Tofino recording artist and songwriter Steve Bick is releasing a curated compilation of original tunes by West Coast artists today, Feb. 19.
Aptly named ‘Locals Only – Volume One’, the album will be unveiled live on Friday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. via a simulcast on Community Radio and on the Instagram account West By West West (WxWW).
“Now that live music has disappeared, and with it, performance revenue, the music industry has made a rapid pivot. Career musicians are now focused on digital revenue streams; licensing and publishing revenue from movies and video games, and revenue from music streaming services. I really enjoy being a part of the artistic ecosystem on the Pacific Rim, and I know that a lot of the emerging artists out here have zero exposure or earnings without a local live music scene. With that in mind I decided to try and use the momentum of our local live music scene to push our recordings in the digital realm, and on our local radio,” said Bick.
The eclectic record features a remix of Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation Tsimka Martin’s Nuu-chah-nulth song ‘Alder’, a tune from Bick’s project Butterflywingtip, rising star Alle Bernardi’s latest single ‘Was A Dream’, Tofino’s open mic knockout Kieran Campbell’s new track, there’s a song by Sad Beach Boys, a Grizzly Waves tune, Grego has one on there, and Jeh Custerra shares a hip hop track with his Saskatchewan homeboys Praxis Life.
Bick initiated the concept for ‘Locals Only’ this summer.
“With musicians, it’s like herding cats. It’s hard to get them to do anything so I had to put a little pressure on them, but I’m pretty well experienced with building gigs and building festivals and having to communicate with a large group of artists. I have a method now, so it wasn’t that much work. I found it really interesting to see what everyone is doing right now and it was a great way to stay in touch,” said Bick.
Luke MacDonald is the lead guitarist for Sad Beach Boys and Grizzly Waves. The last time he performed live was in late fall 2019 at the Maq. While navigating these pandemic times, MacDonald has been producing the Gust of Wind videos series (release date coming soon) and cataloguing his life’s work.
“It’s really cool that Steve’s gone through the process of doing the whole locals compilation project. We have a small, but talented music scene in this little town and with the current musical climate, anyway we can be supporting local musicians is an awesome thing,” said MacDonald.
Bick notes that WxWW has no official affiliation to the annual South By Southwest music conference and festival that welcomes more than 2,000 acts to Austin, Texas every March.
“West By West West is like an umbrella for a bunch of different things,” he explains. “The long-term goal is to make WxWW or ‘West By’ a cultural leader in the music scene of the West Coast. We are focused on emerging artists, collaboration, innovation, and community development.”
Bick went on to say that WxWW was regenerated from the Arts Incubator, the now dormant entertainment company that pulled together the Tofino Folk Festival and over 70 local shows from 2017 to 2020.
He encourages musicians to send him a direct message on the West By West West Instagram: @westbywestwestwxww.