Canek is a Franco-Mexican singer/songwriter, with an overwhelming passion for pop and classical music. Since the early age of thirteen, he has participated in international tours with his french high school choir.
He is also part of the baroque duet Anima Anticua and has engaged in numerous plays and musicals such as The Portrait of Dorian Gray. After finishing a Bachelor of Arts in musicology (France), Canek wanted to push his creativity in pop music outside of the aesthetics, sometimes close-minded norms, of classical music. Written/composed by Canek and produced by Mexican producer Manuel Durán, I Miss Me is the second single of Canek’s upcoming debut album.
The song deals with trauma after a devastating breakup during the beginning of the pandemic in 2020. “Let me put it this way: the beginning of the pandemic, couldn’t see, do anything for 2 months and a half. I was alone in 30m2. I lost myself, drowning in depression and anxiety. I missed my sense of humour, my jokes, and my confidence.
I Miss Me is a power ballad, filled with intimacy and vulnerability, closer to artists such as Adele, a colossal inspiration for Canek. Furthermore, it showcases the particular countertenor voice of the singer frequently used in classical/baroque music. As a result, I Miss Me is a beautiful blend between pop and classical music in an original, personal and authentic way “This song is really simple: piano and voice. The climax of a broadway show, a plot twist in my life.
You’ll hear me hitting the highest musical notes I’ve ever done and literally screaming in pain. It’s raw and honest”, mentions Canek. I Miss ME – Music Video The music video of I Miss Me was directed by Canek himself. The staging of the video is based on the painting “The Fallen Angel” made by Alexandre Cabanel in 1847, a portrait of Lucifer, the most beautiful angel, banished from heaven, full of anger towards his creator.
Canek felt banished from his own heaven likewise, a heaven full of stability and balance turned into turmoil after a soul-crushing breakup. The storm images represent the troubled and frustrated conscience of Canek.
More lights were shed on Canek’s musical journey and personal life in a recent interview with Mister Styx of musicarenagh. Get the full interview below:
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What is your stage name?
My stage name is Canek, like my real name. It means “serpent star” in Mayan language.
Is there a story behind your stage name?
Not really. I like my name: is original and not very common. I thought it was a good idea to keep it for my music. My father traveled to Yucatán in México, and he discovered the true story of Mayan hero Jacinto Canek, loved it and decided to call me like that.
Where do you find inspiration?
Oh my, it was heartbreak for a long time. What a cliché haha I definitely considered that I couldn’t write from another source of inspiration but fortunately I did. I get inspired by people in general, their struggles, their thoughts, their complexities. I also love to write about issues that are considered taboo and that need to be talked about like mental health and sex positivity.
What was the role of music in the early years of your life?
At the early stages of my life, music was a place of love and freedom. I remember very well the times that I was blasting The Beatles on my mother’s car and we were singing to it. I felt loved and safe.
Are you from a musical or artistic family?
Yes. My grandfather was an opera singer. Unfortunately, he passed away when my dad was very young and I didn’t get to meet him. Nonetheless, I think about him everyday, especially when I’m about to go on stage.
Who inspired you to be a part of the music industry?
It all started with my middle school teacher. We used to sing and dance a lot in class and she pushed me to give music a chance. She made me realize that maybe I had something worth exploring and sharing.
How did you learn to sing/write/to play?
I properly started learning to sing in my school choir. It was a colossal training: classical pieces in different languages and harmonies. Then, I took classical and pop singing lessons with amazing professors. When it comes to songwriting, I went to a lot of workshops for years. It taught me a lot of structure, especially when crafting pop songs. I learned to play the piano at music school in France but I only know the basics, harmonies and chords, that help me with my creative process.
What was the first concert that you ever went to and who did you see perform?
Oh, no! I can’t remember! But I can tell you that the Monster Ball by Lady Gaga was one of the greatest shows I’ve ever seen in my life. She dances, sings, plays instruments, interacts with the crowd… it was such an amazing experience.
How would you describe your music?
Eclectic and authentic. You’ll see me doing everything but always from the heart. Nevertheless, pop music will always be the common element in my music, no matter how eclectic.
Describe your creative process.
I usually start with my keyboard and start humming melodies. I am obsessed with catchy hooks. Then, I start to write lyrics and send a rough demo to my amazing producer Manuel Durán. In fact, my creative process also involves a lot of conversations about emotions, feelings to get the right atmosphere and mindset for the arrangement. It’s very therapeutic.
What is your main inspiration?
Love. Without a doubt. In all its complexity.
What musician do you admire most and why?
As I said earlier, I absolutely love Lady Gaga especially because she has done it all: pop, country, jazz, electronic… She doesn’t settle and for me that’s very courageous. She is the living proof that genres, labels, mean absolutely nothing. She is not a pop singer, or a dance singer. She is a musician. Period.
Did your style evolve since the beginning of your career?
Yes, especially my songwriting, I hope. In my opinion, my lyrics before were lacking a lot of depth. I was scared to be so vulnerable. Sometimes it’s hard to read out loud painful moments in your life. There was a turning point where I said: enough! I’m going to write absolutely everything. It changed drastically my songwriting process in a positive way.
Who do you see as your main competitor?
I don’t like to consider other people as competitors. Everyone has their own journey and their own pace.
What are your interests outside of music?
I love cooking and tv series. Completely addicted.
If it wasn’t a music career, what would you be doing?
I would be a photographer I think, or a music video director. I love visuals, I spend a lot of time creating them and I’m always looking for a good spot, lighting, texture to take a picture.
What is the biggest problem you have encountered in the journey of music?
Everyone is obsessed with numbers: number of followers, streams, views, monthly listeners. It’s not about music anymore or at least it usually comes in second place. Such a shame.
If you could change one thing in the music industry, what would it be?
Again, the obsession of numbers and going viral on Tik Tok. Let’s focus on music, let’s give it a listen to someone that has 200 followers or 500 000. Let’s try to understand that a huge following doesn’t equal good music.