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An Interview with Cannons’ Michelle Joy

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We Speak With The Voice Behind One of The Fastest Rising Synthwave Dreampop Bands in America – Interview with Michelle Joy, the Lead Vocalist of Cannons

Cannons are known for their infectious blend of indie pop and electronic sounds, and Michelle Joy’s captivating stage presence is a key element of their live performances. Appearing this weekend at Audacy’s Riptide Music Festival in Ft Lauderdale Beach, FL, the band is a great fit for people who love dreamy female-fronted indie bands similar to Chromatics, The XX and Phantogram! We had the opportunity to chat with Michelle Joy, the incredibly talented lead vocalist behind the group ahead of their performance in South Florida, which happens to be her hometown! Join us as we chat about Michelle’s creative process, the band’s next moves and the unique essence she brings to Cannons’ sonic landscape.

Cannons’ music has a unique blend of synth-pop elements. Can you share some of your major musical influences and how they have shaped the sound of Cannons?

Our music taste and inspirations are constantly changing! Something that always stays the same between all of us collectively would be the love of older music. We’re inspired by sounds of the past (60’s, 70’s, 80’s) and love to bring in nostalgic elements from those decades while making them feel fresh and new again. 

Collaboration is often a key aspect of creating music. How does the collaborative process work within Cannons? Do each of you contribute to the creative process all at once, or do you create the lyrics after the music is completed??

It’s very collaborative the entire way! Demos are sent back and forth between all of us until we feel we have a concrete idea going. Then we meet up to finish the songs together.

Speaking of lyrics, your songs often explore themes of love and self-discovery. Can you walk us through your songwriting process? How do you approach writing lyrics, and what inspires the themes in your songs?

Everything in life inspires the lyrics. I’m constantly writing lyrics in my notes app, my phone is filled with ideas that I pull from when working on a song. And when Ryan and Paul come up with lyrics they try to make sure it’s something I can relate to and really feel when I’m singing. We all know each other so well and everything we’re each going through in life – they’ve become really good at inspiring lyrics that I feel and connect to deeply! 

Cannons is known for delivering captivating live performances. How do you prepare for live shows, and what do you enjoy most about connecting with your audience in a live setting?

Thank you! We have been playing so many shows lately so our sets feel very locked in lately. If we add anything new we meet up and rehearse a bunch till we feel confident! We really love to see the audience singing the words, dancing with us and just having a good time all around. 

With several successful tracks under Cannons’ belt, do you have a personal favorite song that you like to play live? If so, what makes that particular track special to you?

I love playing “Hurricane,” it just makes me feel good and gets the crowd singing and dancing with me!

As an ex-Florida resident, what do you miss most about living in the state? And is there anything that you do not miss at all?

I miss my family and friends in Florida. I miss the beaches and warm ocean water! And also the amazing Cuban and Caribbean food in south Florida that’s hard to find in California. 

The visual aesthetics of your music videos and promotional material are often as distinctive as the music itself. How important is visual representation to Cannons, and how involved are you in shaping the visual aspects of your brand?

Thank you! We want to express visually what our music sounds like, that’s very important. Our music is very nostalgic yet fresh, shiny, glossy, sexy etc. so we really try to bring all those elements together on the visual end too. I’m very involved with shaping the visual aspects, I have countless mood boards I create for music videos, photoshoots, tour looks, album art, Merch etc. 

What can fans expect from Cannons in the near future? Are there any upcoming projects, collaborations, or new directions you are excited to explore?

You can always expect us to be trying new things sound wise, experimenting and just having fun making music that feels genuine and true to us!

Make sure to check out Cannons‘ performance at Audacy’s Riptide Music Festival this weekend, and make sure to check out their latest album Heartbeat Highway which came out last month!

Gleb Barabanov is South Florida Insider's Vice President, Graphic Designer and Webmaster, as well as a Photographer and Writer covering events all over the world. Originally born in Odessa, Ukraine, Gleb now calls the sunny Florida area home, where he attended Full Sail University and received a Bachelors of Arts in Film Production. Gleb is obsessed with music, cameras, guitars, and his Shiba Inu, Yoshi

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