A UTD student recently released his own album, “Girlfriends,” online after a year and a half of development.
Before putting this record together, the last time computer science junior Drew Cannedy played music was freshman year of high school. What brought him back was attending a Mac DeMarco performance.
“I saw him in concert because my friend invited me to go see him, when I didn’t really know him,” Cannedy said. “I just really liked his stage presence, and how cool he was as a dude.”
Afterwards, he felt motivated to record a cover of one of Mac DeMarco’s songs, “Without Me.” Cannedy received positive reception from his friends and family, and decided to start recording his own original songs.
After covering DeMarco’s song, Cannedy wanted to continue recording music. He said he initially did not set out to make an album, but after recording a couple songs, released as a compilation.
“By the end of (the process), I had like 10 songs,” he said. “I was like ‘That sounds like a good amount to just have a collection of songs.’”
Given the title of the album, Cannedy’s past relationships inspired all of the songs, and these experiences often help him write songs.
He said the most personal song on his album is “Broken Windows” because of the emotional events leading to its creation.
“I just fought with my girlfriend. I was outside already playing guitar and she called me, when I hung up, right then I had written the lyrics,” he said. “It was right after a tough moment.”
Cannedy’s conversations also inspire the lyrics in his songs.
“The first line of ‘Gone Away’ is, ‘You’re like a movie, I could watch you for hours.’ I actually said that one day and I was like, ‘Oh, that could be a whole song,’” he said.
Cannedy said if he was feeling motivated and could focus entirely on the song, he could finish one in less than a week. However, he also had schoolwork to focus on, which is why it took him longer.
His songmaking process starts with a chord progression he plays on his acoustic guitar, and then thinking of lyrics to supplement it.
“I would record the guitar and think about what other instruments would go along with it,” Cannedy said. “Then at the end, I would do drums, and when everything is done, I’ll go back and do the vocals.”
The main motivation behind releasing the album and making it public was to share it with the people close to him.
“All my friends like seeing what I’m doing, and my family likes seeing what I’m doing, so I thought I would share it for them mostly. Not really for anyone else,” he said.
Cannedy said music is just a hobby at the moment, but if he could garner enough attention, it could turn into something more.
“It would be nice to have people that I don’t know already, find it and be into it,” he said. “If enough people were interested, I would definitely try to make it a career, but for now it’s just something fun.”