What: Kaden Wadsworth, with Heavy Light

When: 8 p.m. Saturday

Where: Volcanic Theatre Pub, 70 SW Century Drive, Bend

Cost: $10

Contact: volcanictheatre.com or 541-323-1881

Pop singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Kaden Wadsworth, 21, grew up in Oregon City and moved with his family to Bend when he was in eighth grade. Since graduating high school he has pursued music full time, including producing recordings by local country artist Braden Kline, collaborating with fellow young songwriter Austin Brown and releasing two self-produced EPs of his own music. His upcoming project is a collaboration with Bali, Indonesia-based, producer and Corvallis native Deane Ogden. Wadsworth will perform at Volcanic Theatre Pub on Saturday with local band Heavy Light opening.

(This interview has been edited for length and clarity.)

Q: How did you start playing music?

A: From sixth grade to graduation, I was always in as many band classes as I could be in, not only because I love music, but to try and avoid as much real school as possible. So I was always in jazz bands and concert bands and marching bands. … Leaving junior year going into senior year, that’s when I picked up an acoustic guitar for the first time. I just fell in love with it. I got really into Ed Sheeran at the time, and then … I began writing songs and playing as many shows as I could, even though they were probably awful at the time. I just kept doing it. And my eyes were set on pursuing football in college, and once I pretty much hit senior year, having written songs, already then I was like, I’m doing this. And so I chose to forgo college football and pursue this full time.

Q: How did your interest in the production side of music develop?

A: About the time I graduated, a little bit after, I got into another artist by the name of Jon Bellion. He pushed me from a production standpoint. So from graduating, I was just a singer-songwriter, and then that kind of formed into a production side of it — so seeing the record from beginning to end. I really love that process, and even the mixing process I love.

Q: What drew you to drums initially?

A: Part of me thinks it was to be cool; the other part of me didn’t know how much gear you have to lug around to be cool, you know — like, it’s only that cool. But I just fell in love with it. I just love the — I can read music well-ish, but I love the idea, especially with jazz, of like, I could musically just fake it till you make it. … You didn’t necessarily have to read music because it’s all rhythm, so I always had a great sense of rhythm. And I just loved it. And then all that (came) full circle. When I play live I use this thing called a loop pedal. And so I have an acoustic guitar and then I have my drum set and then a thing called a beat pad, MPC, what hip-hop’s made off of.

Q: You’ve released a couple of EPs so far; tell me about those?

A: The last one was “Spectre.” I always loved that word; I loved the way it looked from the Bond film. I was like, man, that’s just a good-looking word. And I looked it up, and it means a ghost. It’s just a baller word. So, I put that project together, produced by me, mixed by me, and currently, I’m working on another EP-slash-album, and that’s gonna be I like to consider the real deal of — it’s just my best foot forward is soon to come with these next singles and my next project that’s on the way.

Q: What’s going on with that project?

A: Everything up until this point has been produced by me, but this next project, it’s me and then I have a co-producer who goes by the name of Deane Ogden. He’s just an incredible guy; he’s a big touring drummer, big world-type artist. He takes my ideas, he just amplifies them ...

Q: As your music career progresses, do you see yourself focusing more on being an artist or a producer/songwriter?

A: My goal, No. 1, is to be the biggest live act in the world when this is all said and done, so everything does come after that. But I love the idea of, hey, I have a song that’s written on acoustic guitar or whatever, and just getting that song to what you hear on the radio, and that just so happens to be the production side of it — the mixing. Part of me wants to just keep learning because as nerdy as it is, I have more heroes that are engineers and producers right now than necessarily the grade-A artists just because of this respect value. … The main focus right now is the solo career, but the plan ultimately is to mix and produce for other artists. I love the idea of that.

— Brian McElhiney, The Bulletin

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