Caldher – Five Questions With


Invigorating Chinese-Canadian Alternative Artist, Caldher, Discusses Upbringing, Loneliness, and Isolation on Brand New Single, “Signal”

Toronto Alternative artist Caldher is a uniquely engaging artist who captivates audiences with his refreshingly honest lyrics, warm vocals, and creative arrangements. The 2nd-generation Chinese-Canadian musician is a Humber College School of Music graduate who poignantly addresses difficult-to-discuss topics with a current focus on the societal differences between his traditional Chinese upbringing and Canadian culture.

Inspired by the music of Radiohead, Phoebe Bridgers, and Arctic Monkeys, along with artful sounds of the Jazz and R&B genres, Caldher’s own invigorating sound combines a multitude of musical influences with his uniquely stirring concepts. As a former member of the Toronto All Star Big Band, a celebrated group of young professional artists and musicians performing spirited music from the 30s and 40s, Caldher’s versatility as an artist who can perform old-school classics to his own brand of modern-Alternative is constantly on display.

As he gears up to release his debut EP this year, Caldher released his single, “Signal,” a melodic, intricate new single that perfectly introduces the emerging artist.

Recorded at Gordon Wragg Recording Studios in Etobicoke, ON, “Signal” was co-produced by Caldher and Suho Lee. The song was engineered and mixed by Wayne Cochrane (Arkells, City and Colour) and features outstanding musical performances by a number of Caldher’s classmates.

Listen to “Signal” below and learn more about Caldher via our Five Questions With segment.

Care to introduce yourself to our readers?

Hi, I’m Christopher Chan, and I release music under the name Caldher. I’m based in Toronto, where I grew up, and I am a recent graduate from Humber College’s music program. I’ve been surrounded by music for as long as I know – with my sisters and my dad being a part of the Toronto Chinese Orchestra – but I only really started songwriting in college. Outside of music, I enjoy playing board games and looking after my gecko, Pumpkin!

Tell us a bit about your most recent release.

“Signal” is a song that has been with me for quite a while, being one of the first songs I wrote in my 3rd year at Humber. I was going through a rough patch at the time, and I wanted to write about how easy it felt to be alone, even in the age of constant telecommunication and social media. It always felt strange to me how loneliness is such a prevalent feeling, but we’re forced to deal with it because of how our lives are structured; everyone is so busy that there’s really no time to connect. The song came together when I wrote the piano melody, with prepaid phone cards and shoddy service serving as inspirations for the theme.

Where do you tend to pull inspiration from when writing?

A lot of my songs draw from personal feelings and experiences, which I tend to connect to a greater theme or imagery. I often observe situations as they happen and try to relive the feelings at that moment when I write. I’m a huge fan of just scrolling on Google or Wikipedia to learn about new concepts, ideas, words, etc., and applying that knowledge to songs that I’m working on. Developing characters to deliver a narrative is something I’ve relied greatly on as well, and the basis of those creations usually comes from films or shows that I’ve watched. My upcoming EP draws on science fiction elements and uses space as a means to accentuate loneliness and isolation.

Do you have any upcoming shows or festivals you want to tell us about?

I have an EP Release Show planned for April 14th at the Painted Lady! I’m also looking to play at some festivals and shows over the summer, so keep an eye out!

What’s your goal for 2023?

Honestly, there’s so much I want to accomplish it’s hard to pinpoint it to a specific goal! I want to continue writing and developing my songs, hopefully being able to get into the studio by the end of the year. I’ve also got some songs ready to release after my EP, which I’m super excited to share as well. Of course, I’d like to play as many shows as I can! Connecting with more musicians and fans is probably one of my biggest goals this year, alongside growing as an artist and songwriter.

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