Now in its 20th year, MoPOP’s Sound Off! is the premier 21-and-under music showcase in the Pacific Northwest. This year, we’re celebrating a milestone anniversary of the program, which has built upon an incredible legacy in the local music scene. Celebrate with us at 7 p.m. PT on Saturday, May 15 with a virtual music showcase featuring performances and interviews with eight artists from across our region.
CANNXN is all about blurring the lines between glitter and grunge. Mixing high-energy guitar riffs with sparkling synths and vocal melodies, their music transcends the pop genre by creating something organic. Starting as the solo project of Megan Cannon, CANNXN has since evolved to a collaboration between friends who want to capture lighting in a bottle.
CANNXN (Megan): My name is Megan Cannon, I'm from the Tacoma area, and I'm a 19-year-old singer and songwriter. I've been writing and producing under the name CANNXN for about a year and a half now. It's just been a lot of stuff that I work in my bedroom. I'm heavily influenced by a lot of alternative and pop acts.
How did you find out about Sound Off! and what encouraged you to apply this year?
CANNXN (Megan):I found out about Sound Off! by watching videos from local bands that I loved. I've been big into the music scene and I always wanted to create something that was bigger than myself, and that was an alternative band and I just never had the right time or people I knew to actually do it. So in this past year during COVID, I had a lot of time to learn how to write and produce, and I made the music I wanted to. I was like, "I'm a one-man band. I can do it by myself." And then, when I applied for Sound Off!, I realized that the one-man band thing doesn't work. So I found friends to come help me and we've been working together for about two to three months now. So it's been good practicing a lot.
What was your reaction when you found out you were going to be part of Sound Off! 2021 and what are you most excited about?
CANNXN (Megan): When I found out I was going to be part of Sound Off! 2021, it was initially like, "Oh my God, I have to find people to play with me!" and find out what I really want to do and how I want to present myself and make the most out of this project. I'm most excited to make my life debut as an artist. I think a lot of the time, because I did start out as an acoustic singer songwriter, I don't see myself as being in a band and doing a full live music thing. So that's what I'm most excited for.
xxxxXXSpeaker 2: (02:16) My reaction, when I found out that this was the year we were going to do sound off, I was kind of surprised and excited that it was still happening. And so I was just very excited and it felt a little bit validating to have my songs get a chance to kind of stand alone. Um, and it was very vulnerable submitting them because they were kind of just rough demos and I'm excited to see how far they've come in this performance and with some new instrumentation and everything. So, yeah, very excited.
What are you hoping to bring to the Sound Off! community and Seattle music scene?
CANNXN (Megan): I would like to bring to the group a little bit different of a genre. Growing up, because I did watch so many bands in the local scene, I haven't seen a lot of pop alternative bands where it's a lot of production as well as live music instrumentation. So I think I just want to bring that genre more to the Seattle area because it's what I'm a big fan of and I wish there was more like it.
Why do you make music?
CANNXN (Megan): I make music because it makes me happy. I'm a very creative, neurotic person and I need a lot of things to do, even if it's just working on crafts or music things. I just have a lot going on in my brain and I need to get it out in some way. The way I song write, I just hear the full productions in my head most of the time and it's kind of like a mission of piecing together different things and how I can get that vision.
Why did you choose music as your main creative outlet?
CANNXN (Megan):I chose music to be my creative outlet specifically because I really like the layers of sound that you can add in, so many textures and influences. I grew up a big fan of Taylor Swift and I definitely really enjoyed her storytelling because I think you can create a visual experience through your lyrics as well as the emotional landscapes that you kind of put your music on and it's just like all encompassing. I love all art forms, but I think music is the most interesting to me because it can bring so many different elements in.
CANNXN (Megan): I guess a weird story I have is I did this band camp when I was younger and we definitely focused a lot on alternative rock music. So it was really funny to see me, age 15, in a dress, in my first band, and we're covering "Sober" by Tool, which I had never really knew that song until I covered it. And it definitely was not in my range and I forgot the words on stage, so I like mumbled. And that lives on YouTube forever.
What are you looking forward to after Sound Off! 2021?
CANNXN (Megan): I think after Sound Off!, definitely a lot more live-show oriented. I really want to get my music out to more people I think is one of the main things and just have bigger, more creative visions when it comes to the whole picture of it. I mean, there's the music for one thing, but I want to create a whole visual experience behind it as well. And just working on creating lots of content.
This program takes a village to build, and we are grateful to The Looking Out Foundation and Mackie for their generous support of Sound Off! 2021.
We’d like to thank our community partners in helping to amplify the work of these young artists and for their support of Sound Off! 2021: KEXP, London Bridge, and The Recording Academy Pacific Northwest Chapter.