Theo Kandel

Theo Kandel

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014

Nashville, Tennessee, United States
Established on Jan, 2014
Solo Pop Singer/Songwriter





Nostalgia has been described as a file that removes the rough edges from our memories. But, we don’t mind having some of our memories smoothed out by the passage of time, and that’s why we dig “Cheerios & Chocolate Milk,” the new single from Nashville-based artist Theo Kandel.

“I wrote this song with nostalgia in mind – for me, that includes jungle gyms, faded quilts, and Cheerios & chocolate milk (mixed together, tastes really yummy),” he explains. “I wanted to capture the bittersweetness of growing up, which involves both a wistfulness for the past and optimism for the future.”

Produced by Justin Johnson, “Cheerios & Chocolate Milk,” a crisply-executed pop-tinged treat, is the perfect tune for seasonal transition, a soundtrack for honoring the innocence and simplicity of the past and looking forward—sweet melancholy mixed with hope for what’s ahead.

Without further ado, East of 8th presents “Cheerios & Chocolate Milk” by Theo Kandel: - East of 8th

"On making hits and redefining pop with Theo Kandel"

Matchbox collector, mead enthusiast and art-deco playing card lover, Theo Kandel, is in many ways a genuine old soul, albeit one steeped in boyish spunk.

If you were to take a look around his DIY recording studio in his shared off-campus apartment, you would see chili pepper string lights connecting walls adorned with vinyl record covers featuring the likes of Diana Ross, Jimmy Clanton and blues legend B.B. King. Below the walls tributing his creative idols sit worn desk chairs and discarded beer cans, the symbolic remnants of time spent by Kandel and his fellow Vanderbilt musician friends working to make something worthwhile.

His first official single, “Everybody Else,” was just released Jan. 10 on Apple Music and Spotify. It’s an upbeat pop song with a sing-along worthy chorus and verse after verse that tempt smiles if not full-on head bops and foot taps. It’s different from some of his older, sadder Soundcloud love songs,yet despite its upbeat vibe, it still has a message that means something.

“This song is about that feeling that you get sometimes when you don’t necessarily want to go out and it seems like everyone else is going out and they’re all telling you to go out and you don’t want to,” Kandel laughs, with a sort of amiright expression on his face. He takes a quick second to munch on one of his dinnertime staples, microwave taquitos, before continuing; he’s fitting this interview in before Melodore practice (yes, he is a Melodore).

“It also applies in general when you feel apart from a certain social group, but it’s a fun song. I want it to be fun, but still have a message I thought was interesting in some way, so it’s not just a happy pop song. It has a little more depth I think.”

Depth is important to Kandel. He shoots out words like “meaningful,” “powerful” and “extreme” as he talks about both his goals for his music and his reasons for admiring certain artists of the past and present. He mentions names like Shakey Graves and Bob Dylan, in keeping with the folk roots he prides himself on, with a deep appreciation of the genre’s intensity and poeticism that traces back to his childhood.

“My parents played a lot of Simon and Garfunkel growing up, and I was drawn to music that was more rooted in the song itself. During the time that I was starting off writing songs, I didn’t like where pop music was, which was when I was in sixth grade. I would read Bob Dylan lyrics and learn the Simon and Garfunkel guitar parts and try to learn from that folk genre as much as I could.”

While “Everybody Else” may be a departure from Kandel’s folk, singer-songwriter, self-ascribed “sad boy” beginnings, it is a natural next step for him as he charges forward in pursuit of commercial success. He hopes to follow in the footsteps of recent trailblazing artists like Bon Iver, Ed Sheeran and the Lumineers, who molded pop music without sacrificing their identities as artists and as people.

“I think that I don’t necessarily have to give up the folk side in order to pursue the things I want, whether it’s the lyrical quality of the music, or the music itself or the instrumentation. I think having that background in folk and having my very core root be in folk means that I would never lose that, no matter where I go.

“I want people to care about my music and I want it to matter to them and I want them feel something,” Kandel explains.

With his graduation just around the corner, Theo Kandel plans to release a few more singles in the coming months. Whether they are songs meant to be danced to or listened to while crying in the car, he promises they will all have a pulse and a pack a punch.

“I love the extremes. You’ve got to, you know? I don’t want to live in the middle. I want to be at the very limits. I like feeling something, and I think people like feeling something, whether it’s happiness or sadness, I think people are drawn to that, rather than the mundane of everyday life.”

Kandel will have his first public performance of “Everybody Else” this Wednesday, Jan. 16 at Trimble House. The doors open at 6:30 and admission is free. Click here for more information. - Vanderbilt Hustler

"Theo Kandel releases a nostalgic pop tune, entitled, “Cheerios & Chocolate Milk”"

Theo Kandel is a Nashville-based singer-songwriter from New York City. Not too long ago, he released a nostalgic pop tune, entitled, “Cheerios & Chocolate Milk”.

‘Cheerios & Chocolate Milk’ tells an honest tale of a guy who realizes that love and hate are intertwined inside the world that he is living in.

Therefore, he believes in staying young and optimistic. But as he grows older, he’s concerned about what the future holds. Later, he wonders if the younger version of him would approve of the man he has become.

Theo Kandel is a name you should remember and an exciting artist to watch. His music draws comparisons to anyone from Maggie Rogers to Simon & Garfunkel.

His “Cheerios & Chocolate Milk” single contains a relatable storyline, pleasing vocals, and tuneful melodies. Also, the likable tune possesses vibrant instrumentation scented with a commercial pop aroma.

We recommend adding Theo Kandel’s “Cheerios & Chocolate Milk” single to your personal playlist. Also, let us know how you feel about it in the comment section below. - Bong Mines Entertainment


1. We’ve been big fans since we came across “Running Blind.” Tell us about what you’ve got coming up next:

I'm currently working on an EP that'll be released around February/March. The last EP I released was senior year of high school, so I think it's about time I did something else. I'm super excited about it – it marks a development of sound for me. I think I've been able to weave my folk sensibility with other pop and alternative influences and make something that I think has a unique place in Nashville music right now.

2. You’ve got a really unique pop vibe. Who are some of your go-to co-writers and creators in town?

Justin Johnson (amazing producer/writer, has produced my last two singles and will be producing my EP), Ben Kessler (awesome pop artist), The Hive (really talented band that plays with me sometimes and also plays with Lackhoney: Ben Pleasant, Charlie Hackemer, Emmet Haden, Noah Luna).

3. When you’re not doing the music thing what’s your favorite weekend drink/hang spot in Nashville?

Beyond the Edge. You literally can't beat their happy hour (2 for 1 any beer, any day except Saturday), and the wings are super good. Good vibes there, too. Totally reasonable, awesome, normal bar.

4. What’s your signature karaoke song?

All Right by Christopher Cross

5. How about your dream collab?

Maggie Rogers

6. You’re a pop kid doin’ the thing in Music City. Why did you chose Nashville to pursue your career?

Every pop artist moves to LA - where's the fun in that? Nashville is such an awesome city right now, and it's only getting better. There's a vacuum here for pop, and that void is getting filled every day by incredible artists and songwriters; I want to be a part of that development and expansion. I think that pop music has a real, lasting place in Nashville, and I love feeling like I'm contributing to that in some way. In Nashville, the song is king – I can't really comment on other places – but I guarantee that the pop coming out of Nashville is centered on the integrity of the song. I think that's super unique to this place. - Young Music City


Still working on that hot first release.



Theo's music is here to make you feel something, whatever that might be. Originally from NYC but now hailing from Nashville, Theo blends pop with his singer-songwriter roots, drawing comparisons to anyone from Maggie Rogers to Simon & Garfunkel. With three singles released in 2019 and over 575k streams, Theo is unbelievably psyched to see what the next year holds. 

Band Members