It is clear from the tranquil and dreamy soundscapes of Nightly Gatherings that Connor Johnson intended to build a musical identity that takes listeners to a realm that is not their own.
Nightly Gatherings is a master of electronic pop. They mix organic sounds with creative production to make a unique and captivating experience. They are based in Chico, which is in the state of California.
The year 2021 marked the beginning of Johnson’s adventure as Nightly Gatherings, although his musical talent had been honed over the course of many years of producing and playing with sound.
Johnson demonstrates his skill as a composer and producer with the release of his debut single, “Accepted” He crafts a four-song trip that clocks in at less than fourteen minutes but yet manages to take listeners to a realm where there is only joy and contentment.
The ethereal and dreamy techno sound of Nightly Gatherings makes me think of close friends getting together around a campfire, flying through the sky, or swimming through the ocean.
This ethereal aspect of Nightly Gatherings’ music is what separates him from other musicians and is what attracts listeners who are looking for a more profound and genuine musical experience.
The organic method that Johnson uses to produce electronic dance music is a demonstration of his own creative vision. Nightly Gatherings started out as an experiment in mixing organic sounds with electronic music. However, it has grown into a body of work that makes you feel like you’re traveling through the universe.
With the release of the single “Accepted,” Nightly Gatherings has shown that he is one of the most dynamic and original artists in the electronic pop genre.
Nightly Gatherings takes listeners on a journey into the depths of his musical imagination, inviting them to a realm filled with wonder and discovery, where the night sky is filled with stars and the possibilities are unlimited.
Who are your biggest musical influences?
I listen to so much music, everything from post-hardcore to ambient to folk, I’ve always wanted my music to be a culmination of all my favourite genres. But Porter Robinson, 1975, and Bon Iver have been influenced since day one of Nightly Gatherings. They all have amazing fluidity when it comes to making so many different genres, which I have always admired.
What inspired you to write your latest album?
My first album, Tethered Together, was a love letter to my favourite genres that got me through the pandemic, My sophomore album, Don’t Worry, is about the relationships with my friends that I got to re-grow and how I am learning how to be human again.
What message do you hope to convey through your music?
From the start, I’ve always wanted Nightly Gatherings to just be genuine. Before I started this project, I was a concert photographer and only identified myself as such. I had the worst imposter syndrome when it came to social media, and I had enough. I just wanted to be me. I’m not an artist or a photographer, I just want to be myself. When you listen to Nightly Gatherings that is what you are getting.
What was the most challenging aspect of recording your latest album?
Towards the end of writing my first album, I started experimenting with recording my own vocals. I am not nor have I ever been a singer, so I would disguise my voice with a filter that pitched it up just because of how bad my clean voice sounded.
I still use that effect on occasion, but I really wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone and use only my raw vocals. I am singing on every track and still use that effect, but very sparingly. My writing style completely changed too and became very therapeutic, as 2022 was an insanely weird transitional year.
What has been your favourite moment or experience as a musician so far?
I’ve been fortunate enough to become friends with some of my favourite artists that I have idolized since I was in high school. I got to put out an official remix for Slow Magic last year for his song, “Sorry Safari” that I remember listening to in my high school English class. I just love these full-circle moments!
How do you balance your personal life with your music career?
I definitely have a love-hate relationship when it comes to my music. I do it for myself; it’s an outlet. I definitely make my best music when I am in a complete state of emotional turmoil.
I only sit down and start something when I feel it would be beneficial for me, not because I think I could make something good. I just live my life and do my best until I feel it’s time to make something.
How do you handle negative criticism or feedback on your music?
I truly have yet to receive negative criticism of my music. Before I release something, I have a small circle of people to whom I will send an idea, and the feedback is always constructive. I am really grateful for the people I have around me who have put up with an endless amount of demos, half of which never end up going anywhere.
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians trying to make it in the industry?
Don’t be afraid to be yourself.
Do you have any upcoming projects or releases that you’re excited about?
My sophomore album, Don’t Worry, is coming out this spring, I have a release date in mind, but nothing is finalized yet.
It is my best work yet, and I’m so excited for it to be out. I’ve also started a side project called West End Cove, which is for darker ambient/indie stuff. I have so many plans for 2023.
Do you have any plans to branch out into other genres or styles of music?
I’ve been making harder, more dancier stuff just for fun and think I’ll put it out later this year after the album. I love incorporating “ravey” type stuff in my sets and it contrasts so well with my melodic music.