BYU student Tanner England was introduced to music at 7 years old in the form of piano lessons.
“My mom has this little tradition among the children to put them torturously through piano lessons,” England joked.
One summer after having just moved to Idaho, England discovered his passion for music. He said he enjoyed listening to big artists on the radio like Flume, Sia and Selena Gomez.
“I just loved, loved, loved pop music, you know. I wanted to make electronic and pop music,” England said. “And so I started doing it on this cheesy little keyboard.”
“I started out on the piano. I was born and raised on the piano; that’s where I express myself, as cheesy as it sounds, creatively,” England said.
England typically finds his inspiration through a set of chords he takes to his computer.
People started to get word of Tanner England soon after he started making music. He said many would ask if he was a DJ and he would reply saying, “I just make music and it’s just fun for me.”
“And then one day I was like, ‘I’m taking this thing on,’ and I decided I’m going to look up some YouTube videos and I’m going to try to figure out this whole DJ thing,” England said. England has played at venues, weddings and parties.
England’s childhood friend, Nate Skonnard, was there when he made his first song.
“At the time I thought the song was pretty good, and I couldn’t believe he actually made his own song, that it was even possible,” Skonnard said.
Skonnard said he attends any gig he can. “I’m a huge fan of his music, I love what he is doing,” he said.
England said his favorite music to DJ and play is electronic pop such as future bass, vapor and twitch. He also DJs house every once in a while.
England said one of his songs was posted on smaller YouTube channels and Spotify playlists. One night, he reached out to a bunch of record labels saying he’d love to be featured, but understood if it wasn’t possible.
“A couple of weeks later, I received an email back from, you know, not these no-name channels that I had emailed, but like this super giant of electronic music,” he said. “My jaw dropped. It was insane.”
Before England served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he had some of his work signed to Proximity, the largest independent promoter of EDM music. This record label noticed his single “To the Moon.” England described it as a dream come true.
“I’ve been striving for that for years. Here it was kind of materializing and then having to leave that for a mission was really hard,” he said.
England told the record label he was going on a mission but would love to create more when he came back in two years.
England said he thought it was a loss of momentum, but that there would still be hope. “It’s God’s plan,” he said.
After his mission, he continued on his journey of creating and performing.
“My favorite part about DJing is probably playing my own stuff and reciprocating that energy,” England said. “Just being able to make the energy consistent in the group or the party, whatever it is. It’s just a lot of fun.”
BYU student Kierstin Merrell was recently introduced to England’s music.
“I think he could go really far because he is really talented and has a fun style to the music he creates,” Merrell said.
England said the energy among the people makes him feel like he’s having the time of his life. He describes the people and vibe as “incredible.”
Skonnard has been with England since the start of his music career and expressed how much he cares about England’s music.
“The music that he’s making, the venues that he goes to and DJs at and the remixes that he makes, I’m amazed at the growth that he’s had,” Skonnard said.
England said it can be hard to balance the time spent on being a college student and the time spent creating music. “I try to make music for at least 15 minutes every day and practice,” England said. “It’s really hard to fit it all in, but it’s definitely very rewarding.”
England also shared an experience he had about being in a band.
“It was cool to be able to form some sort of chemistry with other band members through shows at different venues, you know, different energy,” he said. “It was cool to feed off each other.”
He said his best advice to those who might want to start creating music for themselves is to stay persistent. “The day will come where you can be confident with your skills and you’ll fall in love with it even more,” England said. “I still do each and every day. So it’s just a matter of keeping at it.”
England said he continues to reach for his dreams by expressing himself through music.
“I’m working on something right now,” he said. “I have high hopes, but I don’t want to jinx myself. Whatever happens, it’ll be fun.”