Music Bugle Exclusive – Q & A – Can Guru?

Photo courtesy of Can Guru? Facebook page.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

Despite his upbringing within a classical music environment, Colin Crichton truly found his passion for the electronic genre when he got to witness acts like The Chemical Brothers, Aphex Twins and 808 State onstage firsthand.

Not long after, he began to experiment and use samples under the moniker “Can Guru?” and gained experience in the industry as he worked as a performer, music producer and sound engineer. As Can Guru?, he has captured countless hearts and minds with the releases of singles “Never Give Up,” “Lost In The Open” and “Winner Today” within the past year.

The Music Bugle had the chance to talk with the Ottignies, Belgium-born electronic artist about what he has been up to lately and more.

Music Bugle – What excites you the most about your style of music? 

Can Guru? – Well, I’m always excited about trying new production techniques and experimenting with new ways of developing my songwriting flow. Throughout the years, I was at first and for a while, mainly writing songs with my guitar as an accompanying instrument, but as I evolved, I now program a lot of my music using a piano keyboard or touch pads. This can often be a faster process in comparison to recording acoustic instruments. Manipulating midi sounds and sound samples can be really fun and can lead to discovering new sonorities that I might have not heard before. That really excites me. I always strive to try and be as original as possible and true to myself in my music production process. Electronic music production gives me a scope to transfer all the ideas I have in my head into song format in an efficient way. That is very exciting.

Music Bugle – What was your goal for your track “Winner Today”? 

Can Guru? – My goal was to write a big memorable anthemic song that would motivate people to follow their dreams and get over the hurdles they will come across in the way. In other words – a song that could help people get back up after they fall over, leaving the darkness behind them and getting back into the light.

Music Bugle – How did you decide on the name “Can Guru?” 

Can Guru? – I was trying to find memorable band/artist names one day. I just wrote a list of ideas down that would come to my mind and “Can Guru” was one of them. I wanted something clever, but at the same time, not too clever, so that it would be easy to remember. I like the idea of playing with words and I thought “Can Guru” could mean different things at the same time, which is pretty cool. The question mark came after and I think it adds a nice extra twist to the name. I think a bit of punctuation here and there makes all the difference.

Music Bugle – How would you describe Ottignies, Belgium to someone who has never been there before?

Can Guru? – Oh, well, Ottignies is a typical Belgian town in Wallonia – the French-speaking side of Belgium. There is nothing that fascinating about this town, I guess. I was born in the hospital of Ottignies, but I lived my whole childhood in a modern nearby town called Louvain-la-Neuve – or L-L-N. L-L-N is a lot more interesting than Ottignies, as it is a pedestrian University town with an original modern architecture design based on the principles of the Moroccan souks.

Music Bugle – What has been your favorite experience while on stage?

Can Guru? – I guess that would have been performing at the Kendal Calling Festival in the U.K..

Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise?

Can Guru? – I’ve been listening to The Roots’s ‘Phrenology’ album and also to some Johann Sebastian Bach “Goldberg Variations” performed by Glen Gould! This is how eclectic my tastes in music are sometimes in my world.

Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?

Can Guru? – It’s been an up and down rollercoaster for me, I guess. I mean, I do work a lot on my own in the studio, producing music or artwork and that’s not really changed my workflow that much, I guess. On the plus side, I have been getting a lot closer to my family and close friends. I have also been doing sports regularly – mainly cycling, meditating and spending time in nature, which has been a great way for me to channel my energies in a positive way.

Music Bugle – Where do you go when you need a break?

Can Guru? – I commune a lot with nature. Spending time in nature really brings the best out of me.

Music Bugle – What has been your proudest accomplishment?

Can Guru? – That’s a very good question… and a tough one to answer. In my humble opinion, I guess, being alive and striving to become an original artist is my proudest accomplishment yet. Since I was a kid, I often had difficulties “fitting in” with the mass, or “following the crowd.” It was sometimes a problem with me when I was at school, as I would find ways to question the validity of what a lot of my teachers would teach. That’s probably why I became a big fan of Pink Floyd in my teens. Artists like Roger Waters inspired me a lot to think for myself!

Music Bugle – What’s a quote that motivates you to keep doing what you do?

Can Guru? – “Be the change you want to see.”

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