Johnsburg musician to hit Water Lantern Festival stage

Recording artist Russell Anderson of Johnsburg is making it to his first summer festival stage.

He will perform at 7 p.m. Saturday, July 15, at the Water Lantern Festival at the Lincoln Park South Lagoon in Chicago.

The festival is part of the floating lantern events held across the country in which attendees at sunset "launch thousands of lanterns adorned with letters of love, hope and dreams reflected upon the water."

The festival supports

Anderson, 24, performs as Edward III, a nickname his brother Brian gave him growing up. The name doesn't have any relation to the former king of England.

He graduated from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee with a degree in graphic design. He plays guitar and writes and produces music using Ableton Live software, which allows him to create songs using a variety of digital instruments. He does everything himself, including vocals.

"I've met and spoken with a variety of artists, seeking tips about what I need to do to book shows and concerts," Anderson said of how he got on the Water Lantern Festival lineup. "I want to get in contact with promoters who book shows so I can perform more live events."

Although most of his recordings are electronic dance music, his live sets include a lot of acoustic music. He plays original songs and some covers of EDM songs, such as "Roses" by the Chainsmokers.

"People hear the music I play on the acoustic guitar, and you can tell they are trying to figure out where they know the song," Anderson said. "It's different from the original because they are hearing it on an acoustic guitar. It's interesting to see when they make the connection."

He said acoustic also gives him more control when he's playing live because he isn't using a recorded backing track.

He is a freelance graphic designer by trade. He's done branding work for the Twin Cities Soccer League based in Minnesota and Milwaukee's Stone Creek Coffee.

"My end goal is music, to tie in a lot of my artwork with my music, combining it with merchandising and packaging," he said. "Next is exploring a recording deal. It's also about getting on playlists on webplayers so more people can hear my music."

He's performed shows at bars and clubs, but the Water Lantern Festival will be his biggest concert.

"I'm in a good location between Chicago and Milwaukee, which have good music markets," Anderson said. "Festivals like Summerfest are attainable for me."

His most recent project is the song "You Know What You Did," house music set at 120 beats per minute, the most popular tempo for dance music.

Many EDM artists collaborate with other musicians, but Anderson said he's content working alone for now.

"There is a reason I do it myself," he said. "Because the more you control, the more you can get done."

The Chicago Water Lantern Festival will take place July 15 at the Lincoln Park South Lagoon. McHenry County recording artist Russell Anderson, who performs as Edward III, will make his summer festival debut at the event. Courtesy of Water Lantern Festival
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