A golf game in Florida, some networking and the right mix of talent landed Connor Vance with a music producer and his first single.
The 21-year-old Rupertite moved to the other side of the continent a year-and-a-half ago to live with his father and to find opportunity — and possibly even star status — in a bigger, warmer, city. His leap of faith worked.
“Things are rolling,” Vance said.
He was golfing with his dad in Gainsville, Florida when he met another musician. Soon he found a manager and a producer and has already recorded an EP, half of an album.
It’s still up in the air whether he will return to the recording studio in the spring to complete a full album. Until then, he’s picked up a couple live gigs and is starting to get booked as an opening act in Tampa Bay.
“That’s the fun part,” he said. Before he was doing solo acoustic acts for side cash.
His mother, Cathy Horcoff, remembers the early days when he first picked up a guitar. He was about 13 years old at the time.
“His step sister had a guitar and he basically picked it up and started strumming it. He immediately wanted lessons. He wanted me to buy him a guitar and I said, ‘Show that this is really something that you’re going to be interested in and then I’ll think about it,’” Horcoff said.
He spent the next six months teaching himself how to play via You Tube videos. That was enough to convince his mother. She set him up with lessons from Brian Miller, the guitar player for the band Triple Bypass.
Miller has taught a lot of students in the past but he certainly remembers Vance.
“He’s one of the few students who stay in your head when you’re teaching. He was down to earth, a quick learner, passionate about guitar and a pleasure to teach,” Miller said.
Vance’s music is upbeat and soulful. He fits into the genre between pop and rock. He attributes constant practice to how he discovered his style.
“When I was able to meet up with somebody that was willing to collaborate and also had a vision of my music and how I should sound as a person, it completely opened up my eyes to exactly what kind of genre I wanted to be in.”
He gets his inspiration from everywhere and tries to be as diverse as he can so people can relate to his tunes. His first single, “Run”, was released on Dec. 14.
The song is about an aunt who was battling cancer and facing a life-threatening surgery when she discovered her husband of 25 years was having an affair and was going to leave her.
“She loves the song and she cries all the time when she listens to it because she feels the pain in that,” Vance said.
Although he is far from Rupert, he is still close with his friends and family back home and one of his friends even made the trip down to Florida to visit with him over the holidays.
“I’ll always remember where I’m from. That’s a huge part of my life, obviously, I was born there and I was raised there until I was 18. Staying true to myself and knowing I’m not the kind of person that would forget.”
Vance doesn’t consider himself famous despite having a song up on iTunes and a music video. He’s hoping to make things happen in 2016.
Recently, people have reached out to him asking him for advice on how to get their feet off the ground.
His advice: “Always strive to be better. Never settle for being mediocre. Try to be diverse and work hard and get yourself out there. You do those things and you’ll just surround yourself with positive energy and positive things will happen for you.”