Day 1 – Logans Pub
The tour started off tonight, Monday Jan. 17th. I spent a few hours burning CD’s after work. I started out with 7 copies of Bless the West and was excited to see how many I could give out during the week.
It felt great for me to be back in the tour mindset. The last time I was in this vibe was back in 2012 after the release of Moving Mirrors. Now, after 3 years of life and all its craziness, I’m back and ready for more music, more love, new friends, new styles and various moods.
Since my last tour was full of so many wild stories and adventure! I was stoked to see what this one might bring. Music is where my heart is and I always seem to find my way back to the mic eventually 😉
After a long break I am back and a whole new person, evolved intellectually and spiritually, I have increased my focus and professionalism 10 fold. Sometimes I will say a prayer before I get up and freestyle that the spirit may channel through me any message that would be most beneficial to the souls present at the time 🙂
The first night of the tour began at Logan’s Pub. The host Steve was performing some sweet originals and my friend Shane rolled in unexpectedly which was dope! He is also a true fan of hip-hop like me and we once kicked rhymes together in Fernwood.
I was a little nervous at first but once the music began, I moved into my bliss and calmed down. When it comes to performing I’m trying to come through as clear and steady as possible. I wrote a quick note to myself saying, “Stop moving around so much and just focus on holding the mic straight, back straight and tone steady in the words, smooth flow, breath control and the right enthusiasm.”
Logans is a cool spot at a central location in Vic where lots of peeps hang out and vibe together quite regularly. From skaters to hippies and rough necks, the pub hosts a large assortment or characters.
Each venue holds a new feel and holds the magic of a new experience. You never know who you might meet or bump into when at an open mic. Any difficulties or hardships you may experience help to build character as an artist and may even give you an idea for a song one day.
Shane said he wants to come record so we will definitely have to set something up in the future at my studio. When new peeps come to my place it’s always chill and I do my best to be supportive in any way I can. There have been several occasions where people have never recorded before and they try it out then the result is a cool new guest appearance on a track.
I’ve had the chance now to take part in more open mic events then I can remember. Many times musicians have gotten up and jammed along with me including flutes, saxophones, guitars, bass, singers and more!
The set went well, I felt after that I said a lot of good messages during my freestyles and covered many topics. It was a little hard to know if the levels were right because there was no monitor, just one of the many difficulties that builds your skill as a performer. You need to learn to expect these kind of things and be ready as well as keep faith that the spirit will work things out as they were meant to.
I met an old friend that I knew from the open mic at the Fernwood Cornerstone a few years back named Zach. He is also a musician who sings and plays the guitar. I was stoked to hear him ask about the new CD: Bless the West and then he bought a copy. At the time I was then down to five copies left and excited to see where they may travel to during the rest of the tour.
The first freestyle and my new track: “Tight Clothes” went perfectly; it was probably the best performance of that song to date!
Day 2 – The Cambie
The second day started off well, it began by rushing out the door to make sure I made it to the Cambie before 7pm. It was 6:59pm when I pulled in! Since the list fills up fast like the Cornerstone used to, I wanted to make sure I still got on.
Once I came in, the place had a positive vibe, cool tunes playing and a cute waitress who was friendly and helpful. She told me to speak with the host (Gordie) about the lineup and so I walked over to introduce myself. Gordie was a friendly older man and was happy to hear that I was bringing some conscious hip-hop to the stage tonight.
The crowd was a lot similar to Logans with a few peeps having drinks at the tables and others playing pool to the side. The thought that came to me while driving at work the day before was to really try and connect to people at the heart. This is what I am truly aiming for more than anything else and sometimes I just seem to forget.
I’ve got to constantly remind myself to speak at their level and never put smoky above others. Learn to speak of my own struggle and how I got through them with faith and self-discipline. We are all unique in our way and all have the right to be happy and loved.
The power of music and its ability to help people is incredible! We are in this conscious shift together and awakening as a planet.
The music started off well, the sound setup was clear and there was some cool flashing lights in the background. I was second on the list with a full house waiting!
The venue was filled right up, probably 40 people or so all together. “Let’s see if they vibe with some conscious hiphop,” I said to myself before I began. When you walk with spirit then there is nothing to be afraid of, because you know what ever comes together was meant to be.
A band called “Low Rider,” played some rolling stones and it was rocking! The set went well, people really appreciated the tunes that I played. This one guy named Hobs really connected to the message I was speaking on and another guy named Daryl came up to say thanks.
He had a cordless mic for me to use and a tablet for the mixer to make keep the levels right while still getting to watch in the front. It sounded clear and powerful on stage, though I would feel some judgment or walls put up, I kept pushing through them and finding my own style that I was comfortable with regardless to looks in the crowd.
It felt like a form of testing to see if I trust my own abilities enough to keep going and not choke. Hobs gave me a small pottery coin with a skull on it in exchange for a copy of Moving Mirrors.
Some of the topics I spoke on during my freestyle’s were showing others you’re there for them, having an open heart and finding your inner connection. How we are all from one ocean of bliss, all races, all people as equals.
An old friend named Star had an amazing performance as well. She played a washboard and metal bowls, singing some groovy folk tunes with her fellow band member who sat on a wood box drum.
Day 3 – ORC Freestyle Cypher
Wednesday night I rolled out to the ocean Island Inn. I got there just at 8pm then found out that the bar was closed for two weeks, so instead I rolled to the ORC cypher near Vic High. I ended up seeing a few old friends of mine named Jameson and C.P, they had the dope little boombox that was connected to one of the guys cell phones.
I had a lot of fun and the peeps there said I spit some hype flows. Jameson finished it all off with a sick verse about how long ORC has been around for (7 years) and all the things they’ve seen and gone through. It’s Funny sometimes how an unexpected turn can lead to something so cool like that night did. If I would have been at the Ocean Island Inn then I would have never got to see my old friends and meet some new peeps as well in the local scene.
Day 4 – The Fernwood Inn
I got to the Fernwood Inn at 8pm, walked in then was greeted by the hostess who told me all that all the tables in the open mic area had already been reserved on a waiting list. So, I sat at the front until a table became available and rolled on in.
I soon realized the open mic list had already been completely filled but a few spots on the spare list in-between sets. So I was lucky to still get an opportunity to get up there and perform one song. I met a cool girl with tattoos that night named Amy, she told me that she plays piano and sings. It was cool to hear her unique style of music after talking with her for a bit first.
I got to go up at just around 9pm, and kicked a freestyle over a beat by 9th Wonder. During my performance I decided to leave the mic in the stand for the first time, it actually works well that way to keep it in the right spot for vocal clarity.
My song went well and everyone seemed to really enjoy what I had to say. The host Paul came up and told me I can come back and perform anytime, he said he would even get up and play the flute with me if I like. The hostess said she like it and so did my new friend Amy.
Day 5 – The V-Lounge
I showed up at the lounge around 1:54pm with my friend Incentive and talked to the people in charge about performing with everyone. The hose explained that we can get up and jam with some other artists then wrote our names down on the list.
It was an interesting vibe at The V-Lounge, real high roofs with a circular layout, hanging lights that turn off and one shaped like icicles and a huge chandelier raised a bit in front of the stage. There was a bar in the back and white and blue with giant palm trees and plants everywhere.
We met this guy named Sean who played a sort of digital sax and loop pedal. Sean was down to get up and jam with us live so we were stoked to see what he might come up with.
The song turned out really well and it was a lot of fun to freestyle up there with Sean and Incentive. It felt like the perfect way to end the one week Bless the West open mic tour with a bang and I was happy with the way everything turned out.
The tour was an awesome experience and it definitely helped me bet back into the musician/manager vibe that I had begun to stray from.
Until the next one thanks for following along on my journey J