Zach Cannella could be the poster boy for today’s class of emerging singer-songwriter. The Chicago native and current Nashville resident uses YouTube as an exposure tool, self-releases his CDs, books his own shows, and feverishly writes songs. Currently, Cannella is on tour in support of his EP, Bottom Drawer, and his recently-released single, “Jephthah.” On Sunday, February 12, Cannella will bring his acoustic-driven songs to the Nick. Recently, Cannella spoke to Weld by phone in anticipation of his upcoming debut Birmingham performance.
Weld: You’ve lived in Nashville for a little more than a year now. What’s been your experience since you moved there?
Zach Cannella: I came here with the mindset of wanting to do songwriting for other artists. I wanted to go on that path but the more I did, the more I realized that it wasn’t exactly for me. I wanted to do my own singer-songwriter thing. I will co-write with my friends that I’ve met down here. When I was doing blind co-writes with people I’d only met over the phone, it was very cookie-cutter and it didn’t feel like there was much of an artistic expression through it.
Weld: You’ve moved to Nashville at an exciting time — the recent growth there has been amazing.
Cannella: Yeah, I’m the one to blame for all of the traffic. [Laughs]
Weld: Chicago, your hometown, is of course a big city with a bustling music scene of its own. What prompted your move to Nashville?
Cannella: I miss home, but I knew that through my music journey, I couldn’t go much farther with original music in Chicago. I could go the cover band route or be a backup guitarist, but I wanted to expose my original music. I looked at Austin, Los Angeles, and Nashville. I visited Nashville, and I realized that I would move here even if it wasn’t for music, so it was an easy decision.
Weld: You have a video for your new single, “Jephthah,” that has received heavy traffic on YouTube. You have made good use of YouTube in garnering exposure for your music.
Cannella: Absolutely. I’m starting to already see kids who are younger than me that know how to work it even better. I’m starting to become the old guy. [Laughs]
Weld: In addition to promoting your EP, Bottom Drawer, and your new single, what are you up to at the present moment?
Cannella: I’m always writing. I write every single day even if I’m not feeling anything creative. I still have a lot of ideas that aren’t full songs yet. I’m focusing on getting press for my new single and booking tours for May and June.
Zach Cannella will perform at The Nick on Sunday, February 12. Ingrid Marie will open the 10 p.m. show. Tickets to the 21-and-up show are $5 and can be purchased at thenickrocks.com.