connor to be true to himself. He subsequently dropped out of college and followed his musical muse to Los Angeles. There, he met up with a collective of like-minded individuals, including Third Eye Blind drummer Brad Hargreaves and longtime Ariana Grande musical director Troy Laureta. Together, with the team at Los Angeles-based label Known Strangers, they recorded Connor's debut EP. "I was humbled by these incredible artists who were willing to work with me based on the quality of the music I was making, but also because I think…I hope…that they saw the dedication and work ethic that I brought to the process."
The debut EP is a deeply personal journey of the ups and downs of Connor's first real relationship in years, from its passionate start to its unexpected break up. It is a musical journey that chronicles every possible emotion. As you can imagine, unleashing that much raw emotion in the studio wasn't easy. Connor explains, "You can't just perform the music. You have to live it. When it came time to record the vocals for the first single, 'Never Letting Go,' it just wasn't working. My producer ended up sitting me down on the floor of the studio and had me tell him the story of the relationship. I ended up breaking down and sobbing for the first time. After regaining my voice, I recording the vocal and it was right…it was real."
The songs showcase Connor's soulful voice and were mastered by the late six-time Grammy Award winning engineer, Tom Coyne, who previously worked with artists such as Sam Smith ("Stay With Me"), Taylor Swift ("1989"), Bruno Mars ("Uptown Funk"), and Adele ("21" and "25").
When it comes to a career in music, Connor Duermit has greater aspirations than simply material gains. "My goal is not to garner fame, money, and everything that goes along with that. My goal is to promote change in the world through positive mentorship – to be a role model to both the people around me and those that I may never meet. That's why I chose music…in the hopes that it can be a platform from which I can bring more joy and happiness into the world."
The EP is just the beginning. Connor is already busy planning a tour, working on his next record, and can be seen on ABC's The Bachelor performing his single, "Never Letting Go," in January 2018. As he continues to grow with his artistry and music, Connor promises this: "My music will always come from my soul, and my hope is that if you really listen, you'll not only hear that, but you'll feel the soul behind it. Life is about connection, and I always want to connect with people through my music."
To learn more about Connor Duermit please visit www.connorduermit.com