Dazzling lights, wild crowds, frenetic movement, and musical vibrations that pulse through you like bursts of electricity. It's little wonder live music shows have a way of overwhelming the senses and lulling people into a sort of trance. The seduction of the electronic dance music world was immediate for Connor Burns, a.k.a. CONNOR BVRNS, a budding young DJ who recently performed in Salt Lake City as part of the pre-show for internationally renowned artist Alesso. Though he spends much of his time in L.A., Burns actually began his journey into music on Park City's Main Street.
Park City has been a part of Burns' life for as long as he can remember. His family bought a house in town when he was four years old, so he spent significant chunks of his time, including every holiday, picking up skiing just like a local. When his mother, Kathryn Burns, bought downtown nightclub Park City Live, his connection deepened. Backstage meet-ups with talented artists like Steve Aoki -- as well as transformative experiences as an audience member -- ignited a new passion in the young Burns. "I knew I wanted to do music as soon as I was in the building, when I was just 12," says Burns. "After learning a bit, I became a bedroom DJ just trying to mix my own things and come up with original material."
Throwing himself wholeheartedly into the scene also helped Burns see a perceived weakness as a strength. At a young age, he was diagnosed with Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD), a condition that interferes with how the brain interprets sounds. Initially, he struggled with his ability to process sounds, particularly in the presence of ambient noise; and he was bullied because of it. Burns compensated for CAPD by leaning heavily on his vision, developing a photographic way of engaging with his environment. This highly refined visual way of taking on the world has given Burns a sort of synesthesia, allowing him to literally see music, a skill that proved to be useful as he began learning music theory and production.
"Certain chords take on specific colors and that's where I start when creating music," says Burns. "Ambient sounds can be distracting, but this condition I have isn't something I consider a handicap. It's actually an advantage for me because I have access to a unique perspective and I can even detect sounds at frequency ranges most people don't have access to."
While he certainly has his favorite influences, among them Flume, Skrillex, Kanye West, and DJ Snake, Burns has focused his energy on experimenting and developing his own style. The recent high school graduate is also focusing on generating a bit of traction for his music, building off his first show last year at VidCon. "I've been really blessed with these opportunities and being on stage has been eye opening for me," says Burns. "Ultimately, I want to make an impact with music, to make people happy. For me that's the best part of performing. Seeing the transfer of energy between the crowd and artist, everyone feeding off each other."
Given his connection to the venue, a performance by CONNOR BVRNS at Park City Live seems like a natural step. Unfortunately, it's going to have to wait a few years since Burns has yet to turn 21 (the required age). For now, he's concentrating most of his efforts in the studio, creating singles, and playing a few shows around Los Angeles. In the mean time, you can stay connected with the latest happenings for the young DJ via his website.
Park City Live is currently on break, but make sure to check out their website for upcoming events in the next few months as the season gets under way. Who knows, you may even spot Burns in the audience!