September 18, 2020

Nacho Cano was born in Mexico City and now resides in Los Angeles. The 28-year-old songwriter/producer has released musical projects under the name Twin Cabins, Canito, and, currently, Harmless.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.

My name is Nacho Cano, also known as Harmless, formerly known as Twin Cabins. I am a musician and producer.

What started you off in the music industry?

Honestly, just being inspired by the music I was listening to as a teenager. I felt like creating the music I wanted to hear. It just sort of became a learning process from there, still is.

Portrait of Nacho Cano by Leticia Llesmin

Current projects you’re working on?

I am churning out singles. Trying to make short projects, nothing long. I think long-form projects can cost a lot. Emotionally and financially. Right now I’m just trying to just make vignettes/singles instead of fully realized EP’s or albums.

What’s influencing your music lately?

Marriage and fear of mortality, haha. I am getting married soon and it’s changed my outlook on life and what’s important. So did almost dying not too long ago. I think I am just motivated to move forward and stay outside of my ego.

What other musicians are you interested in?

Currently? ML Buch put out one of the better records this year. I think KLLO is also up there as someone I am listening to. Computer Data and Jeff Parker. But if we are talking like, artists that I’m inspired by for these new recordings then it would be… the bass lines of Fishmans, the weird bright production of Prefab Sprout, and the singing style of Sade.

Who have you most enjoyed collaborating with?

My bandmate Drew and I have a side project called Elio and we have some stuff coming out soon. I also loved collaborating with Yungatita and Dreamgirl. I love doing remixes. Hopefully, there will be more opportunities to make more of them. Or to produce for some of these artists. Or any, hahahaha.

How has Covid-19 impacted you? How have you adjusted?

It’s taken a toll on my mental health. I’ve remained indoors for a better part of the last 4 months. When you’re producing at home, it takes a toll. Usually, when I am stuck on an idea or a feeling, I try to go outside and clear my head either alone or with friends. Unfortunately, that’s not as available. I am also more stressed about opportunities, about my career, and about how this is going to impact my overall future. It’s one thing to exist on the internet and it’s another to exist in real life. I was hoping to exist in real life this year by way of shows and festivals but… here we are.

Where do you see yourself traveling first after quarantine?

Tokyo if I could. Or Mexico. I want to marry my fiancé there, Mexico I mean, then honeymoon in Tokyo.

What do you do when you’re not working on music?

Hang out with my dogs. Read. Help my friends through their problems. Give advice on how to text boys back. The usual.

What do you love about L.A.?

Right now it’s tough to say. I wish we weren’t the COVID capital of the USA. It’s really frustrating to see people in my neighborhood not comply with social distancing, or wear masks. If I choose to go on trails or go for a walk, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen folks not wear a mask and/or walk, in large groups.

But… I love Maru Coffee. That’s pretty much the only place I go to when I leave the house.

What would you like your audience to take away from your music?

Any feeling. If they connect to it and find their own ownership with the material, then the work is successful. I think having expectations of how your audience will react to your work is a sure way to personal disappointment. I think if a fan takes a song and marries it to a moment, or to a feeling, then the work did well. It’s not about my message.

Portrait of Nacho Cano by Olivia Joy

Can you share one of the best or worst reactions you have gotten as a result of your music?

One of my songs has become a popular song on TikTok. I honestly can’t stress enough how much I love it. It’s unreal to see how people take what you’ve made and turn it into something else. I love it. I think some artists would take that response and hate it, cause it would misinterpret the art, but honestly, the moment it’s out it doesn’t belong to you as an artist anymore. So I guess, I can’t really say if there is a “worst” reaction to my art.

What are your hopes for the future of the music industry?

I hope that the distribution and publishing royalty payouts change. I think that since there isn’t a live environment for musicians to make money there needs to be a change in how streaming services and labels pay out their artists. To some, including myself, this is a vital source of income. Music is a valuable source of comfort for people right now and the ones that make it, unfortunately, can’t afford to do it unless there’s a payment model, from streaming services, that benefit them more. Bandcamp is great, but the majority of folks interact through music by way of Apple Music and Spotify.

A tip jar is nice, but not a long term solution.

Can you tell us about your new song, “Hannah Don’t Lurk,” that premiered on September 17th?

This song was largely inspired by my friend Hannah, hence the song’s title. Hannah kept lurking her ex’s IG profiles during quarantine because she couldn’t distract herself in other ways. Currently, everyone might be sitting alone with their thoughts and on their phones, lurking in places they probably wouldn’t if there was a sense of normalcy. I wrote the song about her and all my friends who are having a hard time loving themselves and are instead tempting unhealthy behavior.

At the end of the day though, I want my friends to love themselves and to understand that even though they are in these awful times, they can reflect on their past and move forward with strength. Also, I just wanted to try and make a song that was super chillwave inspired. I always tried to when I was younger but had a hard time with it. I just really couldn’t figure out how to create samples and play guitars over it while maintaining a summery sound.