Dan Cugnet is already working on his next album, set to be released this fall. Since it will be a double, this will mean four albums in 12 months.
How does one generate so many great original songs in such a short amount of time? The singer/songwriter shared with us his take on writing so many original songs.
"It's having that willingness to put yourself out there, and, ultimately, creating music, creating art, is about sharing it with other people," he commented. "Hopefully, if you're doing it right, and finding your way with it, that is the joy in it. You got to get up there and play with other people."
He said anyone can play along with a TikTok video, but the part that makes it great is sharing that part of yourself with a crowd. In fact, Cugnet performed his own original songs live recently at the Happy Nun Cafe in Forget. Read more HERE.
Cugnet said performance forces one to be present in the here and now.
"I think a lot of times we can sit in a room and be stuck on our phone, or we're doing something with somebody else, but we're distracted with whatever we're doing," he noted. "When it's something like that, you have no other choice but to focus more in the present moment."
He said there's a line in his song, 'Summer on the Souris', that refers to the present moment. "Good times are only in the present, and they're always gone too fast". He said memories still alive from something that happened many years ago become songs, and create new memories.
"That's what songs and what music can do for people. It can be nostalgic or something that you're reminiscing about, but it's creating a new memory with some of those same people in a different setting."
Cugnet said music is super complex but it's also so simple, having only eight notes in all.
"When you think of the millions of stories that have been written, with thousands of words, in hundreds of different languages, and when you break down music, it can be so incredibly complex you can have a symphony with dozens of instruments, but it's all based off of essentially eight tones in octaves, with different rhythms, and different sequences of where those notes are placed. But that's what makes it so fascinating to me, is a lot of the stuff that's the catchiest hooks or hit it big, there might be thrrr chords."
He said whether it's complex like TOOL, or simple like AC/DC, he enjoys the music-writing process.
"How do you tell a story, and tell another story at the same time? Whether it's through metaphors or whatever it is, and what's the secret sauce and all that? Sometimes it's accidental in some ways, sometimes it's really specific and can lead to surprises too, of, 'wow, where did that come from?'. Some of it's an accident and and I think that's the allegory for life and all that too. Some of it is planned, and some of it just happens."
Cugnet noted music hits differently at different times, depending on the mood, or who is there, or what one is processing.
With no shortage of songs, Dan said he's heading up to Saskatoon this weekend to work with Producer Bart McKay.
"Some songs are old, and have just been percolating. There are new ones, and some of them I would write a line and then a second line, but some might be a melody. Others just come together quick. About three weeks ago and it was just a line that somebody said to me, and it was instantly like, 'That's a song, man!' and by the end of the day I had a great song."
He said it's a mystery what unlocks the songs inside of us, but some just write themselves.
"A lot of it is formulated too, there's so many verses, and a chorus, and a bridge or an interlude. There's an intro, an outro and I wouldn't pretend that I'm an expert at all. I'm not, but it's what's pleasing to a human ear, right? And how do you put the right notes or the right chords together so that there's a familiarity in it, or a good hook, a good story?" he posed.
Cugnet said the goal of any songwriter is to get people to listen to their songs several times. But it's always a mystery which ones will fly.
"I can look at it subjectively, and I think it has always surprised me which are the songs that are kind of getting responses and which ones aren't," he shared. "I think it's more important to just do it, and put it out there, and let people find it, and if it's good, people eventually are going to find it."
While seeing the audience dance to his music, and even sing along with the words he wrote, is incredibly validating to Dan, his ultimate goal would be for another artist to love his song enough to want to record it.
Dan Cugnet's music can be found on all digital streaming services.