We had the good fortune of connecting with Conner Graham and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Conner, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I loved the feeling, being in my first band, of having our first three songs presented tangibly. I loved it so much that after that band went separate ways, I felt engulfed in helping other artists and groups reach that same height. I aim to observe that same expression of euphoria and satisfaction that I felt the first time recording and creating art myself.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I came about what I do now through miraculous circumstance, persistence, and consistent hard work. My first experience with audio production was with my first band in 2011, and the take-home from it was the indescribable feeling of having music that you’ve played live for so long enter a tangible medium. This is what set my life on the path I am on now, and is why I enjoy so much helping artists experience that themselves now. I began working with audio in 2012 in high school, and I had a computer running an auxiliary jack to a now-old-school stereo system that I used as studio monitors. I left home at 20 and was working with a band of members in their mid 30’s for a bit, as well as several other local bands for the next couple of years. I joined my most recent band, Lucid Illusions, while marketing recording and mixing services. They reached out and basically said, “Hey, do you want to play bass in a band?” I said yes, and in 2020 following the pandemic’s expansion I asked my guys if they would trust me with recording our next album. We worked on this album for two years, multiple times a week, while gigging, saving money, and recording for some other local artists. Needless to say, recording my own band and having that blend of responsibility and creativity was a top for me. Whether we were working on our music or others, we had our fair share of creative contributions and collaborations that meant there is a significant wear on the Undo hot keys on my keyboard. Through and through, the exposure has led to more confident creative decisions, an easier networking experience, and a more enjoyable time with what is technically work. I believe in the artists that come in and the potential that they have, bring in, and discover in themselves. The relationship between an audio engineer and an artists is not cut and dry – it is subjective, requires time and attention, and going above and beyond in order to meet the goal ahead. In an industry that is so much less financially viable than it was 40 years ago, you have to love what you do because you love it. Through this and through my band, I’ve met so many amazing people and bands that I love or idolize, and myself and my two band mates have been able to fund most of what we do when we need, travel for shows and recording, and play some of the largest events in Houston. An absolutely unbelievable experience.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion is still one of my favorite places for a live music experience. Bar hopping in the Heights is a blast, too. There is a small hole-in-the-wall restaurant in the Katy area called Da Vinci’s that holds a capacity of maybe 20 people max that I love treating people to on special occasions.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I owe a lot to a lot of people and I can’t simplify that. I have the support of my family, my band’s frontman’s family, my drummer’s family, my friends, my friend’s friends, and all of their families. I’ve been fighting the music industry delve’s curve for 11 years, and I still do everything I do because I love what I do and I love the inspired musicians and groups that I work with. I’m so grateful and I cherish what I do.