Graham Candy – [Interview]

Am 23.10 war Graham Candy im Mojo Jazzcafé in Hamburg seit langem wieder live zu sehen. Das erste mal auf eigener Headline-Tour. Das erste Mal, dass er Songs aus seinem Debüt-Album vorstellte. Vor dem Konzert haben wir kurz mit ihm gequatscht und er hat uns erzählt, was bei ihm in Zukunft anders wird, warum er fast von der Schule flog und warum ein Album wie eine gute Suppe sein sollte.

reissnadel: So, how is your Tour?

Graham Candy: Puh, wow! It’s actually amazing! Like it’s really emotional, it’s really hardcore. Lots of nerves, but really it’s one of the best experiences that we’ve had. Lot more smaller, really intimate. We’ve just really basic lights and the reaction that we’ve from the people is so honest, so real. It’s actually been a really cool experience. Really emotional, though. I didn’t realise how emotional I am, but there are a few moments in the show that are just for the people. It’s unplugged and they’re very special moments. The songs are full of meaning and so it’s really cool if you hear the people starting to sing the songs back to you. It’s stuff that I’ve written, that I never thought, people would sing back to me. Really incredible!

reissnadel: I can imagine! You played just two shows until now.

Graham: Yes, just these two. And they’re the first kind of solo shows. We’ve done some radio festivals and city festivals. A lot with Alle Farben and all that stuff and the most reactions are that the people get either weirded out, ‘cause they thought it’s a female the hole time and then they get a bit of shocked. And you see, a few people like it and a few people don´t. And now they´re coming because of the voice and because of the music so the whole atmosphere has totally changed. It’s not like a surprise, but it’s more like that they´re already comfortable with what we’re doing.

reissnadel: Now more and more journalists are interested in you and a lot of them are trying to be funny by using your last name for some wordplays. Is this starting to annoy you sometimes?

Graham: It’s funny, because the most question overseas is: “Is the name real?”. Because it´s a very strange name to have. But no, I`m from the Candy-family. A lot of people ask: “Did you get made fun of in school?” But, actually, you can´t really make fun of “Candy”. They like: “Haha, the Candyman” So it doesn’t really get annoying. I´m really happy to have this name. I’m honored to have it.

reissnadel: In the beginning of next year there is a new album coming.

Graham: Yeees!

reissnadel: It’s called “Plan A” and I guess there is a story behind it?

Graham: Basically, when I was in school, I wasn’t the perfect student. I wasn’t in class much, because I just wanted to do performing arts. I was doing everything: musical, theater, dancing, played Shakespeare, music. So I was called to the principal’s office and thought I get expelled, let off. He said: “You need to go to school!” I said: “I don’t need to go to math or science, because it’s not gonna help me for my future.” But he said: “But you need to do it. You need to go, because you need a plan b.” I said: “No I don’t need a plan b, I will just do my plan a.” And actually, once they saw this kind of passion in my eyes, instead of expelling me, they sent me to New York for an exchange for performing arts. The school payed for it, it was incredible. That was the moment, when I picked up a guitar. And on one side it’s just “I proofed you wrong!” to some teachers and one the other side to say “Thank you”. And right in the middle of it just that I’ve done it. One of my dreams was just to make an album and “Plan A” is just a way of say “Thank you” for all the support, which was behind me. And because of this, we’ve had a thirty-piece school choir from my school and they sang for the whole album. Yeah, that’s what Plan A is, basically. Sorry for the long answer, but I can talk about it for two hours!

Graham Candy Tour Hamburg Mojo Club Plan A

reissnadel: Hopefully, it will be a big thing, because until now you’re mostly  recognised for you collaborations instead of your own music. Isn’t this frustrating?

Graham: No, man! I would say it´s just about passion, and it puts stuff in you. It’s all about developing. I think if I would have come out with the EP and it went nuts, there would be too much straight away. And I just want to eat the meal slowly. Just get into it, before becoming full instead of eating fast and be full straight away. I understand that people don’t know who I am, because they think the person who did the collabs was a female. And I’m in my beginnings. I started my career 3 years ago. Alle Farben’s is going for 8, Robin Schulz for 9 years. They’re very big and they’re hard workers and I’m just coming in. So I’m very grateful, actually. I would not have the doors open that I have, without those collaborations. I still have a long way to go and I’m happy that I have space and time do it, instead of all the pressure, which would come with fame.

reissnadel: And on the other hand it’s also really working for them. A lot of your collabs where big hits like “She moves”, “The Sun” or the new one with Robin Schulz.

Graham: Yes, and it’s funny, because now a lot of DJs just asking to have the voice. But we have to, kind of now, be chilled and we’ve to do it proper.

reissnadel: Choose the right ones.

Graham: Yes, and I really like that Robin Schulz is quite up and coming. But actually inside, underneath and behind the scenes, he is also just a very fucking nice guy! So that was cool and it was easy, but I don´t now if we will go down to these kind of deep-house-mix in the future.

reissnadel: So, after you went around a lot in the electronic scene it’s now changing.

Graham: I don’t want to be known as the guy that just features for DJs. But I can definitely imagine working with artists out of other genres in the future. Why not? I want to do a hip-hop thing at one point as well. And you can see all this tonight at the show. We put all into it. It’s dynamic, because, you know, I like folk. But when you go and see a folk band, after the seventh song you just want something little bit different. Again, it’s like a meal. A meal should not have just one ingredient. So, if you make a soup, you should have pumpkin, carrot, potato. Then you should have ginger and coriander. And it’s the same with music. There should be a bit of flavour in it!

reissnadel: I think we can expect something like this also on the album? Instead of the “Holding Up Balloons”-EP, which was very poppy.

Graham: We had a couple of strong pop songs in it. I love pop, but I wanted to do a few things different with the album. I just want to make a song that I believe in. And I love “Holding Up Balloons” – so that’s cool, but this album is way more gritty and honest and hardcore. I sing very low in some songs, I even rap in some things. So it’s a little bit of taste of everything. The album will give a taste of what will come. They’re all taster. There is just taste, taste, taste.

Chris Umbach

Gründer von reissnadel.com - studierte, neben dieser Sache mit Musik, irgendwas mit Flugzeugen im Norden Deutschlands und geht, ab und an, auf orangefarbener Schwalbe auf Reisen.

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