A Q&A With the Home Sweet Home Song Contest Promotion Winner, Connor Pledger

“Drunk In Paris” 
By Connor Pledger
Interview by American Songwriter

Connor Pledger is the American Songwriter Home Sweet Home Song Contest Promotion winner for his song “Drunk In Paris.” American Songwriter caught up with Connor to get the story behind his song. 

How long have you been songwriting?

It took me a moment to realize, but I’ve been writing music for 19 years now. Time flies when you’re creating art.

Why did you enter American Songwriter’s 2023 Song Contest?

I was feeling lucky when I submitted my song at the last minute in early October. I had just released some new songs after a long hiatus and I wanted to challenge myself. I had a stack of American Songwriter magazines on my coffee table, and I decided to enter one of their contests.

What was the inspiration behind your song, “Drunk In Paris”?

Playing music has given me the opportunity to travel to many places and perform for different audiences. But sometimes, I feel lonely on the road. That’s why I’m so grateful for my partner, who shares my passion for travel. We recently went to Paris together, and it was an amazing experience. I wrote this song to capture the feeling of being drunk in love and in Paris. We wandered the streets at night, tried new foods, and made new friends. I felt like I was home, because she was with me. No matter where we go, she is the only one I want by my side. This is what I tried to express with “Drunk in Paris.”

Who are your all-time favorite songwriters and why? 

Some of the songwriters I admire the most are Blake Mills, Jose Gonzales, Joni Mitchell, Ray Lamontagne, Fleet Foxes, and Joe Pug. They all have a unique voice and a way of painting their worlds with words. They also blend traditional and experimental styles in a way that I find fascinating. I’m not an expert, but I think their lyrics are rich and complex, unlike many of the songs I hear today. They inspire me to write better lyrics and create music that stands out. I also appreciate the earthiness of their sound. They all use acoustic guitars, which give their music a natural and organic feel. I grew up in Georgia, where I was exposed to both Appalachian folk music and indie bands, especially in Athens. I think that influenced my taste in music as well.

Are you planning on releasing any new music anytime soon?

I’m thrilled to announce that my “Helvetica EP” is set to release on November 10, 2023! If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance it’s already available. I’ve been part of an indie rock band “Mob Rich” for years and haven’t released any solo work in a long time, so this feels like a comeback debut for me. I’m also planning to release another EP with a full band soon. And, of course, I dream of one day releasing a full-length LP. I also want to thank you guys for giving me the opportunity to record at Blackbird Studios in Nashville, one of the best studios in the world. I might use this time to re-record my first EP with a band, or maybe just throw a party and record the jam sessions that follow. Either way, it’s going to be a blast!

What would you tell other artists who are considering entering the contest? 

If you’re a songwriter, I encourage you to submit your songs to this contest! I don’t think you need external validation to be an artist, but it’s nice to feel appreciated and get a chance to record in a professional studio. As an indie artist who supports myself, I know how hard it is to find the time and money to make music. I’m very excited to use the opportunity I’ve been given. I wish you all the best, fellow writers!

Check out the winning song below:

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