Emiliano Canal is an electro-pop songwriter and producer from Buenos Aires in Argentina. He is known as Canal Pop and has worked with some amazing singers, such as Lara Sambert, whom was on Popstars in Argentina. We first discovered Canal Pop on Soundcloud and contacted him for an interview. Read on to find out how he got into electro-music, how he produces his catchy tracks and what he will be doing in 2011.
Q: Who are you called?
My name is Emiliano Canal AKA Canal Pop. I’m from Buenos Aires, Argentina. Canal Pop is the name I use as an artist. I also run the indie label/ publishing company Eternal Sunday, the only label specialized in releasing local artists with vocals in English.
Q: If you could classify your music in a genre or number of genres what would it be?
Q: If you could use a tagline of less than 20 words to describe your music and who you are what would it be?
Catchy electropop with ironic lyrics sung by sexy girls.
Q: What is your musical background?
I’ve been recording and composing songs for more than fifteen years. I was part of the first generation of electronic/ electropop musicians/ producers in Buenos Aires. Instead of learning to play an instrument first and then learning MIDI programming, I started directly using MIDI sequencers to program songs and music. I play keyboards live on stage, of course, but that’s second to me to programming synths. When I started I used a sequencer that ran on a Commodore 128 home computer, which was a nightmare to use, so I can say I witnessed much of the evolution of modern music production technology. I studied traditional music composition and arrangements but had to adapt that knowledge into electropop. One of my main goals as a producer was to be able to record great vocals, which is hard to do, and you can notice this with the younger generation of electronic producers, they have grown up using software like Fruity Loops and Reason and come up with acceptable instrumental music but can’t record a decent vocal track. Luckily I was always able to work with amazing singers, both male and female, and I learned a lot from them.
Q: How was 2010 for you?
It was very good in overall terms. As Canal Pop I released with singer Lara Sambert the album An Electro Tribute To Oasis, and our version of “Stand By Me” was chosen “song of the day” at Popjustice.com. Since they usually chose people like Lady Gaga, Kylie Minogue, Robyn and Ke$ha I think we did great. I started recording our new album with Lizzie Van Der Kink, another fabulous singer.
Being also a label owner I was accepted as a member of CAPIF, the chamber that reunites the most important labels in Argentina (like the US RIAA). Which was great. We had an annual meeting and I sat on a chair and the President (CEO) of EMI for Southern South America (who’s a great guy by the way) came and said “hey that’s my chair… Never mind, I’ll pick another one” and picked another one. As a mere music producer I never was treated with such kindness by these big guys. I also was offered to direct the first radio dedicated to Argentinean bands with songs in English, so it was a busy year.
Q: Who inspires you musically?
I have several sources of inspiration… I spend a lot of time listening to the US and UK charts, since those sounds create the future trends. I’m also a big fan of classic electropop of the 70′s and 80′s (Depeche Mode, OMD, Pet Shop Boys, Gary Numan, Erasure, New Order, Kraftwerk, those guys). Of course, I also love classic pop and rock music, The Beatles, Elvis, The Who, The Bee Gees, every aspiring popstar should take the time to study them. I like electronic music, specially electro and progressive trance. I’m actually very curious about music (and everything else). I’m listening to swing music from the 30′s these days, and I found some amazing things that I would love to add to a track.
Q: Which modern day artists do you look up to?
I’m following the new generation of electropop artists like Robyn, of course Lady Gaga, La Roux… I would like to be considered part of it.
Q: Is there anyone you would like to collaborate or gig with?
Well since I interact with other musicians all the time as a label owner, producer and publisher I tend to work alone as Canal Pop (not counting the singers). But I would love to work with any electropop legend like the Pet Shop Boys or Vince Clarke or any of those guys.
Q: What songs are on your ipod at the moment?
Oh, thousands… Current music, old music, all the music from my label plus all the demos that artists send me plus several projects of compilations and things like that… I need a lot of storage space.
Q: What is your creative process for creating a track?
Well in all these years I sketched hundreds of songs or musical ideas so from time to time I pick a couple of them and try to match them to an idea for a song. But every song is different. What I do care most is not only the idea for a song but the production process in order to make sure that song will work. I listen to dozens of demos and finished songs a week and sometimes I hear brilliant ideas ruined by a deficient production. Bad vocals, long intros, a wrong structure, too many instruments at the same time, arrangements that sound like fifteen years ago… There are many ways of screwing a song and only a few of making it work.
Q: What’s more important, melody or lyrics?
I love writing lyrics, though English is not my native language. But as a pro I would have to say melody. If you listen to a catchy song in a language that you don’t understand you enjoy it anyway.
Q: Where are you based?
Buenos Aires, Argentina, South America.
Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?
Since Buenos Aires is a big city people think of us as cosmopolitan, extroverted, tolerant and open to novelty and a little pretentious. I fit, of course… People dance the tango here although I’ve never learnt to.
Q: What are you currently working on?
I’m working on Canal Pop’s upcoming album. The songs are almost ready, the singer has to record six or seven more tracks and then it’ll be time to mix (and remix). You can listen to what we already have at our Soundcloud page. http://soundcloud.com/canalpop/sets/hcg-lfb
Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?
As I said being a member of CAPIF puts me among the major music industry players in our country and region. That’ll help me as an artist too. As a publisher we co-publish with Universal Music Publishing Group, and that gave me some cool international contacts. The people at UMP Argentina are ultra cool.
Q: What are you hoping to achieve in 2011?
I hope to finish the new Canal Pop album and I hope to be able to find a partner or label in the UK to release it there. Any suggestions?
Q: Do you have any gigs or shows that you’d like to tell us about?
January and February are summer vacation months in Buenos Aires so the activity resumes in March, we have some gigs planned at some discos but nothing is sure yet.
Q: What do you do to relax?
I meditate. I run 10k races. I read. I listen to classical music. I don’t like smoking pot or drinking.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?
There are some wonderful bands from Argentina that sing in English and should have worldwide hits, but since the rest of the local industry only think in terms of selling music in Spanish to the Latin market these have never been given the chance they deserve. Check some of them at the Eternal Sunday site at www.eternalsunday.com.ar or at the Argentina’s Pop For Export podcast http://argentinapopforexport.mypodcast.com/
Editor’s note: Canal Pop creates catchy and individual electro-pop that should definitely appeal to people on both sides of the atlantic in equal measure. I’m waiting for the album to be completed with quite a lot of excitement!
twitter link: www.twitter.com/eternal_sunday
facebook link: www.facebook.com/pages/Canal-Pop/22237411264
myspace link: www.myspace.com/canalpop
web page link: www.canalpop.com.ar
soundcloud link: www.soundcloud.com/canalpop
reverbnation link: www.reverbnation.com/canalpop
Canal Pop blog: canalpop.blogspot.com