Canaan Cox Shares The Inspiration & Songwriting Process Behind “Hate Me More” & “Twice”
About a month after dropping his transparent, confessional masterpiece “Hate Me More,” Canaan Cox releases another to follow up. The up-and-coming singer joins forces with Shaylen for a passionate and mesemerizing duet. Entitled “Twice,” it left us in chills, and even more so when we got a better glimpse into his creative mind!
Cox grew up listening to his dad’s Conway Twitty records, pop hits like Michael Jackson and Gavin DeGraw, and even various musical theater soundtracks (in high school, he played Jack in Into The Woods). His family and upbringing inspired his dream to be a singer since childhood. He majored in musical theater in college, giving him a well-rounded skill set and perspective as he ventured into country music. We can see how this degree positively impacts his career now - he seamlessly ties emotion to songs, and has some of the best stage presence we’ve ever seen.
His experiences translate into his songwriting process, which often covers deeply personal subject matter. For example, the love story with his wife gets pulled from his “idea box” a lot. The couple has truly withstood the test of time. Since reconnecting in 2019, they’ve survived a period of long-distance and even a COVID engagement. A common technique he’s employed is to free-write about “everything [he’s] feeling,” in a “my song when it comes to you” approach, as he described it to us. Then, he’ll organize his thoughts into a rhyming, flowing piece that works in musical form.
His penning maintains an honest, vulnerable approach, with the second verse of his recent single “Hate Me More” best demonstrating that. “It was like looking at yourself in the mirror,” Cox told All Country News. “Like, who am I trying to impress?” He reflected on how it stemmed from a conversation with his dad, in which they discussed the universality of the song’s message. The singer continued that second verses are his “favorite,” since they give him the chance to truly expand.
His new single “Twice,” though not self-written, echoes familiar experiences to convey a resonant theme. Though not originally intended as a duet, the lyrics of it naturally flowed in that direction. He actually found his collaborator Shaylen through TikTok tags - thank god for social media! He extended the invitation to feature on the song by sliding into her DMs (iconic, if we do say so ourselves).
“[Country music] gets stereotyped a lot,” Cox noted, deeming it a “brand” and contrasting it to the broad nature of pop music. He emphasized that while beer and trucks are one segment of it, that’s not all there is. “Any song with a good story to me is a country song.” In that spirit, Cox focuses on detailed penning and world-building with his art; having a hand in direction and video editing aids him in that. “There’s times where I see a video before I write the song,” admitted the singer.
Innovative and authentic, Cox is redefining the overarching image of country music. We love him for the fact that he sings from the heart, and the new single “Twice” is no different. We can’t wait to continue watching this rising star grow!